One of the beauties of visiting a bookstore or even opening up a newspaper is the randomness. Sure, we get to pick the store or the paper, but we may actually come across a fascinating piece we didn’t expect to see or something we know so little about that we wouldn’t have thought to look it up. And that’s why I love Quarterly.co–you can subscribe for curated gifts which are sent to you every three months, and you have no idea what you’re going to get.
I was pretty hesitant to sign up for Tim Ferriss’ package, due to the sticker shock, but at the last minute I couldn’t resist. I’ve been enjoying his latest book and cooking up a storm in my kitchen, and I figured the rate he charged would lead to a super cool package. I thought he’d send some kind of samurai sword or something, but instead he sent an interesting assortment ofhis favorite things.
There’s a Buddha Board, where you can paint with water and watch your masterpiece disappear. A month’s worth of Athletic Greens, a supplement with chlorella and spirulina and things. I haven’t tried it yet, but hope it’s tasty. Thrown into the mix were two of Ferriss’ favorite books, Seneca: Letters From A Stoic and one of my faves, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. There’s also three light blue erasable pencils, a copy of the steroids documentary Bigger, Stronger, Faster, and a double-edged Japanese razor saw.
I was initially really excited about the box, but have to admit that I’m a bit disappointed by the randomness of the items. I think I was expecting one big thing. And instead of the thoughtful letter I’ve come to know and love with my Quarterly packages, there was a video of Tim discussing the items he chose.
I’ve come to really appreciate the effort behind Joshua Foer’s letters, which may have colored my expectations. Although the items he sends aren’t things I’d think of to buy, there’s always a unique history lesson that expands the way I see the world And the fact that Tim’s package is 4X the cost of everyone else’s made me think… man, if I unsubscribe from Tim, I could sign up for four others.
I think it was the assortment of items that made me wonder if I was just paying for things I didn’t need to clutter up my house. Ferriss was quick to mention in his video that there was some savings–purchasing each item individually would be more expensive than buying his Quarterly package. However, aside from Letters from a Stoic (which I would’ve bought used after getting through my backlogged wish list), I can’t see myself buying any of these items…so the savings isn’t really a benefit.
I couldn’t see myself buying the item in Joshua Foer’s latest package on my own, either, but was so excited to show it to all of my friends. This month, he sent prism spectacles, which allow you to read a book without looking down. “We should embrace ridiculous solutions to life’s problems,” he said. My favorite part about the glasses is that you can lay down on your back and read stuff right in front of you. I’m one of those people that often finds myself burning the midnight oil and working past the point of exhaustion, and these come in very handy.
I took my prism glasses to my coworking space and made a lot of people try them on. We all wished they were bifocals, so we could get the benefit of reflection AND our normal vision. Of course, all of us have full neck mobility. These glasses would be way more useful for people without it. Anyway, I love my pair and had a lot of fun with it.
I’d love to read other reviews of Quarterly packages, as clicking on them and looking at small photographs doesn’t always provide an adequate explanation. If you have one, please post the link to your reviews or leave thoughts in the comments.