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With so many options to choose from in nearly every category of subscription boxes (beauty, fashion, food, even socks; you name it, there’s probably a subscription box for it), it can be hard to decide which boxes are really worth your money.
The same is true for one of the newest types of subscription box, and my personal favorite: BOOKS. Luckily for you though, Earn Spend Live’s resident nerd (aka me) has done the research for you. Here are the best of the best book boxes (say that five times fast) — just don’t blame me when you blow your entire paycheck on one (or all) of them!
Book of the Month Club, my personal favorite, is also the most seasoned book subscription box on this list — and it should be, considering it’s been around since way before subscription boxes were even cool. Started in 1926 as a way to bring new books to people across the United States, BOTM has now evolved into a way for avid readers to discover the best books of our generation.
Aside from its charming history, Book of the Month is a great option for many reasons. A panel of judges (ranging from authors to librarians to professors) each selects a recently released book to recommend. For as little as $11.99 per month, subscribers then get to look over each recommendation and choose which book they would like to receive each month. (And don’t worry — if you can’t choose, you can add up to two more books from current or previous months to your box.)
The Book Drop is probably the simplest subscription box on this list — you sign up, select which genre you want, and receive one paperback book per month. Easy peasy! The options you have to choose from include the Children box (for ages 8-12), the Young Adult box (for ages 14-15+), and two Adult boxes: The Jane (contemporary + historical fiction) or The Ernest (thriller + action novels).
Prices range from $9 to $16 per month, depending on which box you choose, but The Book Drop recognizes that they aren’t the cheapest box or even the cheapest books. They say their box isn’t about getting the cheapest prices, it’s about “helping people discover fantastic reads.”
If your book taste is a little less literary and a little more young adult, then OwlCrate may be the subscription box for you. Starting at $29.99 a month (plus shipping), every OwlCrate box is based around a different theme each month (ranging from “spooky” to “steampunk” to “sci-fi love”) and contains one new YA novel and three to five other book-related items to keep your inner nerd happy. Some previous items have included letters from the author, notebooks, adult coloring books, necklaces, and so much more.
Whether you love reading or you have a child who’s a bookworm (or both!), LitJoy Crate is a subscription box created for babies, kids, and teens. Starting at $29.99/month, you choose which Crate you want to receive — Children’s Crates (ages 0-2, 3/-7, or a mix), or the Young Adult Crate (ages 14+).
Each box will include a newly released book (there will be two board books for the baby crate; all the other crates will have one book), as well as two to four other book-related items. Some past boxes in the YA category have included a letter from the author, a book keychain, and other items that are directly related to the plot of the book (such as honey sticks and candles for a book that is set in a prehistoric era). The additional items included in the children’s boxes range from bath toys to stickers to sweet treats.
Cozy Reader Club is a fairly new book subscription box that promises to deliver some “meaningful ‘me’ time.” Each box includes a recently released hardcover women’s fiction novel, an artisan coffee, tea, or hot chocolate, beautiful handmade items, and gourmet handcrafted treats. As if the book, hot drink, and sweet treat don’t sound good enough, some of the handmade items in previous boxes have included a crocheted infinity scarf, a beachy beaded bookmark, and a stoneware pottery travel mug. I don’t know about you, but I’m sold.
I just found this box while doing research for this article, and man it’s taking some serious willpower not to subscribe right this second (I’ll probably give in and subscribe anyway, but I like to at least pretend I have some control over my spending habits). The only downside to this box is the cost. At $64.95 a month, it’s pretty steep compared to other book boxes. But based on the reviews I’ve read, all of the products are high-quality and unique — so it seems to be more about the experience of receiving the box than the value of the box.
Similarly to the Cozy Reader Club, the Novel Love subscription offers a relaxing night in with their monthly box that includes a hardback novel, and other relaxation items including tea, coffee, stationary, candles, bath bombs, and more! Additionally, at only $24.99/month, this box is actually much more affordable as well.
The Book(ish) Box describes itself as “a monthly subscription for stylish bookworms.” While this box doesn’t include any actual books, it does come packed with all kinds of different literary-inspired goodies. For $29.99 a month (plus shipping), you will receive a book-themed shirt and three to five book-inspired home, beauty, and/or fashion items. This kind of box would make a great gift for the book nerd in your life!
An example of what was in the most recent, Harry Potter-themed Book(ish) Box includes: a T-shirt featuring a Dumbledore quote, Butterbeer salt scrub, Hogwarts Coffee tumbler, an “expecto patronum” watercolor print, and a pendant necklace. I personally would have loved everything in this box!
To replace Quarterly’s Book Riot subscription, they recently launched a new book box called The Literary Box. For just $50 a month, you will receive three books (three!) — including one brand new release from the featured author of the month — as well as exclusive bonus content and personal handwritten annotations by the featured author, and some “fun bookish goods.”
This box just launched, so you’ll have to subscribe yourself to see what kind of goodies they include!
If you’re looking for the best value for your money, Bookcase Club is the place to look. For only $9.99 per month (plus shipping), you’ll receive two books in every box that are hand-selected based on the theme you chose.
With eight different themes to choose from (including children’s literature, young adult, romance, paranormal, sci-fi/fantasy, mystery/thriller, and more), readers of all types and ages can find a place in this subscription box. You can even choose to receive two cookbooks or military history books every three months if you don’t read novels or don’t want a monthly subscription.
With Bookishly, a box based in England, you get a vintage book, tea or coffee, and cool stationery for 9 to 12£ per month (depending on your choice of beverage). This box is so hip and cool that you don’t even need to be able to choose your book genre — and bonus: if you’re a chronic book sniffer like me, you will love this box.