19 Best Book Subscription Boxes for 2021: Books for All Ages – Reader's Digest

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Best Book Subscription Boxes grid collageBest Book Subscription Boxes grid collagerd.com, via feministbookclub.com, Courtesy OurShelves, via unpluggedbookbox.com, via freshfictionbox.com
Maybe you want to read more, but the endless shelves at the library (and the even-more-endless shelves at online bookshops) are overwhelming. Or perhaps you’re looking for the perfect gifts for book lovers. A book subscription box could be your answer.
The very best subscription boxes help you discover something new, expand your horizons, and save you time and decision fatigue. When it comes to book subscription boxes, that means you can get to the best part—reading!—as soon as possible. Some book subscription companies allow readers to choose from a list of monthly options, while others deliver a surprise selection to your door. No matter which type you prefer, it’s important to look for these hallmarks of a quality book subscription box: good reviews from subscribers, a diverse range of authors, and a cost that fits in your monthly or quarterly budget. Bonus points if the monthly selection is customized to your age and favorite genres.
We’ve rounded up the 18 best book boxes that represent a broad swath of options for a diverse range of readers. So whether you’re on the hunt for romance novels, the best books for teens, books by Latinx authors, or the best books of all time, there’s a book subscription box for you.
Book Of The Month Subscription BoxBook Of The Month Subscription Boxvia bookofthemonth.com
Cost: Starts at $49.99
Frequency: Monthly
Best for: Readers who want the power to choose
With the Book of the Month club, you’ll get a list of five popular books; then pick one to receive in next month’s package. If the available options bore you, no problem! You can skip a month and keep your book credit to pick two page-turners next time. It’s $49.99 for a three-month subscription, though six- and 12-month subscriptions are available.
The company has a good track record of curating a variety of best sellers. You’ll have options ranging from stellar autobiographies to the best sci-fi books. The beauty of Book of the Month is its ease—it’s one book, every month, with the option to cancel any time.
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Rd select editions Book SubscriptionRd select editions Book Subscriptionrd.com
Cost: Starts at $10
Frequency: Every six to eight weeks
Best for: Readers who enjoy a bit of everything
Reader’s Digest Select Editions delivers hand-picked novels from a variety of popular genres—think romance, thriller, historical fiction, and mystery—in one hardcover volume. Here’s how it happens: The experts at Reader’s Digest choose four stellar selections from best-selling authors such as James Patterson and Kristin Hannah, as well as exciting new writers. They carefully edit each book into a faster-reading version, then bind the four novels into a single volume. It’s the ideal subscription for folks who want to read an array of fiction in less time. As an added bonus, shipping is free.
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Blacklit Box SubscriptionBlacklit Box Subscriptionvia blacklit.createjoy.com
Cost: $54.99
Frequency: Monthly
Best for: Readers who want to amplify Black voices
You’ll get so much more than books with a BlackLit Box subscription. Each order contains one book by a Black author, one shirt designed by a Black creative, and a handful of products from Black-owned businesses. When purchasing this monthly book subscription, you can choose between fiction and nonfiction lines. Note that prices can increase depending on your payment plan and box type.
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Feminist Book Club SubscriptionFeminist Book Club Subscriptionvia feministbookclub.com
Cost: $55
Frequency: Monthly
Best for: Readers who want to support female authors
These aren’t just books for women. No matter your gender, if you long for a world in which people have equal opportunities, the Feminist Book Club is a great way to put your money where your values are. Books are chosen via votes from subscription members themselves. Once the title has been confirmed, there’s still so much more to look forward to in each box beyond a feminist book, including access to the book club’s Slack and Facebook groups, a monthly live video chat, and at least three curated products from feminist-owned businesses. Previous products have included candles from a queer- and trans-owned shop and “mermaid” dessert bars that make the perfect reading snack.
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Owl Crate Book SubscriptionOwl Crate Book Subscriptionvia owlcrate.com
Cost: $32.99
Frequency: Monthly
Best for: Middle grade and young adult readers
Evoking the magic of Harry Potter’s mail deliveries from a trusty owl named Hedwig, OwlCrate drops a book and a smattering of literary treats on teens’ and tweens’ doorsteps each month. Each book subscription box contains one new novel (often one of the latest and greatest fantasy books), a letter from the author, fun items from the publisher, and “bookish goodies” from artists and small businesses around the country. After choosing between the young adult (OwlCrate) or middle grade (OwlCrate Jr) boxes, your reader can expect a surprise page-turner and medley of gifts chosen by the company.
