Bookish Buys: Capsule Books Subscription (with Coupon!) / by Madeleine

Bookworms, I want to introduce you to the one subscription box that I'm actually loving this season. Capsule Books just launched over the summer and I connected instantly with the idea behind it. Capsule Books launched this subscription with an intense focus on the feeling that books evoke as we read them. Each season, readers can select a box featuring one of three emotions. Inside each box are three books meant to stir that very emotion within the reader, along with a handwritten letter, blank stationary card for sending snail mail and sharing a love of books, and a fun bookish item.

When Capsule Books first started their rep search over the summer, I knew that I wanted to be a part of the promotion for the box. There are a lot of bookish subscription boxes out there, but I had never felt compelled to try one because I wasn't interested in acquiring more stuff.

 Since we've moved, I've been really conscious of bringing new items into our new space -- asking myself if the item has a long term purpose or serves us in making our little apartment feel like home. Ordering a box that comes with a lot of things that will sit unused didn't appeal to me. Obviously, though, books are exempt from that line of questioning, so a box that offered only books was right up my alley.

As a rep for the company, I had the opportunity to pick out a box that resonated with me. In the fall season, there are three different feelings to choose from:

Mono No Aware

From the Capsule Books website:

Mono no aware translates literally to “the pathos of things” or “a sensitivity to ephemera.” It is a Japanese term for the wistfulness felt because of the passing of time. There is no word like this in English. It’s melancholy tinged with beauty, especially aesthetics in nature: the passing of time marked by seasons, the changing of the leaves, the melting of snow.

Each of the books in this box take place in Japan.

Flâner

From the Capsule Books website:

Flâner literally means “to stroll idly,” without any goal or destination in mind. While the word itself is a verb and not so much a feeling, there’s a certain beauty in strolling along the streets leisurely. It is this feeling we feel when we decide one day to just walk around, and look at the people and the buildings and find the beauty in details we so often miss. It is this feeling Francophiles spend their whole lives chasing.

Each of the books in this box take place in France.

Toska

From the Capsule Books website:

Nabokov can describe it better than we ever could. “No single word in English renders all the shades of toska. At its deepest and most painful, it is a sensation of great spiritual anguish, often without any specific cause. At less morbid levels it is a dull ache of the soul, a longing with nothing to long for, a sick pining, a vague restlessness, mental throes, yearning. In particular cases it may be the desire for somebody of something specific, nostalgia, love-sickness. At the lowest level it grades into ennui, boredom.”

Each of the books in this box were written by Russian authors.

I debated between the Mono No Aware and Flâner capsules, but ultimately decided to go with the Flâner because although I spoke French for many years (I'm now incredibly rusty), I've never actually been to the country and haven't read many novels that take place there. When the little blue box arrived I was curious to see whether I would recognize any of the titles. Though one of the books is by Earnest Hemingway and therefore one that I had heard of (but not yet read!), the other two hadn't been on my radar at all. I loved the handwritten note that accompanied them, which recommended reading the novels in chronological order. I also loved that it came with a cute Penguin Co. corner bookmark, which I put to use right away and have been transferring from book to book as I read.

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The box is relatively expensive at $50 for one season, but if you calculate the price of buying three paperback novels, it actually comes quite close. Plus, you get the added bonus of a fun surprise and (what feels like) a personalized service. When you buy more than one season at a time, you save a little on the cost overall.

I think the box would make a great gift for a bookish friend, and if you're a first time customer, you can use the code TST15 for 15% off from now through November 30th.

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Capsule Books expanded my reading life this fall and prompted me to read some more classic and "high literature" -- in other words, those fancy literary fiction books that don't usually pique my interest.

Have you tried a subscription book box? Which one of the Capsule Books emotions most resonates with you?