Blog – Posted on Wednesday, Jul 21
The 33 Best Book Subscription Boxes of 2021
Book subscription boxes are every book lover’s dream. Yes, that includes you — because whatever your reading needs and desires may be, there’s a subscription service out there that will match them perfectly!
To help you track down the box of your dreams, we’ve split this list up into four sections. First up, the basic book boxes for readers who want books on their doorstep without lifting a finger; then the bits-and-bobs boxes for those who want a reading experience; followed third by boxes for readers who want to consume as much of one genre as possible; and finally, kids boxes for readers who will probably be borrowing mommy or daddy’s credit card. In other words, there’s something here for everyone — let’s dive in!
Just books, no frills
For readers who just want to receive books by mail. And that’s it.
1. Book of the Month
How much is it? $14.99 / month
What’s in each box? 1 early release book (with the option to add up to 2 more).
If you came to this list in search of the most tried-and-tested book box around, look no further. Book of the Month has been around for so long (95 years and counting!) that its bright blue box has become a trademark symbol. Each month, the lovely people at BotM curate a list of the best new releases, debut authors, and fresh perspectives — really good stuff, we promise. They pick five, you pick your fave, and before you know it there’s a book on your doorstep and your plans for the weekend are out the window!
2. Used Books Monthly
How much is it? $6.79 - $17.49 / month
What’s in each box? 1 - 4 gently used books in your chosen genre.
Some people want their book subscription boxes to keep them up-to-date with the hottest new releases; others are looking for a way to discover great books that would’ve otherwise passed them by. If you’re part of the second camp, then Used Books Monthly could be the way to go. Every thirty days, a surprise bundle of gently used books (in the genre of your choice) will arrive at your door, helping you to grow an affordable library of undiscovered gems. Plus you’ll be content in the knowledge that your twice-loved library is doing its bit for the planet.
How much is it? $12.99 / month (plus shipping)
What’s in each box? 2 brand new books in your genre of choice.
Do you know what you like to read, but struggle to find new books? Enter Bookcase.Club. Simply choose among their four themes and they'll send you two handpicked books every month, tailored to your reading tastes. Perhaps the best part about this book subscription box is that its members love to share their monthly parcels on Instagram and Twitter, using the hashtag #BCCUnBoxing — so you can enjoy the experience with fellow book lovers and discover even more books not currently on your radar.
How much is it? $44.95 every 6-8 weeks
What’s in each box? A signed hardcover edition of a new release & more
Indiespensable is the book subscription box run by Powell’s Books, Portland’s iconic four-story independent bookstore. Every six to eight weeks, they extend their reach by shipping all nationwide subscribers a signed, hardcover edition of an exciting new book — usually from an independent publisher.
Every book box is also stocked with book-lover treats! For example, when Indiespensable members received Little Gods by Meng Jin, they also acquired a collectible booklet featuring an exclusive interview and Q&A with the author, an advance reader copy of Empire of Wild by Cherie Dimaline, and two rather fancy chocolate bars.
How much is it? $20 / month
What’s in each box? Access to book clubs led by authors, leaders, and visionaries & a curated book, delivered.
Literati combines the convenience of a book subscription box with the interactive enjoyment of a book club, proffering picks from people you trust and inviting you to join in-app discussions, complete with exclusive content and author interviews. A Literati membership will give you access to any of their twelve book clubs — so whether you want bold, witty, and honest fiction recommended by Roxane Gay, or you’re interested in the books that have shaped and inspired Richard Branson, this book club/subscription hybrid is definitely worth checking out.
6. Boxwalla Book Box
How much is it? $29.95 / box
What’s in each box? 2 books from around the world and a small gift (e.g. postcards or a journal)
Boxwalla is run by a duo of self-proclaimed “aesthetes” — and this label honestly couldn't be more accurate. The bi-monthly Boxwalla box is truly the organic coconut water, Wes Anderson film, or rose quartz gua sha of book boxes. But beautiful packaging and trendy postcards aside, Boxwalla is all about showcasing great writers from around the world, both past and present. Previous picks include Garden by the Sea by Mercè Rodoreda, The Invisibility Cloak by Ge Fei, and The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante.
