An updated 2021 version of this list can be found here as some of the boxes included in this one have changed or aren’t available any more.
Disclaimer: The products in this post were purchased with my own money and I have not received payment of any kind.
Book subscription boxes are growing in popularity and while it’s exciting to receive a gift in the post each month, it can be quite daunting deciding which box to choose. There are so many companies offering different services – from young adult (YA) to adult fiction – at the moment but they cost a fortune and that is without adding on the price of shipping.
I went on a hunt to find various boxes that I believe are useful and worth the money. So if you’re on a tight budget but still fancy treating yourself then one of the boxes below may be perfect for you.
This box is curated by a team of women who want to celebrate and empower other women. Inside each box they include a book by a female author that focuses on issues surrounding ethnicity, race and gender as well as a couple of gifts made by women.
Examples of the gifts they have included in the past are tote bags, cute empowering pins, jewellery, bookmarks, pencils and notebooks.
A lot of the books they release are highly anticipated and receive attention from critics. They focus on a theme each month, such as Black History Month. Subscribers are sometimes lucky enough to receive a copy of the book slightly earlier than its release day.
Cost: £18 including postage and packaging
Worth the Money? When I bought this box it was originally £15 and while they have increased the price slightly in the last couple of months, it’s not by much so I don’t think it is an issue, especially as that price includes postage and packaging within the UK. I love their choices of books and the gifts that are always so beautifully crafted and unique – the tote bags are one of my favourite items. Also, if you like to collect pins and badges, then this is a great box to get.
This box always impresses with books from different genres and various gifts. Even though the box is very cheap, all of the products are high quality. The company has done themed boxes in the past, such as for International Women’s Day.
The book is always a newly released literary fiction paperback. The company promises there will be no “chick lit or trashy crime novels” ever to be seen in their boxes.
In each box there are usually around 3-5 surprise lifestyle and beauty gifts which are always things that would be used, rather than go to waste. The gifts range from coffee bags, luxurious chocolate, makeup, handmade rose flavoured lipbalm, bookmarks, tea, flower seeds and more.
Cost: £10 plus postage and packaging
Worth the money? This box is definitely worth the money. It is one of my favourites as the books are ones I would never pick for myself to read, but turn out to be great reads nonetheless. The gifts are also a surprise. There are never any repeats and everything gets used. This is my go-to adult subscription box.
Blind Date With a Book is a great concept and it’s possible to buy a one-off book as a gift or a subscription service. The idea behind this service is not to judge a book by its cover as there are probably so many good books that go unnoticed just because of how they look.
Each book is wrapped in brown paper and has clues to what it is about on the cover. If you purchase a book based on the clues, as a one-off, then it will come with a bookmark. If a monthly subscription is preferred then it is possible to join their book club which costs £54.99 for 6 months.
The books are brand new and there is a wide selection on the website from classics, thrillers, mysteries, romances, science fiction, adventure, and literary fiction.
Cost: £7.99 plus postage and packaging
Worth the money? I think this is a great option for someone who likes to get a surprise book in the mail without a bunch of random gifts. The price is also very good considering a lot of new books tend to be on the more expensive side. The only downside to this is the fact that you would have to possibly pick a genre you don’t usually read or pray you haven’t read the one you get sent.
The Wildest Dreams box was created by another book lover who couldn’t find an affordable YA book subscription box.
Every month the box has a different theme and the items all revolve around it. These can range from “Can you Keep a Secret?” to “Myths and Legends”. The box includes the book, which usually comes with a signed bookplate from the author, luxurious tea leafs, teabags, a sweet treat and another one or two gifts.
All of the items in the box are surprises, but in the past it has contained pencils, wax melts/room sprays/candles and bath products too. The company seems to support other small businesses by including them in the box.
Cost: £18 including postage and packaging
Worth the money? This is one of my favourite YA boxes because everything inside it gets used and it is so cheap compared to the other services around. I love the fact that the tea from Rosie Lea Tea company is included every month as it is so delicious. The additional touches such as having a signed bookplate by the author to stick inside the book is also really nice. You can tell a lot of thought and effort has gone into this box.
This is another YA book box that you can have as a one-off splurge or a monthly subscription. It follows a theme each month, such as “Surviving Disaster” and “Magical Healing”. Sometimes this box contains items from fandoms such as Harry Potter.
Inside there is a newly released hardback book, usually with a signed bookplate and a letter from the author. It also has a bookmark that correlates with the theme, a luxury hot chocolate stirrer, artwork, a box of four chocolates (my husband ate one before I could take the picture) and a candle or bath product.
The hot chocolate flavour varies, so you could be having a salted caramel one month and a chocolate marshmallow the next. Sometimes an additional gift is also included such as a pin or a cute postcard.
Cost: £25 including postage.
Worth the money? This box may be a bit pricier than the others but it does have a lot more items inside it that are both practical and in excellent condition. The book I received had decked edges too – which was quite cool. The hot chocolate is absolutely delicious!
While the full price of the box is £25, the company does offer discount codes through various Instagram accounts. The owner also gives out codes on certain days of the year, such as World Book Day, which is how I only had to pay £22.50 for the above box.
Due to the prices being low and the quantity of gifts, my two favourite boxes are Reading in Heels and Wildest Dreams. That’s not to say I don’t like the others but I could probably afford a monthly subscription of either of these two without breaking the bank. Also, I’m not someone who collects pins, patches or notebooks so I wouldn’t choose to have a box every month that includes those items. But that’s just an individual preference.
All of the boxes and services I have listed are ones I enjoyed opening and all of them had great quality products. I would very likely order a Book Hooked Box if I like the sound of the theme or if I fancied treating myself to something extra one month.
Do you have a favourite UK book subscription box that you would like to recommend? I would love to try out some new ones! Comment below or Tweet @Bookwormgirl_24