My go-to book subscription box recommendations

I love subscription boxes, and have tried many a book subscription box. I have been rotating through a handful of different book and lifestyle box subscriptions for roughly seven years now. So it’s safe to say I have some tried and true favorites to recommend!

There are SO many book boxes out there for specific genres, for books and extra surprises themed around the book, for just books by themselves, and more. I’m breaking down a few I return to often and the new ones on my list to try this year.

Please note: This post contains referral codes for the book subscription boxes mentioned here. By subscribing through my referral code, you help me earn free boxes at no cost to you.

Just the books

Maybe you’re on a budget, or maybe you want just the book part of a book box subscription. Either way, you’re in luck.

Tumas Books and Things

I started getting monthly book boxes from Tumas Books and Things after I cancelled my Book of the Month subscription for good last summer (for a variety of reasons). They highlight writers of color and a diverse range of genres every month. They offer a “books only” subscription option or an option with fun extras. And their model functions as “buy as you want” so you don’t have to worry about having to skip every month or cancel when you aren’t interested in. You do have the option to buy multiple months worth at once for a discount, similar to the subscription style approach.

They also have add-ons if you want to snag additional books. Last, they have a fabulous rewards program! The boxes range from $9.99/month to $39.99/month depending on the type of subscription and genre you choose. Learn more and save 20% off your first purchase.

Page 1 books

Of all the book box subscriptions, Page1 has by far the most comprehensive process for getting you personalized book recommendations that are delivered to your door. In order to subscribe, you fill out a questionnaire about what genres you like, favorite authors and books, and the types of books you’re looking for. I just finished up a three month subscription and every book I received was spot on. I’ve read 1/3, loved the one I read, and am still really excited about the other two.

They are essentially a “book only” box. Each month may have one “fun” extra; for example, I received a mini calendar, a literary game, paper bookmarks, and a pen with my books across the months. You do have to buy multiple boxes at once for this one, making it more of an investment or gift (I recommend watching their Instagram for a deal – I shopped during a Cyber Monday sale). But at 3 personalized boxes for $65, it really is well worth it for the personal touch that goes in. Here’s where to learn more and subscribe.

Here’s an unboxing to give you a feel for this one!

Book box subscriptions with a little extra fun

Many book boxes contain lots of fun “extras” which vary a lot depending on the box. I’ve tried a lot of different boxes in this category and have a few that I return to over and over again.

Once Upon A Book Club Box

This subscription box is by far the best overall “experience” in a box. Here’s how it works:

  • You pick the genre you want – young adult or adult fiction.
  • In your box will be 3-5 wrapped gifts with a page number sticker on them. Don’t open them now or you’ll spoil the fun!!
  • As you read, there will be little sticky notes on corresponding pages that tell you to open a gift. That’s when you grab that item that matches the page number you’re on, and open your surprise!

It really is such a blast to go through the reading experience and open items that relate to the book you’re reading. I will be fully honest that some items have been hit or miss for me. Usually there’s two or three items I LOVE and one or two items I don’t care about. This is my experience with every single book subscription box I’ve tried that includes fun bookish items with the books. I always feel – especially with Once Upon A Book Club (OUABC) – that my boxes are still well worth it with the items I do love from what I receive. Which is why I come back time and time again and why I’m still recommending them to you!

I also love that OUABC has seasonal or special edition boxes. With these, you typically know the book going in, which I like. For example, around the holidays I bought their box for In A Holidaze by Christina Lauren, which I unboxed below.

Their boxes are $34.99 a month, and you can save $5 off your subscription with my personal link.

OwlCrate

OwlCrate is my longest book subscription box love. I have been subscribing on and off since 2016 – shortly after they first launched. The quality has continued to improve since I first started trying this one out and it’s why I order again and again. They now offer their original young adult OwlCrate box and their middle grade/ younger reader OwlCrate Jr. box.

Each month, you’ll receive a box with a fun theme that the book and additional items relate to in some way. Usually, their boxes include an edition of the book that’s unique to OwlCrate and often signed. That may mean a special cover, different endpages, or other customization. The number of fun extra varies but you can always expect a mix of high quality paper products and bookish items. I have received jewelry, candles, bath products, bookmarks, home items, fashion accessories, journals, a second book, and more in my boxes.

Their subscriptions start at $32.99 before shipping, but you can sometimes get past boxes for a little cheaper. They also have special occasion and special edition boxes regularly. Use the code WELCOME10 (not a referral code) for 10% off your first box. They’re currently on a waitlist but you can snag a past box now to join the fun and see what they’re all about!

Here’s an unboxing of the special edition Winter Wishes box from December 2020!

Bonus: Book subscription boxes I plan to try this year

While the above book boxes are my “tried and true,” I am constantly on the lookout for new book boxes that seem fun to try. Here’s what’s on my short list!

  • The Book Drop – I have a lot of bookstagram friends that subscribe to this one, and their boxes always look so fun. They are one of the only paperback book subscriptions I’ve seen and have a few genre options starting at $17.99 a month.
  • The Feminist Book Club Box – Again, I have friends that get these and I always have FOMO when they share what came in their box. They offer a book club along with their subscription that includes a live chat, and you can subscribe to the book only or the full box.
  • Margins Box – A young adult box that highlights new release books by BIPOC authors. They currently are on a waitlist but sign up for their newsletter to learn when they’re accepting new subscriptions!
  • Rainbow Crate – A book box that highlights new release LGBTQ+ books and includes fun additional items.

Have a favorite book subscription box that didn’t make my list? Tell me about it in the comments below so I can check it out!

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