7. The Book Drop
How much is it? $17.99 / month
What’s in each box? 1 paperback & a signed bookplate and/or letter from the author.
Picking out your next great read can be pretty overwhelming. Instead of leaving your TBR in the hands of Amazon’s algorithm, Bethany Beach Books — an independent bookstore in Bethany Beach, Delaware — operates The Book Drop, a book subscription service run by their experienced booksellers and curators. Choose from a number of delicious themes (including: books for tea, books for coffee, and books for bubbly), then sit back and wait for that month’s pick to arrive, hand-selected and lovingly wrapped in environmentally friendly packaging.
8. Call Number
How much is it? $40 / quarter (every 3 months)
What’s in each box? A newly released book (choose literary fiction, nonfiction, or indie), a library packet, and a few small bookish items.
Has it always been your dream to own a huge library? Do you organize your books in alphabetical order? Then this library-inspired book subscription box, celebrating contemporary Black literature, could be the perfect fit for you. Curated by an actual librarian, the quarterly Call Number parcel includes a newly released book by a Black author from America, the Carribean, or Africa, as well as a few bookish items that mirror the book’s themes — and spine labels, stickers, and catalog cards, so you can arrange your personal library just like a real one.
9. Tailored Book Recommendations
How much is it? $85 / quarter (every 3 months)
What’s in each box? 3 hardbacks chosen for you by a bibliologist.
The most elaborate option that still qualifies for our ‘just books, no frills’ section, TBR is for dedicated book lovers who still want their book subscription box to go that extra mile. TBR knows there’s nothing more exciting than finding that person who just gets you and your reading tastes — someone whose reading recommendations never fall flat. But finding that person can take a lifetime of work... unless, that is, you sign up to TBR, where you’ll be paired with a professional book nerd (sorry — bibliologist!) to find and send you the books you didn’t know you were waiting for.
Books and bonus features
For book lovers who want to be delivered a reading experience.
10. My Coffee and Book Club
How much is it? $31.99 / month
What’s in each box? 2 new hardcover books and a 12 oz bag of quality coffee.
My Coffee and Book Club believes that you just can’t beat a good book and a great cup of coffee — and I’m sure many of us would agree. Lucky for literary coffee lovers everywhere, this company has made it their mission to deliver the very best of both. Every month, you’ll be sent two new hardcover books in your favorite genre, along with a bag of rich, hand-roasted, small-batch coffee beans (ground or whole). So whether you start the morning right with some literary fiction, or stay up all night with a thriller is entirely up to you — the coffee will always be divine.
11. The Book Hookup
How much is it? $50 / box
What’s in each box? A signed first edition, a paperback, and literary goodies.
Strand Book Store, opened in 1927, is the sole survivor of “Book Row” — a colorful Greenwich Village institution that once housed forty-eight bookstores. The Strand has always been a bookstore brimming with hidden treasures and brilliant people who know everything there is to know about books, but now you can get a quarterly dose of its bookish delight delivered straight to your mailbox. Sign up to one of The Book Hookup’s boxes (classics, feminist, fiction, young adult, etc.) for a signed first edition of a highly anticipated title, an additional paperback, and some literary goodies to top it all off (think socks, tote bags, tea… now stop drooling).
12. BlackLIT Box
How much is it? $39.99 every two months
What’s in each box? At least 1 book, several products (t-shirt, purse, edibles, etc.) & writing prompts.
BlackLIT is a group looking to empower, motivate, and reaffirm communities who have been underrepresented and misrepresented in classroom literature, acquainting them with books that feel relevant and relatable. One of their key efforts is sending out the BlackLIT Box — a bi-monthly subscription containing one or more books by authors of color, high-quality products from Black-owned businesses, and five thought-provoking writing prompts. Just choose your box, wait for it to arrive, and join the family on Instagram and Facebook. Class is officially in session!