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Rainbow Crate Book SubscriptionRainbow Crate Book Subscriptionvia rainbowcratebookbox.com
Cost: $39.99
Frequency: Monthly
Best for: Lovers of LGBTQ+ stories
Curated by the company owners and a team of volunteer readers, the new release books and products in each Rainbow Crate box directly support LGBTQ authors and businesses run by queer people. Each box includes one book (usually hardcover) and a handful of fun LGBTQ+ fandom flair items. Past boxes have included goodies like a coin pouch, nightlight, character magnet, rainbow fidget pop toy, mug, bookends, and a whole lot more.
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Coachcrate Book SubscriptionCoachcrate Book Subscriptionvia coachcrate.com
Cost: $99
Frequency: Quarterly (with two shipments: a deluxe box and mini mailer)
Best for: Personal growth junkies
Do your bookstore visits always end beside shelves filled with self-help books? Or do you enjoy motivational podcasts during your daily commute? If you’re always on the hunt for ways to improve your life, you’ll love CoachCrate. Unlike most book subscription companies, which center around fiction and reading for pleasure, CoachCrate focuses on nonfiction books. It delivers two personal growth books, a custom journal, and a couple self-care or productivity items in a quarterly box. Before three months go by, though, you’ll receive another mini mailer with small items such as notepads, bookmarks, or notes from an author.
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Ourshelves Book Subscription BoxOurshelves Book Subscription BoxCourtesy OurShelves
Cost: $19.99 or $44.97
Frequency: Quarterly
Best for: Parents seeking to raise mindful, inclusive kids
This book subscription box for kids features children’s books about diversity with racially diverse, LGBTQ+, and feminist characters. The brand’s focus is on elevating underrepresented voices and identities so kids can see their own identities affirmed and even learn directly about inclusivity with age-appropriate books about racism. The three book choices that come with the $44.97 subscription are ultimately up to the brand, but subscribers can choose among three boxes: Sunshine (ages zero to 2), Rainbow (ages 2 to 5), and Treehouse (ages 5 to 8). If the three-book option is too pricey, order the $19.99 box instead; you’ll get one book per shipment.
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Used Books Monthly SubscriptionUsed Books Monthly Subscriptionvia usedbooksmonthly.com
Cost: Starts at $6.79
Frequency: Monthly
Best for: Environmentally conscious bookworms
Book subscription boxes can be expensive. Sometimes they’re also full of fluff: tchotchkes or paper products that only add to your pile of stuff to sort. That’s not the case with Used Books Monthly. This bare-bones book subscription box allows you to choose your favorite genre—mystery, action/adventure, general fiction, romance, general nonfiction—and receive one to four gently used books each month. It’s truly that simple. The $6.79 subscription includes one used book (chosen at random within your preferred genre). There are no extra gifts or paraphernalia, but there is the joy of discovering a page-turner that has been briefly loved by someone who then donated their used book.
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My Thrill Club Book Subscription BoxMy Thrill Club Book Subscription Boxvia mythrillclub.com
Cost: $18.99
Frequency: Monthly
Best for: Fans of horror, mysteries, and thrillers
Choose your gripping genre—horror books, mystery books, thriller books, or a wild card called Surprise Me; then eagerly await your package of two new hardcover books and an e-book each month. There’s no shipping cost and no hassle if you choose to cancel your subscription at any time. Each month’s tomes are surprises chosen by the company’s book curator, but here are a few recent picks: The Silence of Ghosts by Jonathan Aycliffe (horror), The Organ Broker by Stu Stumwasser (thriller), and Perfidia by James Ellroy (mystery).
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The Alignest Book SubscriptionThe Alignest Book Subscriptionvia thealignest.com
Cost: $30
Frequency: Quarterly
Best for: Readers who enjoy newspapers as much as novels
Do you ever wish you could understand current events from the perspective of someone who is living through a crisis on the other side of the world? That’s what The Alignest aims to promote through international fiction books. Founded by reporter Beenish Ahmed, the company’s Just the Facts box includes a highly acclaimed novel from a different country each quarter bundled with information and expert analysis to help connect fact and fiction. Premium boxes (at a higher cost) include artisanal goods from the featured country.
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Once Upon A Book Subscription BoxOnce Upon A Book Subscription Boxvia onceuponabookclub.com
Cost: $49.99
Frequency: Monthly
Best for: Readers who delight in surprises
Once Upon a Book Club subscribers can look forward to a monthly surprise read paired with three to five individually wrapped gifts designed to be opened at specific pages in the book. This delightful, interactive experience is perfect for those who love surprises or unique, experiential gifts. You’ll kick off your subscription by choosing either the adult or young adult option, then enjoying monthly deliveries with the option to pause, switch, or cancel at any time. If you love leaving your reading to fate, dive into the best book for your zodiac sign.
