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My First Book Subscription Box: Bookish Bundle

Subscription boxes were first introduced over a decade ago as a clever marketing strategy – but in the last few years, it has grown into a niche market of its own. I mean, who doesn’t like the idea of receiving a box filled with curated goodies? The mystery of its contents just adds to the anticipation and excitement.

In Malaysia, subscription box services are still fairly rare, with most of them centred around beauty or food – so I was surprised to find that we have one that caters to book lovers as well. Enter Bookish Bundle, a bi-monthly book subscription service which has been around since 2016. Run by a group of friends, the boxes are curated around a particular theme, and always contain a book plus various book-related goodies and artsy items, usually from local creatives.

I’ve been following their Instagram for awhile now, and decided to order their Skipping A Heartbeat box for the month of May. Based on the name, I guessed it had something to do with romance – a genre I do not typically read – so it was two firsts for me: subscribing to a box service, and also getting a romance novel for the first time. The box was supposed to arrive in early May, but due to delayed shipment, I received it at the end of May instead.

And here’s the unboxing! PS: If you haven’t subscribed to my Youtube channel yet, why haven’t you? 😛 #shamelessplug

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A quick look at the items fresh out of the box. So aside from a romance novel called Twice Shy by Sarah Hogle, the box also includes a cute poster of couples from popular literature, a photo frame with an art print, a bookmark corner, a thoughtful note from the Bookish Bundle team which doubles as a decorative card, an Amortentia (Love Potion from the Harry Potter universe) brooch, and a homemade butter cookie.

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A nicer photo taken during the day (minus the cookie, because I was hungry).

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My favourite item of the lot – super adorable design!

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I’m one of those monsters that dog-ear my pages – but I guess I won’t have to do that now that I have this bookmark corner. The constellation pattern is nice too. BTW, Mybookbudz is a small local business that makes book sleeves and table sleeves. You can check them out and support the biz on Facebook.

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I’m not really one for posters, but the illustrations are cute. I also don’t recognise many of the characters because as I’ve said, I don’t read romance/drama often. The only ones I recognise here are Peeta Mallark/Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games, Ginny Weasley and Harry Potter, and Bella Swan and Edward Cullen from Twilight (latter I know from the movies, coz I didn’t read the books).

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The synopsis says it’s about a woman who inherits a house in the Smokies and goes to claim her inheritance, only to find that as part of the conditions, she has to share everything with a grouchy housekeeper. Haven’t had time to read this yet, but the summary reminds me of a Hong Kong movie from the 2000s called Summer Holiday.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with my Bookish Bundle subscription box – there are some items I like more than others, but they’re all nice in their own way, and it feels good to be supporting local businesses whilst getting something I can enjoy.

If you’re keen on getting your own subscription box, go to instagram.com/bookishbundle – they regularly post updates and when orders are open for the next boxes. Each box is priced at RM95 for West Malaysia, and RM100 for East Malaysia (inclusive of shipping).

30-Day Writing Challenge: A Kiss

6. A Kiss 

A kiss is always something intimate and magical, and there’s no other kiss like your first. The feeling of your heart racing in your chest, and the soft feeling of their lips against yours.

I can’t help but recall mine with hint of bitterness, although the years have since dulled the pain, like a phantom scar that no longer hurts.

You see, my first kiss was with a boy I first met in grade school, and had the hugest crush on. I think it was puppy love, but it was also a deep kind of love, one I cannot begin to describe and have not felt so intensely ever since. An innocent kind of love, before life socks you some serious bullshit. I liked him for many years, and we started dating when we were 15.

Now I can’t hold it against him since we were both young and stupid, but he broke my heart when he cheated on me with someone else. I had always felt inferior and inadequate because of it, but that wasn’t the worst part. I still had feelings for him, even during the years when I was dating other people – for about 10 years (we still kept in touch sporadically). But as they say, time heals everything, and a couple of years ago, he messaged me. “Hey,” it said. And I knew I had finally moved on when I did not feel that little clench around my chest like I used to.

“Hey.”

An Open Letter To My Boyfriend: 17 Reasons I Love You

PS: I wanted to do one for every day we’ve been together but 508 was just too many, so I took the lazy way out and did one for each month instead. 😛

Dear Neil,

1 ) You make me laugh like no one else does. Except maybe Russell Peters, but I have to pay to watch his show lol. Granted, you always say I’m the only one who would laugh at your lame jokes, so it’s proven that we’re made for each other.

2) You tell me that I’m beautiful everyday. Without fail, since day one. Even on days when I feel like a potato. ❤

3 ) You look out for me. It’s just the little things that you do which you might not have realised. Like grabbing my hand and leading me across the road, or letting me walk on the inside of the pavement when we’re on the street. Or stopping for a rest when you notice I’m tired from walking.

4) You’re nakakagigil. You eliminate my need for blushers. I get naturally pink cheeks from you constantly pinching me.

5 ) Your belly. AKA your ultimate weapon to stop me from crying coz I can’t help but laugh when I see it lol.

6 ) You’re attractive. And we will have beautiful bebes.

7) You love food. If you didn’t, it’d be a deal breaker.

8) We share a lot in common. Like our mutual dislike for idiots.

9) Your indomitable spirit. Things may get you down, but you always pick yourself up and start again. It’s something I really admire in you.

10) You think for the future: one with both of us in it. It’s touching to know that you have to make sacrifices or decisions that are not always the best for you, but you do it anyway because you’re thinking of the long term, for us.

11) You’re patient with my bullshit. Includes the (many) times I have blown my top when I was PMS-ing or being unreasonable.

12) You give up things for me. Even though you’re thrifty, you’re willing to spend money to buy me nice things if it makes me happy.

13) How you like to watch teleseryes and K-dramas. Tender boyo at heart.

14) You’re romantic. Surprised I’m not diabetic yet with all the sweet words and gestures you shower me with.

15) You are my shoulder to cry on. When I’m sad or feeling down, I can count on you to listen to my problems and comfort me. Even if it’s the middle of the night and I wake you up from your sleep.

16) You let me be me, and more. I’m completely comfortable in being my crazy, random self with you, whilst inspiring me to be the best that I can be.

17) Just because. This is not because I ran out of reasons to write about. Nope.

Here’s to a lifetime of Valentine’s with you. ❤