The BooksNBeyond: Classic Clothbound + Bookish Goods Review’19

*Disclaimer- All the pictures used in this blog post belong to me. This post is not sponsored. Everything written here is just my opinion.

 

 

Hey, folks~!

A lot has happened over the last couple of weeks. I had my birthday, yes, I’m 19 now. Hooray to inevitable old age. Though, birthdays are not just about celebrating the lack of youth left but also, the gifts. Not just the gifts from nature but also the ones from your friends and family. Yes, precious gifts that are thoughtful and meaningful to you. If you are a regular to my blog, then you already know that I have a pet cat and if you aren’t a regular, well, you know now.

My cat’s name is Momo, she’s a British Longhair. She was a sort of a birthday gift to me when I turned 18 and it’s been all kinds of fun and scratches since then. While receiving a pet is a big deal due to the commitment and responsibility towards this small life, I would like to put it out there that I don’t think of them as an item or object that can be gifted to people and left for display. Consider it an adoption. Now, you must be wondering that if I’m talking pets then I probably plan on making this a pet box or product review but the title of the review says otherwise. Is this clickbait? Fret not, there’s still going to be a review and this is just a side announcement. This year was a special birthday for me, I could get away from the city and it’s toxicity but another thing that allowed me to detox my life some more was Miko.

What is Miko? No, it’s Who.

Miko is a nearly 3-month-old Shih Tzu puppy. She’s energetic and a klepto! If you find your slipper missing, it’s probably and definitely Miko. Now, again, she’s not an object. We have brought her our family and she doesn’t belong to me, rather, much like Momo, she’s a part of the crew. So, does this mean that there will finally be pet item reviews? For cats, yes but since Miko is a little puppy, it will be a while before she can eat crunchy treats. Perhaps, we could experiment with toys instead? That’s for another post!

Well, this has gone on a lot longer than I intended to. So, yes, I’ve two pets now and they’re simply the best company ever. Also, if anyone is wondering about my cat getting along with the puppy, yes they do get along!

So, shall we start this review?

Books N Beyond

Books N Beyond is an Indian Book Subscription Service that also sells Bookish merchandise on its site as well. Books N Beyond is the Dream Project for Papiya and Pankaj, the Founders of the Literary Shop/Book Subscription Box. The first box was launched in January 2017 with a Harry Potter themed Box, and since then, each month has always been graced with a brand new theme that the BnB procures and assembles every month. A lot of these items are exclusive to the BnB brand and are made in collaboration with various artists.

Currently, BnB offers the following Subscription Packs-

Monthly Boxes 

Paired Boxes

Quarterly Boxes

Customized Boxes

The Custom made boxes are customer preference based. They could be of any genre or fandom, all you need is a theme with a basic idea and what should the box include. Based on the information given out by the customer, the rest is on the BnB team to try and make a plan for what all the box must contain and how it must be designed according to the customer’s taste. A lot of the items in the box are exclusive BnB products and designs and the rest are imported items that may or may not take a while to arrive or to arrange. After that, the BnB team will then quote their price and the rest is up to the customer. Some of the custom boxes they’ve curated in the past had the following themes-

Gossip Girl

Jane Austen

Harry Potter

The Vampire Academy

The other products available on their site are-

Books – Usually, these are the first copies to ever release in India or limited edition books.

Bookish Jewellery

Book Sleeves – or Bleeves, that are one of their most sought after products due to their exclusive designs.

Accessories

Cushion Covers

Journals & Notebooks

Pins & Badges

To visit their site, click here.

Personally?

The last time I reviewed anything from Books N Beyond was their April’18,”Mythos” box. It was probably the best box I’ve ever received to date. This probably makes you wonder why I haven’t gotten another box from them since then and honestly, I wish I could say that I wonder the same but a lot of these items require me to have the funds and the time to later review them. The last couple of months I’ve had to miss out on several of their boxes, which was quite disappointing but in December, I did make a purchase of a certain box that was sold out once and I got lucky when a select few were back on sale. Yes, it’s none other than the Anniversary Edition! I’ve been really excited to receive it and while I don’t enjoy waiting for boxes, I do appreciate the fact that this time around I actually know that delays are to be expected and they were sold ahead of time. As I write this review, I have received an e-mail staying that the box has been shipped, so do expect a full review on it next week!

