Thanks to Apple’s Newsstand, digital magazine subscriptions may be entering boom times
. Yet, the fall of printed periodicals—unless new titles like those featured in yesterday’s Trendcentral
change that—has stolen the joy once found in unwrapping the postman’s latest delivery. Filling the gap (and, in some instances, spam email boxes) are several new curated programs that can still deliver periodic surprises to subscribers.
A while back, a company called The Something Store
was lauded for its unusual business model of sending people a surprise item for $10. New subscription service Quarterly Co. operates on a similar principle, but with the promise of parcels more desirable than the ‘white elephant gift exchange’-type items of its predecessor. The program gives people an extraordinary way to connect with their favorite tastemakers
. Much in the way that they would select a magazine that appeals to their interests, subscribers sign up for remarkable people. They then receive “actual items that tell a compelling story crafted and narrated by the contributor.” It’s kind of like Show-and-Tell for the post-kindergarten set.
Emily Gould is the kind of reader with whom you’d want to be in a book club—clever, literary, and likely to make a toothsome contribution
to the club’s potluck cocktail hour. Though her new venture, founded in partnership with friend and fellow intellectual Ruth Curry
, doesn’t give subscribers access to her living room, it does give immediate access to her reading list. Indeed, for just $159.99 per year, Emily Books subscribers are emailed an e-book for download every month. The idea is to get readers out of their comfort zone with titles that wouldn’t necessarily show up in their Amazon recommendations, while also paving the way for independent e-bookselling. Read on.
A stroll through Whole Foods can induce a serious case of choice paralysis, what with its bountiful aisles of savory flax crackers and weirdly satisfying dehydrated vegetables. To the rescue comes Lollihop, which makes decisions for shoppers via a monthly box of healthy snacks. Each item is selected by nutritionists who choose products that match their exacting guidelines. Seeing as how fried chips
have made it into the lineup, the list seems more lenient than one might expect from a service grounded in well-being. That said, for those with a case of the munchies, a pantry stocked with a Lollihop subscription is certainly healthier than one stocked with Cheetos.