It wouldn’t be particularly insightful of us to guess that many of you made a New Year’s resolution to read more this year. But between finding the time to research what books to add to your list and actually buying them, these good intentions often go out of the window.
This is where a book subscription comes in handy. Whether you’re into young adult adventures or the latest crime thrillers, there’s a company out there that will select books to suit your tastes, package them up – often with extra treats – and send them to you every quarter or once a month. An added bonus is that many of them also host online forums, so you can chat with a community of people reading the same thing – like a book club for the internet age.
Choosing from the hordes of book subscription boxes out there can be somewhat daunting but luckily for you, we’ve done all the hard work and compiled our favourites in a list.
Your first reading assignment of the year: choose the one that takes your fancy.
Books That Matter
A relatively new one, the Books That Matter box is run by a team of women whose mission is to educate and enrich readers through exciting female fiction. Each month has a different theme, such as gender, race or religion and comes with a gift created by an independent female, trans or non-binary artist. It’ll put works on your radar that you might not have heard of, give you a more in-depth understanding of the feminist mindset and support marginalised people in their goal to create meaningful art – what’s not to love?
Mr B’s Book Emporium
Mr B’s Book Emporium is a subscription that comes from the eponymous book shop in Bath. After filling in a questionnaire about preferences, subscribers will receive a new book each month handpicked for them by the in-house bibliotherapists. If you love the romance of packages in brown paper tied up with string, you’ll be in for a treat with Mr B’s, whose packages arrive in this getup with a wax seal stamped on to boot.
Not only does this add a little sense of ceremony to the proceedings but it also makes you appreciate the book inside a lot more. This is a great book subscription and one that also supports independent bookshops.
Only launched last year, Reading in Heels has already developed something of a following thanks to its thoughtful subscription service. Those that sign up will receive one curated book a month, along with some treats to make the reading of it all the more ritualistic.
These could be anything from chocolates and tea to bath salts and face masks – after all, there’s nothing like a spot of pampering when you’re tearing through a good book. Given that this is one of the most reasonably priced on the list, you get a lot of bang for your buck.
The Bookishly Classic Book Crate
An excellent option if one of your goals is to read more classics. The Bookishly Classic Book Crate does what it says on the tin, delivering a novel such as Rebecca, Wuthering Heights or Frankenstein once an month alongside a series of gifts, such as teas, themed stationery and candles. What sets this box apart is the cover artwork – all of which is created in house – meaning you’ll have never seen the cover of your latest read in a bookshop and you can start to build a collection of uniquely decorated tomes.
We all know how important self care is, which is why WILDWOMAN makes such an interesting book subscription box. Each one includes a book focused on personal growth and development as well as a few gifts to help you get in the zone. These include everything from cute stationery to healing crystals and affirmation cards. Past titles have included The Anxiety Solution by Chloe Brotheridge and The Little Book of Calm by Paul Wilson. The subscription will also give you access to the GozenGirls community – an online forum on which to discuss the latest release.
The Couples Book Club
A simple concept that doesn’t come with extra bells and whistles, just two copies of the same book for you and your partner to read each month. All you have to do is fill out the online survey stating your preferences then sit back and wait for the first subscription to arrive. This offers an interesting way for couples to do something together and at only £44.99 for a three month subscription, is much cheaper than a night out.
£44.99 for 3 months | The Willoughby Book Club | Buy it now
Date Night With A Book
If you’re tired of scrolling through Tinder and going on tedious dates, just forget the whole thing and sign up to this book subscription service instead. Ok, so that may be a bit drastic, but Date Night With A Book will provide you with everything you need for a great night in. It’s budget friendly and tailored to your taste – you provide the company with a short list of your favourite books and genres and they’ll come back to you with the goods, plus a satchet of tea and hot chocolate, so you can hunker down in your favourite armchair with a new book and a steaming mug of something comforting. Bliss.
From £11.95 per month | Date Night With A Book | Buy it now
A book subscription service with a heart, Shelter Box offers a unique and compelling opportunity to do some good and read a great book at the same time. Each month, subscribers receive a book that they’ve collectively chosen (five options are floated by the head bookworm and members get to vote the one they want to read), each of which tells a story inspired by cultures, experiences and people in the real world. A portion of the money you pay each month then goes towards a Shelter Box, which is filled with essentials such as tents, first aid supplies and toiletries to help rehabilitate families who have been hit by disaster. You can pay as little as £10 a month, or opt to donate as much as you like.
If you’re into YA fiction, or know a teenager that is, the Uppercase Box is for you.
Created by a young bookworm who was working through a chronic illness and on the hunt for a decent book subscription for teens, each month will include a compelling YA novel as well as a few self-care items, such as bath products, tea and sweets. As the books included are all relatively new releases, it’s a great way to keep on top of what’s fresh in the YA world.
Movie Vs Book – Date Night With A Book
Another interesting one from Date Night With A Book, there are no prizes for guessing what you get with this box. Each month includes a book and the movie version on DVD (past boxes have included titles such as PS. I Love You) so you can compare and contrast the two. Just try not to watch the film before you’ve read the books…
From £14.95 a month | Date Night With A Book | Buy it now
Book Box Club
Don’t want all the extras you often get with a book subscription service? What we love about this Young Adult option is that you can choose to either receive just a book or gifts too – you have the option to select your preferences, unlike with many others. Each month centres on a different theme (for example, Magic Potions or Rule the Stars) and they really hype up the big reveal, so you can get excited about what you might receive each month. It’s also a crafty way to encourage your teenagers to become more engaged with reading.
Rare Bird Book Club
No frills with this one – just a carefully selected book each month that’ll, thankfully, fit through the letterbox. This is the option to pick if you don’t necessarily want to stick to one genre or find it difficult to pin down what kind of books you prefer, as many subscription services ask you to do when you sign up. Each book received will be a complete surprise and could be from any number of genres – the only common theme between them being that they’ll have a female protagonist – meaning you’ll get exposed to a range of books you may never have come across otherwise.
Abominable Book Club
If you’re into horrors and thrillers, the Abominable Book Club will get your goose pimples going each month with a brand new release, a second hand mystery option as well as a range of hot drinks and sweet treats. If you know you’re into this kind of book, it’ll expand your horizons and introduce you to new authors as well as remind you of old ones you may have long forgotten. The real question here is whether or not you’ve got the guts to read these frighteners alone at night.
From £17 a month | Abominable Book Club | Buy it now
Prudence and the Crow
Founded by two bookworms who were looking for a vintage book subscription service and couldn’t find one, Prudence and the Crow sends out vintage and second-hand copies of books to its huge fanbase. This service is particularly special because you know that each book has not only been tailored to your tastes but has been sourced and hand selected for you – it’s like receiving a thoughtful gift from a friend. You’ll be able to curate an interesting bookshelf whilst also giving a new lease of life to books that have been long forgotten.
It’s difficult to choose just one service here as they’re all so different but the ones that stick out as being particularly unique are Books That Matter for its cultural relevance and Shelter Box for its philanthropic idea.