Shortly before Christmas we were asked to review a brand new book subscription service – Bookabees.
Bookabees, is a a new book club just for kids. It works on a subscription basis and because the ‘Little’ subscription starts at just £4.99 a month it does fit into the perfect gift category. You can also get a ‘Big’ (three books per month @ £8.99) and ‘Bigger’ (5 books per month @ £10.99).
The books Bookabees stock are suitable for children aged 0-11 years and you start when you log in by putting some details in of your child. Name, date of birth, gender, likes/dislikes. Bookabees then curates personalised book lists for each child based on their likes, dislikes and previous book selections. It then amalgamates this information with a clever ‘recommended for’ algorithm and the handpicked lists are popped in a queue ready to be viewed by you or your child.
This is what makes the Bookabees experience different. You can get involved with your child and choose the books which they’d like in their first box by rearranging their book queue. You can also add books to your queue. If there are books you have already read or they don’t fancy you can simply move onto the next recommendation.
When the books arrive, they arrive in a personalised box with their name on (queue lots of excitement), and they also come with loads of stickers, bookmarks and bits and pieces too. When you think a comic or magazine is £3.99 these days this is very good value indeed. I can imagine the girls getting more and more excited every month when they know their package is coming and they have an idea as to what to expect.
Once the kids have read the books, they sign the sheet at the back (they loved doing this), date it, give the book a star rating from 1-5 and then you either post them back (in the pre-paid envelopes) or you decide to keep them.
If you send them back, you simply pay the subscription cost and no more. If you decide to keep them, you simply pay half of the cost of the book in addition to the subscription cost. You can send back any or all of the books, or none at all. You choose.
So do I like the idea? I love the personalised curation. I love the personalised packaging and I love the cost, but as I’m not sure I will want to send them back; I think it may mean I buy a lot more books. I am however a book hoarder and don’t think you can ever have too many books in your life!
Is it for me – I’m not totally sure. I know that some of you will love it. It will work for you and for those of you who can’t get to the library easily or simply love the convenience of different books being delivered then it is a great idea. For me? I think on balance it probably isn’t for me and my three, but simply because I buy books all the time and I keep them all! I would end up never returning anything!
NB: We were sent a one month’s subscription to Bookabees in order to review.