13. Authentic Books
How much is it? $39 - $59 / month
What’s in each box? A newly released hardcover book & related goodies to stimulate all five senses.
How does reading Call Me by Your Name in a rustic Italian villa sound? How about delving into Wild while hiking the Pacific Crest Trail? Pretty exciting? Then boy, have we got the subscription box for you! True, Authentic Books won’t quite be sending you a paperback and a plane ticket, but they can provide the next best thing: a spot-on sensory impression. By shipping you the tastes, sounds, and smells of your book, they can give you a fully immersive reading experience. It may not actually be rural Italy, but it sure feels like it.
14. Once Upon a Book Club
How much is it? $49.99 / month
What’s in each box? A newly released book, 3-5 gifts & a 5 x 7 quote print.
Once Upon a Book Club has found a highly original way to engage readers, and we think it’s pretty darn magical. Each month, you’ll receive a new book and up to five individually wrapped gifts, each with a different page number printed on the wrapping. As you read, you’ll gradually unwrap the packages to find items just as they are described in the novel — like it’s really coming to life!
How much is it? £27 / box (shipping not included and international fees can be expensive)
What’s in each box? A new edition hardback and 4-6 gifts.
None of us are book collectors solely for the aesthetics, but if a book has a pretty jacket on, we’re not going to kick it off the shelf. In fact, some book covers are so gorgeous that we want the design on bookmarks, mugs, tote bags, prints, stationery — heck, let’s get it tattooed on our bodies! Okay, no actual tattoos here, but Illumicrate can do the rest. Their book subscription box contains a newly released, exclusively customized hardback book, a matching pin badge, and a carefully curated selection of items all in line with the book’s theme.
16. Introverts Retreat
How much is it? Up to $39.99 / month (plus shipping)
What’s in each box? A novel, a bookmark, and everything you need for a candle-lit bath.
For those days when you’d rather enjoy the company of fictional friends than real ones, there’s Introverts Retreat — a book subscription box that helps you make the most of your precious time alone. Each box contains everything you need for a blissful day to yourself: your choice of novel from a great selection; a candle, bath salts, and scented soap; coffee, tea, or cocoa; and a sweet treat lovingly made by an indy baker or chocolatier. With this box at your disposal, you’ll never want to leave the house again.
17. Chocolate and Book
How much is it? Up to £22.50 / month (plus international shipping fees)
What’s in each box? An acclaimed paperback, its chocolate soulmate, and a dash of something to drink.
Chocolates? Love them. Books? Love those, too. Chocolates and books? It really doesn’t get much better than that. Well, until you add the perfect beverage — then you’ve got this book subscription box’s recipe for perfection. Just choose Chicklit, YA, SFF, or Thriller, and have Chocolate and Book deliver the perfect cozy evening right to your door.
18. Unplugged Book Box
How much is it? $39.99 / month
What’s in each box? A paperback and a load of great goodies.
If you’re intrigued by a book subscription box where the book isn’t necessarily the star of the show, you might want to check out Unplugged. Previous boxes have included a mermaid tail blanket, a bluetooth speaker, a Lord of the Rings necklace, and a Game of Thrones foot scrub (whatever that means) — but of course there’s always an exciting new paperback in there somewhere. Makes a great gift for more casual readers!
19. The Bookworm Box
How much is it? Up to $49.99 / month
What’s in each box? 1 or 2 autographed books, 1 or 2 paperbacks, author swag.
The Bookworm Box was founded by bestselling author Colleen Hoover as a way to help readers find great, lesser-known novels — and to give indie authors the exposure they deserve. This book box also donates 100% of its profits to charities, with the money raised so far going to the Center for Grieving Children, Christmas Without Cancer, and the Huntsville Good Samaritans, among others. The pleasure of doing a good deed is of course paired with the thrill of a great read (usually signed by the author!), as well as a few fun goodies.
20. Peace and Pages
How much is it? Up to $37.99 / month
What’s in each box? A new or like-new paperback, a bath product, an aromatherapy product, a small gift, and a snack or drink.
