In 2018, I set a pointless goal for myself of reading only books from subscription boxes. My reasons were twofold: to get exposed to books I would not normally pick for myself and to see how important diversity was to the best book subscription services.
It was an interesting experiment, but that’s a story for another post. Today I’m here to update Emily Martin’s epic 2018 list of the best book subscription services. We’ll cover the tried and true options, the best new book subscription services in 2020, and I’ll probably force a few bad jokes on you.
So if you want to send a thoughtful bookish gift, you want to let someone else pick out some great books for you, or you want to repeat my pointless experiment, these are the best book boxes we’ve found.
Did you know that Book Riot has our very own book subscription service? TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations? You’ll be hard pressed to find something as personalized at this.
It all starts when you tell one of our expert bibliologists about your reading habits and what you’re looking for. Do you want to uncover books within your preferred genre? Or do you want to explore areas you’ve never explored before?
Then we either send you a list of recommendations based on your specific wants, or we send you hardcover books in the mail (depending on the plan you’ve chosen). There’s even a gift option so you can give this unique service to somebody you like, neat!
Need more convincing? Oprah loves us!
One of the longest-running of the best book subscription services, OwlCrate includes one new Young Adult hardcover along with three to five bookish additions. There is currently a waiting list but new spots open up regularly.
3. OwlCrate Jr.
This is going to shock you: OwlCrate Jr. is just like OwlCrate…but for younger folks. Each box includes a middle grade book and a bunch of bookish fun times.
4. Powell’s Indiespensible
Brought to you by Powell’s, the enormous book store in Portland (and elsewhere, now), Indiespensible brings you a new literary fiction tome every six to eight weeks. This is one of the best book subscription services for collectors because each edition is signed by the author and comes in a unique hard sleeve. That said, if you’re a goodie-lover, this isn’t for you because the focus is definitely on the book.
Also from Powell’s, Boox is for kids and comes with a curated picture book every eight weeks. You can expect a few “gifts and goodies,” as Powell’s puts it, in these boxes.
6. Fairy Loot
Fairy Loot includes a Young Adult fantasy book plus at least give bookish goodies every month. Often sold out, you can sign up on a wait list for future boxes.
Unplugged offers both Young Adult and Young Adult Fiction boxes, each of which comes with a new release, three to five bookish goods, and one to two novelty products Unplugged designs just for their boxes.
The Once Upon a Book Club box comes with a newish release (published within 60 days of the ship date of the box) in your choice of adult or young adult and three to five wrapped gifts, each with a page number on them. When you get to that page in the book, open up your gift to “bring the book to life.” You also get a 5×7 quote print from the book and access to live read-a-long discussions.
Every month, Illumicrate sends out an exclusive edition of a new release. You get a matching pin designed by Fable & Black as well as a number of bookish goodies. They strive to include “unique and useable items.”
One of the original book subscriptions, Book of the Month gives members the option to choose one of five books each month. If you don’t like anything you see, you can skip that month; if you want a surprise, you can skip the picking and they will send you their choice; and if you want more than one of the five books, you can add them on at a discounted rate.
You love coffee, you love books—you might just love this subscription that combines them both. Start by choosing from whole bean or ground coffee. Then choose from half a dozen genre categories, or choose to be surprised. Each month you’ll receive a 12-ounce bag of small batch coffee along with two hardcovers in your chosen genre and an ebook.
12. The Bookish Box
For folks who are all about that bookish swag, the Bookish Box is one of the best subscription services. There are a number of options to choose from, including adult or young adult fiction, and a box with a book and goodies, or a box with a book, goodies, and a custom shirt.
13. My Thrill Club
My Thrill Club offers thrills in several genres, including thrillers, mysteries, and horror. Each month gets you two new hardcover books and an ebook from the genre you choose.
There are three tiers available from the Introverts Retreat: Read, Read & Relax, and Read, Relax, and Recharge. The basic tier comes with a book, bookmark, gourmet snack, and your choice of tea, coffee, or cocoa. The mid tier includes all that plus a candle and bath salts or soap, and the highest tier adds on an additional body care item or a second serving of the snack or beverage.
15. The Book HookUp
The quarterly Book HookUp from the Strand bookstore is available in many genres and at many price points, each of which comes with a signed first edition, an additional paperback, and literary goodies.
16. Beacon Book Box
Each month, Team Beacon sends a newly-released, signed hardback and goodies that fit in with the book’s theme.
If you want to discover new books without all the swag, this might be the box for you. Choose from categories such as young adult, romance, debut fiction, and sci-fi/fantasy and get two books sent to you each month.
18. LitJoy Crate
Fans of just about any genre can find a subscription box they’ll love from LitJoy Crate. Even the classics genre is split into two additional categories: romantic or whimsy. Other genres include magical and young adult.
19. Fae Crate
A young adult fantasy and sci-fi subscription box, Fae Crate is available in three levels: book and goodies; book, goodies, and T-shirt; or just T-shirt.
20. Peace & Pages
Gently read books, hand-selected, full-sized relaxation products from small businesses around the United States, and aromatherapy products are a few of things you can expect from Peace & Page, one of the new book subscription services.
Choose from two levels (one with more bookish goodies than the other) and pick from classic literature, classic nonfiction, and children’s classics, then sit back and wait for a warm beverage, a classic book, and some unique bookish items.
The first books you get from Coloring and Classics will come with a set of colored pencils, along with what is always included: an adult coloring book, activity book, and hardcover book in the genre you choose.
23. Authentic Books
Designed to excite all five senses, the Authentic Books box includes a hardcover new release, themed candle, tea or cocktail, custom book music playlist, and beauty or self care items.
Yes, this box really is as simple as its name—you get chocolate and you get book.
25. Bubbles & Books
For the ultimate in relaxation, Bubbles and Books brings you everything you need for a luxurious bath with your new favorite book—including your new favorite book.