Again, Books N Beyond so far has not given me many or any, in fact, chances to complain about their services. I actively follow their social media accounts and read their occasional newsletters. A lot of hard work is put in by their team and it is evident in the quality of the items and books that they choose.

One more thing I would like to mention here that these items I’m reviewing were up during a sale and the shipping was rather fast in comparison to my other deliveries. I think, after placing the order, I received the box in less than 3 days. The safety measures taken to ensure the package’s items remain intact were very well done as well.

So far, here are the scores-

Arrival: 10/10

Social Media Activity: 9/10

Customer Service: 9/10

Authenticity: 9/10

The Mermaid Ocean Blue Bleeve (Book Sleeve)

This is a design exclusive to only BooksNBeyond. The bleeve is around 8-10 inches and can hold up to 2-3 paperback books or one hardback. It can also be a suitable cover for your Kindle and iPad/Tablets. The fabric of the bleeve is made of thick canvas cotton and stretchable satin. This bleeve is sold for ₹599.

The first time I saw this bleeve on their site, I was sold. Unfortunately, the bleeve was sold out. According to their Instagram, this design was introduced in late November. It was widely appreciated and understandably so. I’m not much of a book sleeve person and nor do I use iPads or Tablets, so, I never considered getting one of these until I saw this design and later in their stories with the satisfied customers. I knew I had to get one of these and patiently waited for its return. Initially, I was going to purchase the pink one but the blue bleeve really caught my eye and I’m really glad it did. This is one of the softest non-squishy and plush item I’ve ever held. It easily holds in 2 decently thick paperbacks and one very thick novel with the exception of one or two smaller items. Overall, I’m really glad that I’ve finally gotten a hold of this and I think it won’t be long before I try and get my hand on a few others as well. Do let me know if you want me to review those as well!

This bleeve is out of stock currently as I write this review but they have similar bleeves with other color options and a wide array of bleeves to choose from. To visit the bleeve section, click here.

Product Ratings

Quality: 9/10

Defects: None

Value: 8/10

Utility: 9/10

Les Misérables by VictorHugo (Clothbound)

Victor Hugo was a poet, playwright, novelist, dramatist, essayist, visual artist, statesman, human rights campaigner, and perhaps the most influential exponent of the Romantic movement in France, who was the most important of the French Romantic writers. Though regarded in France as one of that country’s greatest poets, he is better known abroad for such novels as Notre-Dame de Paris (1831) and Les Misérables (1862).

With a total rating of 4.6 stars on Googlereads.com, here’s a summary on the novel-

 

Introducing one of the most famous characters in literature, Jean Valjean—the noble peasant imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread—Les Misérables ranks among the greatest novels of all time. In it, Victor Hugo takes readers deep into the Parisian underworld, immerses them in a battle between good and evil, and carries them to the barricades during the uprising of 1832 with a breathtaking realism that is unsurpassed in modern prose. Within his dramatic story are themes that capture the intellect and the emotions: crime and punishment, the relentless persecution of Valjean by Inspector Javert, the desperation of the prostitute Fantine, the amorality of the rogue Thénardier, and the universal desire to escape the prisons of our own minds. Les Misérables gave Victor Hugo a canvas upon which he portrayed his criticism of the French political and judicial systems, but the portrait that resulted is larger than life, epic in scope—an extravagant spectacle that dazzles the senses even as it touches the heart.