This may not be the only book subscription box to offer you the luxury of a book and a sweet-smelling bubble bath, but what makes Peace and Pages so special is their commitment to providing unique, high-quality products. All items in their boxes are handpicked by their team, and they tend to favor natural, handmade items from small businesses. In the spirit of sustainability, the books themselves are sometimes gently used — which means it’s less of a catastrophe if you drop it in the tub!
21. Books That Matter
How much is it? £17 / month (plus international shipping fees)
What’s in each box? An acclaimed paperback title and at least 3 treats.
Books That Matter has everything you could want from a book box: exciting and diverse literature, fun yet usable treats, and a very reasonable price tag. Designed to inspire and empower, this UK-based subscription service has previously based their boxes on Beloved by Toni Morrison, Circe by Madeline Miller, and Belonging by Umi Sinha — and always aims to feature an acclaimed book written by a women or non-binary author. The treats they pack in each box also come from independent, women-owned businesses. Talk about girl power!
Book boxes with a focus
Genre subscription boxes for book lovers with a type.
22. Fresh Fiction
How much is it? $29.95 / month
What’s in each box? A selection of 5-7 romance reads (and the occasional mystery.)
Fresh Fiction was founded by book lovers just like you — with ever-growing libraries of genre fiction and the ability to plough through a multi-book series in a week. Every box includes three to five paperbacks, as well as a few ebook codes, carefully selected to bring you cutting-edge bestsellers and rising authors alike. Fresh Fiction will throw in a mystery or a paranormal novel occasionally, but this book subscription box is mainly for romance readers who worry they’ve already read everything there is to read.
23. My Thrill Club
How much is it? $18.99 / month
What’s in each box? 2 hardcover books (mystery, thriller, horror, or a surprise)
If you’re a fan of suspense novels, you’ll know that once you start reading them, you just can’t stop. Luckily, My Thrill Club delivers thrills and chills to your door every month, so whether you need a beach read or a keep-you-up-at-night read, you’ll always have options! Past boxes have featured authors such as Jo Nesbø, Ian Rankin, and John le Carre, as well as some lesser-known names you’ll be thrilled to discover.
How much is it? £26 / month (plus international shipping fees)
What’s in each box? A custom hardcover YA fantasy book, exclusive author content, 4-5 gifts.
Inside a Fairyloot box you’ll find a special edition hardcover of a recently released young adult fantasy book, as well as four or five high-quality, bookish goodies all themed around that month’s magical title. The stunning artwork used on the custom book covers and all the Fairyloot gifts — including cutlery sets, pillow cases, mugs, and notebooks — really brings each world to life, making this box the perfect gift for any fantasy-obsessed reader. (Just make sure they’re okay with sprite labor, as each box is delivered via the flutter of fairy wings.)
25. Coffee and a Classic
How much is it? $51.99 / month
What’s in each box? A title from your literary bucket list, a beverage, and bookish treats.
Most book subscription boxes are all about the new and the now, but Coffee and a Classic is dedicated to administering you the time-tested words of some of the best books ever written. From Into Thin Air to Huckleberry Finn to Anna Karenina, each box will help you check off all those titles you never quite got around to reading, so you can scroll with pride through our list of 100 books to read in a lifetime.
26. The Wordy Traveler
How much is it? $49.99 / quarter (every 3 months)
What’s in each box? A book, an art print, tea, and a couple of small gifts.
Every three months — about as often as one typically wants to take a vacation — you can count on The Wordy Traveler to send you a traveler-approved book guaranteed to fulfill your wanderlust. You’ll also find some premium tea that evokes the book’s setting, as well as a fine art print to capture its beauty. You can even customize your travels by choosing to add more books to your box, or by switching up the genre, or by adding a selection of souvenirs, bookmarks, and charms. Build your own itinerary and get globetrotting!
27. Feminist Book Club
How much is it? Up to $49.99 / month
What’s in each box? A book chosen by the community, 3-5 products, access to discussion groups and live chats.
