It’s 2020, and there’s a subscription service for just about anything—meal kits, clothing rentals, personalized wine recommendations, and yes, your reading list. A book subscription box may finally help kick your habits into high gear, especially if you find yourself wasting more time looking for a book to read than actually reading one.
Before relying on Amazon, buying a book meant one of two things: waiting for someone to regift you one or driving to the nearest Barnes & Noble to search for a book with a plot as good as its cover. Okay, both are still a thing, but a book subscription box makes reading regularly so much easier, no matter what gets your pages turning.
Whether you’re into steamy romance, YA novels, or sci-fi, there’s a book box out there for you—and one that may deliver more than just a great read to your doorstep. Some book rental services let you join a virtual book club, or send socks and bubble-bath soap themed to your selection (yes, really). So, whether you live to post inspirational author quotes to your Insta or haven’t picked up a book since graduating college, now’s the best time to treat yourself (and shelf) to a book box. From crowdsourced reads by women for women like the Feminist Book Club to expertly curated picks from Book of the Month, we found 11 of the best book subscription boxes that’ll please even the choosiest readers.
Book Club of the Month
Perfect for: Highly curated reads, and people who read best-sellers before they hit the best-seller list.
The details: With hundreds of new launches each month, Book of the Month does the legwork for you to find you the five best books coming out each month. The subscription emphasizes “early releases” and “debut authors” from a variety of genres including thrillers and mysteries, movie adaptations, essays, love stories, and contemporary fiction. Plus, every month you’re asked if you want a book or would rather skip and have your credits roll over, so it’s a solid option in case you were to fall behind on your reading list (not that you would…). Previous books include Things in Jars by Jess Kid and American Marriage by Tayari Jones.
The cost: $9.99 for your first book with the code NEWPAGE, then $14.99 afterward.
Feminist Book Club
Perfect for: Feminists, aspiring book-club members, and anyone who wants to support female entrepreneurs.
The details: The Feminist Book Club is a monthly, community-driven subscription service through which members can suggest and vote on the book they want to read. The book is shipped the first week of each the month, along with a collection of products from woman- and queer-owned businesses. Past selections include The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls by Mona Eltahawy and The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. The best part? Five percent of its revenue is donated to a different feminist organization each month, and shipping is free in the United States. Previous donations have benefited the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the Abortion Access Front, and The Well Project.
The cost: $45 for your first box, which includes the book of the month, unique products from small woman-owned businesses, access to a secret discussion group on Facebook, and log-in details for a monthly live video chat to dissect the book together.
Availability: All over the U.S., plus worldwide shipping at a flat rate of $20, and $16 to Canada.
Feminist Book Club
Perfect for: Busy bees and voracious readers who like the luxury of reading whenever, wherever.
The details: With more than a million book titles to choose from, plus access to unlimited audiobooks and magazine subscriptions, the Kindle Unlimited is a solid option for the most discerning readers. You can read a suspenseful thriller first, then move to a highly addictive romance novel next, then tune into a biographical audiobook all in one day. Don’t sweat not owning a Kindle—you can access the e-books on any kind of device.
The cost: $0.99 for your first three months, then $9.99 per month afterward.
Availability: All over the U.S.
Book of the Month YA
Perfect for: People who enjoy beach reads all year long.
The details: Book of the Month has a niche subscription for YA fans that arrives in a bright pink box. Each month it releases a list of five fresh titles, and members can select the one they would like to receive. Past selections include early releases, modern classics, and up-and-coming authors like David Yoon’s Frankly in Love, Natasha Diaz’s Color Me In, and Brittany Cavallaro and Emily Henry’s Hello Girls.
The cost: $9.99 for your first book with the code NEWME, then $11.99 afterward.
Availability: All over the U.S.—excluding Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, and parts of New Mexico.
Book of the Month
Perfect for: Culture buffs, and anyone who owns a tote that says “Art is Life.”
The details: When you subscribe to Boxwalla, you’ll be treated to two books each month by authors from all over the world. Both books come with a detailed insert, and since it’s a small, family-owned and funded business, each book comes highly recommended. The box is made from cotton scraps in India and produced by local artisans and villagers. Some of the 2019 selects include best-sellers like On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong, Paris Stories by Mavis Gallant, and Hopscotch by Julio Cortazar.
The cost: $29.95 per month.
Availability: Free shipping in the U.S.
Owl Post Books – The Imagination Box
Perfect for: Parents or parents-to-be, and kids who always have their eyes glued to a book.
The details: Curated by “an educator that has been teaching over 13 years,” customers can choose boxes based on a child’s age (three and under, four to seven, 8 to 11, and YA) to get little ones excited about reading. Each Imagination Box includes three children’s books plus a toy, and it’s shipped in an interactive box that transforms into a giant coloring sheet (makes for a great Saturday afternoon arts and crafts project).
