Dear fellow Canadian Book Nerds: How many of you look at book subscription boxes online, and wish that exchange rates and international shipping didn’t threaten your bank account’s existence? I felt this way for a long time until I discovered Novel Editions: an amazing Canadian-based book box subscription. I’ve been receiving boxes from them since January, and each month they keep getting better and better. The most recent boxes, from June and July, are solid examples of its improvement.
April showers bring May flowers, and amazing book mail! I received my April Novel Editions box almost a month ago, and I’m still not over it.
My February box from Novel Editions came almost a month ago, but I honestly haven’t even had time to think about it in between all of the amazing books I’ve been reading this month! From finishing Ami McKay’s The Witches of New York to laughing my way through Aziz Ansari’s Modern Love, to now crying over V. E. Schawb’s Shades of Magic series, it’s been a busy few weeks.
But now, days away from receiving my March box(!!!), I have found the time to review the beautiful books and bookish items that were featured in the February box.
I’ve wanted a monthly book box subscription since I found out they existed, but finding a Canadian one that appealed to me was difficult. There were all kinds of awesome ones, but many were American-based and would have broken my budget after paying for international shipping and currency exchange. A few months ago, though, I found a new book box subscription based out of Toronto that was just beginning: Novel Editions.
I buy a lot of used books. Used bookstores are my kryptonite; I can’t go into one without buying at least five new books. Sometimes people try to tell me that buying brand new books is better than getting someone’s run-down, beat up, second-hand book, but I disagree and I’m going to tell you why.
- Used books hold more stories than the ones written on their pages. Think about it: who was its pervious owner? Where was it read? Has it been to more countries than you? If that book could talk, it would probably have an exciting memoir to recite.
- Coffee stains on white pages got you down? Well, stop being so particular! If someone has stained their book it only means that they couldn’t take a five minute break from reading to eat, which has to be a good sign. If someone else couldn’t put that book down, you probably won’t either.
- Used books are cheaper than new books! Sure, you could argue that e-books are (sometimes) even less money, and using a library card is always free, but sometimes you just need to own a particular book.
- I might be pretty unique in liking worn out books — I make a point to destroy book spines — and many of my friends shudder when they hear me say I’d rather have tattered pages than perfect, straight ones. While most used books are old and loved, not all of them look it. A lot of used books do look brand new!
- Sure, that new-book smell is awesome, but musty old books smell great too.
- Getting lost in used bookstores is almost as fun as reading. They are usually organized in some way, but more often than not the shelves are stacked with more books than you could image. What’s wrong with wandering amongst shelves for an hour or so trying to find that next awesome literary adventure? Nothing.
- If you’re lucky enough to stumble upon some super old books it feels like finding an artifact from the literary world. A lot of old books have hand-sewn spines, beautifully illustrated covers, and hold so much history! These, friends, are the real treasures of the book world.
- Sometimes used books have notes scribbled in the margins. This is awesome, as it gives you the opportunity to see what previous readers were thinking. Did they interpret that character the same way you did? Did they pick up on some foreshadowing that you missed? These notes will get you thinking about books in ways you might never have thought of!
- Used bookstores are usually independently owned, and need your support! Plus, owners/staff are always super knowledgeable and friendly.
- Buying used books is also environmentally friendly. Need I say more?