When you subscribe to Feminist Book Club, you get way more than just a book. You’ll be joining an active community of like-minded, intersectional readers (and authors) who love to talk about the books that infuse their shelves with social justice. You’ll also be giving much more than just the cost of the monthly subscription. On top of supporting feminist literature, you’ll be supporting the woman- and queer-owned businesses who fill your box with goodies — and 5% of your purchase will be donated to intersectional social justice organizations. Seems like a win-win to us!
How much is it? $32.99 / month
What’s in each box? A new young adult novel, collectible button and magazine, bookish goodies from small businesses, artists, and publishers.
Owlcrate sets the mood for your monthly literary adventure by putting a whole load of creative energy into the theme of each box. From legends and lore to beasts and briars, all the keepsakes you receive will reflect the fun and magic of that month’s read — the brand new YA novel at the center of it all! In a literary landscape where YA is often overlooked or dismissed, we can’t overstate just how much we love Owlcrate for doing exactly the opposite.
29. Rainbow Crate
How much is it? $39.99 / month
What’s in each box? Featured book of the month and 3-5 themed goodies.
Jamie and Danielle — an artist and a librarian respectively, and the founders of Rainbow Crate — have always been passionate about subscription book boxes. They’ve also long felt strongly about queer literature and queer fictional couples. But even after months of searching, they couldn’t find something that combined these two passions; there simply wasn’t a queer book box to be had.
So these two trailblazers created their own. Now you can share in the excitement of opening a box crammed with brand new literature and merchandise celebrating queer pairs (of all sorts!).
Book boxes for literary littluns
Monthly book subscription boxes you and your little one will love.
How much is it? $19.95 / month
What’s in each box? 4 board books, 3 picture books, or 2 picture books and 1 board book.
Lillypost curates beautiful books for kids from babyhood to seven years old. Depending on your child’s age, you can choose to receive four board books, three picture books, or a combination of both (perfect for families with more than one child) to be delivered to your doorstep. And by buying books your children will love, you give the same gift to a child in need: for every box they ship, Lillypost donates one book to a less fortunate child in North America.
31. The Equal Opportunity Book Box
How much is it? Up to $35 / month
What’s in each box? 3 picture books about diversity
Our world is hardly a simple place to navigate, even (and often especially) for kids. It’s huge, diverse, and filled with people who all experience life in different ways, facing different obstacles. The Equal Opportunity Book Box is all about preparing children to live in this bright, colorful world by sharing with them fun, engaging picture books about diversity. Whether they feature characters of color, LGBTQIA+ characters, and/or characters with disabilities, the picture books in this box will hugely help you in your quest to raise kind, open-minded kids.
How much is it? Up to $30 / month
What’s in each box? 3 board books, 2 picture books, or 2 chapter books.
A monthly book box that offers different subscription options for kids aged three to seven, Bookroo is a great way to start building your child’s book collection in an easy, affordable way — and get them excited about reading! If your child already has mountains of books and you’re worried that a monthly subscription would end with accumulating multiples, this could be the box for you. If you receive a book that your family already has, Bookroo will credit your account $5 — as long as you send a quick snap proving that you’ve donated the duplicate. Easy-peasy (and great karma, too)!
33. Owlcrate Jr.
How much is it? £29.99 / month (shipping not included and international fees can be expensive)
What’s in each box? A hardcover middle grade novel, magazine, second activity, and gifts.
For a book box tailored to your slightly older but not-quite-YA-ready bookworm, check out Owlcrate’s middle grade subscription. As well as a brand new hardcover novel — great as an independent read for strong readers, or fun read-aloud for younger readers — each box has a second book, activity, or game, plus a collectible sticker and magazine. Like its young adult equivalent, everything in the Owlcrate Jr. box (including all the surprise gifts!) is thoughtfully themed for a more immersive and exciting reading experience.
If you’re taken with the community aspect of book boxes, why not check out our list of the best book clubs? Or, if you want to balance out some more indulgent book buying, explore this year’s free public domain books.