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Fresh Fiction Book Subscription BoxFresh Fiction Book Subscription Boxvia freshfictionbox.com
Cost: $35.95
Frequency: Monthly
Best for: Romance fans
Subscribers to Fresh Fiction will receive a box of three to five print books and access to one to three e-books each month. It’s a medley of general fiction and romantic fiction, with a dash of paranormal (hello, vampire books!) or mystery occasionally thrown in. Sometimes the box will include advanced reader copies, so subscribers can enjoy their favorite authors up to a month before the novel’s retail release date. The brand chooses which books you’ll get in your box each month, but subscribers seem tickled pink about the selection.
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Parnassus Signed First Edition ClubParnassus Signed First Edition Clubvia parnassusbooks.net
Cost: $35 to $42
Frequency: Monthly
Best for: Literary fiction lovers
If you’re a reader who also collects beautiful hardcover books for your home bookshelf, this is the book subscription box for you. Parnassus Signed First Editions Club delivers 12 beautiful author-signed first-edition books to your doorstep each year. The books, which typically fall into the literary fiction genre, are chosen by the staff at Parnassus Books in Nashville. Subscription prices vary according to shipping costs for U.S. and Canadian residents. Eager for more fictional worlds to explore? Get lost in one of these books made into movies.
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Literati Kids Book ClubLiterati Kids Book Clubvia literati.com
Cost: $9.95
Frequency: Monthly
Best for: Families with voracious young readers
Though Literati offers a lot of options, the company’s kids book clubs put this book subscription box on the map. Literati also works a little differently than most. Choose your child’s reading level—from newborn to teen—and receive five children’s books plus goodies (like artwork, a bookmark, or poster) delivered to your doorstep each month. You’ll have a week to read them before sending them back or purchasing as many as you like to keep at home forever. The “read before you buy” policy works exceptionally well for families who want a wide variety of books for bedtime stories without having to buy them all. Bonus: The company donates books to nonprofits, underfunded schools, and care centers for women and children. If you don’t have kids, check out Literati’s adult subscription box, which includes extras like an online book club.
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Unplugged Book Subscription BoxUnplugged Book Subscription Boxvia unpluggedbookbox.com
Cost: $39.99
Frequency: Monthly
Best for: Readers who need to de-stress
Each Unplugged book subscription box is based on a concept most avid readers understand: Escaping into your favorite title is a form of self-care. Whether you opt for the adult or young adult box, you’ll receive one company-picked new release along with four to six self-care goodies from small businesses. Previous items have included body butter, detox foot soaks, a jar of honey, and fun bookmarks. If you’re looking for more titles to add to your to-be-read list, check out this roundup of short books.
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Call Number Book Subscription BoxCall Number Book Subscription Boxvia call-number.createjoy.com
Cost: Starts at $40
Frequency: Quarterly
Best for: Bibliophiles who want to read more Black authors
Call Number is a beautiful library-themed book subscription box curated to showcase contemporary Black literature and writers. Subscribers can choose among fiction, nonfiction, indie, and young adult boxes. Each crate includes a book, three or four small book-themed gifts, and a branded library packet (custom catalog card, spine label, label protector, and sticker). Or subscribe to the (pricier) book club kit for great book club books, swag packs, and more. Founder and librarian Jamillah Gabriel curates the boxes herself, so readers can rest assured they’ll receive a bibliophile-approved selection.
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The Wordy Traveler Book Subscription BoxThe Wordy Traveler Book Subscription Boxvia thewordytraveler.com
Cost: Starts at $49.99
Frequency: Quarterly
Best for: World travelers and philanthropists
The Wordy Traveler is the perfect subscription for anyone who loves to collect passport stamps as much as books. Once you select fiction or nonfiction, the company will surprise you with one book set in or focused on a specific country, plus several items themed around that place. But what really sets this book box apart is the brand’s promise to donate a portion of the profits to a certified organization that supports women and children living in the featured country. Find more great reads with this list of true crime books.
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Rd The Best Mysteries Of All Time Book Subscription2Rd The Best Mysteries Of All Time Book Subscription2rd.com
If you spend more time reading classic whodunits than any other type of book, The Best Mysteries of All Time subscription from Reader’s Digest is for you. In-the-know editors handpick mystery books from classic crime writers like Agatha Christie and Tony Hillerman. With your subscription, you’ll receive a new full-length, collector’s edition hardcover every two to three months. Order the first book for $10 (bonus: no shipping), and you’ll get a mystery gift along with it. You can cancel anytime, but chances are you’ll be clamoring for your next case the minute you close your latest book.
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