The cost: $33 per month for The Imagination Box.
Availability: Free shipping within the U.S. Shipping takes three to seven days (12 to 16 days for Alaska, Hawaii and U.S. territories).
Once Upon a Book Club
Perfect for: People who love surprises!
The details: For a unique reading experience, try Once Upon a Book Club. There are two boxes available for different ages: one YA Box (for ages 14 and up) and one Adult Box (for ages 18 and up). Each subscription includes one newly released book per month plus a three to five surprises that encourage you to actually read the book (and practice a little self-restraint along the way). The individually wrapped gifts are labeled with page numbers, not meant to be opened until reaching that particular page.
A past YA Box included Suggested Reading by Dave Connis, along with a custom-designed “Catcher in the Rye” spiral bound notebook (for page 48), rain poncho (page 200), and pack of cocktail napkins (page 357).
The cost: $45 for your first box, which includes the book of the month, unique products from small businesses, access to a secret discussion group on Facebook, and log-in details for a monthly live video chat.
Availability: Ships worldwide from United States. U.S. shipping is $9.50 per month, Canada shipping is U.S. $17.00 per month, and the rest of the world is U.S. $26.50 per month.
Perfect for: People who love reading fantasy and YA novels, and want to support small businesses.
The details: The Owl Crate team spends months reading hundreds of manuscripts of upcoming young adult novels and selects only the very best books to include in its boxes. Boxes are themed, and each one contains a brand new YA novel (published within 45 days), plus three to five other keepsakes made by small businesses in North America. An example of one of its past boxes in 2019 included a signed copy of Erin A. Craig’s House of Salt and Sorrows, a tea-light lantern, bath salts from The Salt Librarian, loose-leaf tea from Riddle’s Tea Shop, and a wooden bookmark by Juniper and Ivy.
The cost: Month-to-month plans are $29.99 plus shipping, and you are billed each month. Three-month plans are $28.99 plus shipping per month, and you pay for all three months upfront. Six-month plans are even cheaper, at $27.99 plus shipping per month, and you pay for all six months upfront.
Availability: Worldwide but shipping rates vary: $7.99 per box in the U.S.; $9.99 per box (plus tax) in Canada, and $19.99 per box for shipping elsewhere.
Perfect for: Busy kids—and their even busier parents.
The details: When in doubt, it’s easy to gift kids “a classic” book, but Bookroo is a great platform for finding those hidden gems. There are three different subscriptions to choose from based on age and level of reading experience. Kids younger than three years old can get “Board Books,” which includes two illustrated picture books, kids ages three to six get “Picture Books,” and kids aged 7 to 10 get “Chapter Books.” The books arrive in a bright, colorful box, and each book comes gift-wrapped for guaranteed excitement.
The cost: $19.95 per month for Picture and Board Book Club subscriptions, $24.95 per month for Chapter Books. Shipping costs $4.99 per delivery. FYI, Bookroo also offers an option for alternating monthly between board books and picture books if you have children of multiple ages.
Availability: Shipping worldwide but at various prices. Shipping within the U.S. for $4.99, Canada for $16, and worldwide for an additional shipping fee.
Bubbles & Books
Perfect for: People who fancy a good bodice ripper.
The details: Staying in on a Friday night never sounded so good. Bubbles & Books is perfect for anyone who loves drawing a bath and unwinding with a steamy romance novel. Each standard box includes one new-release romance novel, five romance e-books, and five luxury bath and body items. If you’re looking for a more premium experience, there’s a box for that too—and it comes with two newly released romance novels, five romance e-books, and seven luxury bath and body item. Previous boxes have included books like The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell by William Klaber, plus bath bombs, handmade soaps, teas, candles, lip scrubs, face masks, and bath salts (January’s box came with a Champagne-fluted bath bomb!). Oh, and if you like your plots with a bit more suspense, there’s a “mystery and thrillers” option.
The cost: Standard boxes start at $24.99, while premium boxes go for $44.95.
Availability: Ships worldwide with free shipping across the U.S. for premium boxes.
Perfect for: Your most cultured male friend, and any man on a mission of “self-improvement.”
The details: Culture Carton is a monthly subscription for men, and there are three types of boxes: the Book Club, the Culture Carton Standard, and the Culture Carton Essential (sans book). The first two subscription boxes have a book, but the Standard also includes three to five high-end lifestyle accessories (leather goods, socks, grooming products, gourmet food, sunglasses, even a watch). A recent shipment included a copy The Incendiaries by R.O. Kwon, a leather valet tray, cuff links, a comb, and a card game.
The cost: The Book Club is $16, the Essential is $35, and the Standard is $45.
Availability: Ships worldwide from the United States (excludes shipping and handling).
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