 

It’s not often when I can actually admit to having read the book while reviewing a book subscription service but classics are my forte and this is a novel that leaves a person imprinted forever with the experience while you read and after you conclude it. A lot of the people today know about this book because of the popular 2012 movie adaptation on it with the same name starring Australian actor Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway with Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried, and Eddie Redmayne. I’ve got the novel and watched the movie, though, I actually prefer the book over the movie. While this book is quite the commitment, I wouldn’t label it an acquired taste. This one such literary work that everyone should acquaint themselves with, more so through the book than just the movie. I highly recommend reading this book, for me, this is more of winter rather than summer choice of the genre but either way, if you don’t have a lot of time at hand, I would suggest keeping at least a month and a half aside. Besides all that, this clothbound book is probably one of the best I’ve ever come across and it was really worth the price as well.

This book is was available for ₹1,099 originally and during the BnB sale, it was sold for ₹699. Sadly, this book is now sold out but they have many other books available that may not be subject to availability later. To visit the books section, click here.

 

Product Ratings

Quality: 8/10

Defects: None

Value: 9/10

The Feature Dip Pen + 5 Additional Nibs

Much like the Mermaid Bleeves, these dip pens are very much sought after by their regular customers. There are always very few of these available. This was sold for ₹499. Currently, these pens are out of stock.

If you have read my previous posts before then you may have probably noticed that I don’t have the best handwriting. So, why do I have this? Because it looks vintage. That’s it, that’s all the reason I needed. Now, while I can’t do anything pretentious with these, they make a great new addition to your collection of vintage items or even as something to display. The 5 nibs, I assume, are either spares or allow a great range of different styles to work with. Overall, for the cost, it is a pretty good purchase and I would also like to add that while they’re not heavy, they do have a little weight to them.

Product Ratings

Quality: 8/10

Defects: None.

Value: 8/10

Utility: 7/10

The Bookmark

A floral printed bookmark. This was a freebie sent to me, as someone who purchased items during the sale. I’m not sure if these were only sent to people who ordered several items.

This was a lovely little freebie sent by the BnB team and I really didn’t expect them to send us smaller items in the package.

Product Ratings

Quality: 8/10

Defects: None

Value: 8/10

Utility: 8/10

The Game Of Thrones Coaster

Second freebie from Bnb for the sale. Valar Morghulis is a Braavosi greeting said in the High Valyrian language, which literally translates to “All men must die” in the Common Tongue. Valar Dohaeris is its accompanying greeting, which literally translates to “All men must serve”.

Now, I’m not a Game Of Thrones fan but I know that a lot of their customers are from this fandom. I’m sure this was widely appreciated by everyone who received it.

Product Ratings

Quality: 8/10

Defects: None

Value: 7/10

Utility: /10

A Red Pen (Ink Color Unknown)

Another possible freebie but I suspect that this was more of an accident rather than an actual freebie.

When I unpacked the package, this was one of the items and I was left very puzzled. I’m not sure about this item, all I know is that this is a pen and it does not work. I tried writing with it and making a few attempts to try some pen hacks and make it work but alas, it was all in vain. If this was an actual product sent with intent then it’s probably the worst I’ve ever received from BnB.

Product Ratings

Quality: 4/10

Defects: It does not work.

Value: 2/10

Utility: 1/10

My Verdict?

This was a largely successful mini haul! I had been looking forward to unpacking these and writing a review for over a week now. These products have left me very satisfied with their quality along with the freebies, except for the pen. I look forward to the next sale and I hope to have an even bigger haul. Do I have any suggestions or feedback? Well, I think one thing a lot of us could agree on is increasing inventory and getting their stocks up. The BnB team is one to be appreciated but yes, more stocks and perhaps, they could try introducing more fandoms. Literature is not just subject to YA and classics. There are several other forms of literary content that might be laughable to some but comics and possibly even, the manga is worth the dipstick. It’s not exactly meant for a niche crowd either but this is just a suggestion. So, do I still recommend BooksNBeyond? For now, I will stick with my original thoughts from my previous review on them and say yes. The real review will be based on their Anniversary Edition’19.

I hope you found this review informative and helpful. Currently, I do not have a laptop to work with and this was written via the mobile app, so please excuse any errors and do let me know if there is any that requires fixing.

You can reach out to me via Instagram or email me at Iamnotchannel@gmail.com.

Until the next post,

Laters, folks!

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