The best UK book subscription boxes to buy in 2021


A few years ago I reviewed a bunch of book subscription boxes that I thought were really great. Since then some are no longer operating and some have changed slightly. I’ve also found some other ones that I love so I thought I would share my thoughts.

I first came up with this idea when I was searching endlessly online looking for boxes that I wanted to purchase for myself but had trouble finding a list of the best ones based in the UK. The boxes range from middle grade, young adult, romance and crime genres, to name a few.

Disclaimer: The products in this post were purchased with my own money and I have not received payment of any kind.

Vintage Tea Time

In the box you get a vintage china teacup, saucer and plate, a variety of eight wrapped teabags, full size packet of biscuits, a brand new book and an extra gift. The extra gift can be anything from some lovely sweets, a cookbook or a fancy china egg spoon.

The boxes are posted monthly, they can be personalised so if you get a six-month subscription for example then you can write a little note to go with it for the person you purchase it for. Every month a book is added to the box, including self help novels, contemporary and even Christmas themed ones. The books aren’t all new releases (but aren’t second hand) so I would be mindful of that if you buy lots of books throughout the year.

There are three options for the boxes, ranging from £29.99 to £46 depending on the service you choose. I chose the cheaper option, which is pictured above. I think the more expensive option adds on more crockery.

Cost: £29.99 including shipping costs.

Worth the money?

Even though the box seems on the pricier end compared to others on this list, I think if you enjoy collecting vintage teacups, as well as receiving some lovely gifts and books, then this is definitely worth the money. The china teacups are of a high quality and everything I got was packaged well and always arrived in perfect condition. Also, the fact that the postage and packaging cost is included in the price for UK residents, is a bonus.

I found that for the majority of my six-month subscription, I had self-help books, like Happy by Fearne Cotton, and only one fiction read so that might not be to everyone’s taste. I only stopped my subscription because I thought a collection of six different china teacups was enough for me.

Brave Girls Book Club

Brave Girls Book Club is run by the same company as the adult book subscription service, Books That Matter. This is a children’s book subscription box aimed at girls aged seven to 12. The middle grade box promises between three and four gifts every month as well as a diverse book, written by a female author.

There is a different theme each month. So far the themes have ranged from “Can She Did”, a box featuring science inspired gifts, and they’ve also recently done a Jacqueline Wilson themed box.

If you purchase a three, six or 12-month subscription then you save money on the boxes. For example, the website states that if you buy a six-month subscription then you’ll save £24.

Cost: £17 plus £3 shipping

Worth the money?

Most definitely. The Christmas box I received in December 2020 was filled to the brim with things that I think a lot of young girls would love to use and create. Even as an adult, I was overjoyed with the contents. Besides the book, there was a spiced cookie mix, a cookie cutter, a bookmark, a make your own craft, a collectable patch and a box of chocolates, containing some fun activities for young children.

Sometimes I’m wary that subscription boxes will only be filled with cheap stuff. But that’s never the case with this company. I wish this box existed when I was younger. I loved the box so much that I gifted it to a family member who also enjoyed it. The cost to buy it is fairly low and it is a good price for what you receive. I honestly can’t say a bad word about it.

Book Hooked Box

This is a young adult book box that you can have as a one-off splurge or a bi-monthly subscription. It follows a theme every two months, such as “Surviving Disaster” and “Magical Healing”. Sometimes this box contains items from popular fandomsThe books are usually centred around the fantasy genre.

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 chocolates or a cookie, and a candle or bath product. The box is all about self-care and was created with the intent that the customer will always use all the items.

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: £22.50 plus £4 shipping.

Worth the money?

I believe this box is worth the money compared to other boxes that have a similar amount of gifts for a lot more money. If you buy this box, you also know you’re going to get items that are both practical and in excellent condition so nothing is going to waste. You still get an element of surprise as you don’t know what flavour hot chocolate you’re going to get or what the luxury self-care item will be. But it’s nice to know that you’re not going to get some random gift that you’ll never use.

I’ve had a few boxes from this company as I keep an eye out for different themes that sound like something I would enjoy reading. The hot chocolate they include is absolutely delicious. Boxes always sell out really fast which shows just how popular and in demand they are.

Chocolate and Book

Chocolate and Book is the box for chocoholics and those who just want to have a nice hot drink while relaxing with a good book. With this service, the customer will get to choose a book from a genre of their choice. This can be a young adult book, hidden gem, chick-lit, thriller or even a surprise. There are a lot of genres to choose from, not just the ones listed here.

In the box I received, there was a wrapped book, a sharing size bar of chocolate, a pack of biscuits, a bookmark and a couple of sachets of hot chocolate.

You can choose whether you would prefer a hot chocolate, tea or coffee and the luxury chocolate is sourced monthly from different companies.

Cost: £14.99 plus £4.99 shipping.

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. I picked the book from the Hidden Gem category as I didn’t want to receive a book I already owned and it was one that I had never heard of before, so it was a good choice.

The 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 as the books aren’t new releases. The price compared to some of the other boxes is a bit expensive as you can get a lot more for your money from another company. But it all just depends what you’re searching for.

My Chronicle Book Box

There are three subscriptions available, the monthly crime book box, the quarterly crime and mystery box, and the quarterly science fiction/fantasy box.

I ordered the first monthly crime box. It promises a signed first edition newly released book, author interviews and a printed letter, as well as one to three items to complement the book of the month.

My box arrived with a beautifully wrapped hardback book. The gifts were a leather bookmark and a postcard of an English village.

The quarterly boxes are £48 but you get three books included as well as a bunch of bookish goodies.

Cost: £26 including second class shipping.

Worth the money?

From the other boxes I’ve seen from this company, where they’ve included pencils, candles, tote bags, pins and more I would say it’s good value for money especially as postage is free. However, I don’t know if I got unlucky with my box as a lot of the items weren’t to my taste and I did expect a bit more than a postcard and a bookmark as the extra gifts. I know the book is new and a hardback but so are many of the other competing boxes, which cost less money. A lot of these box choices come down to personal taste and sometimes they are going to be hit and miss for some people.

That’s not to say I didn’t like what I received, I thought the author contents were interesting to read and the book was a great choice. The fact the book comes signed by the author is a bonus and not a lot of boxes do this, so that is a nice addition. I will give the box another chance because it’s the only UK based crime box I could find and the other boxes they have curated looked great.

Book Box Club

Book Box Club is a really unique concept because it allows the reader to interact with other subscribers and the author during a Q&A session. The box contains a brand new young adult book and a handful of gifts from small businesses. These include tote bags, mugs, candles, notebooks, hot chocolate and tea towels. Every box has a different theme from “Whodunnit?!” to “Creatures of the Forest”. Sometimes the curators include more than one book which can be an advanced reader copy of a novel that hasn’t been released yet.

The price of the boxes decrease if you buy a three, six or 12-month subscription. For example, if you pre-pay for a six-month subscription then you will get the box for £26. There is also the option to get a Purely Book Subscription which is basically just the book of the month wrapped nicely so it will still be a surprise. Those who choose this option won’t get any of the gifts but will get access to the exclusive book club groups. The price for the Purely Book Subscription comes to £13.33 per parcel.

Cost: £28.99 plus £3 shipping.

Worth the money?

This is my go-to box and I’ve also bought it several times for other book lovers that I know. It’s 100% worth the money because you get a lot of items in the box to the point that it’s almost overflowing with goods. I can tell the items aren’t made cheaply either and a lot of effort has gone into them to curate each box. What I really like about this box is that the books range in genre, sometimes they are contemporary reads and other times they could be fantasy or even a thriller. It’s nice to mix it up sometimes as a lot of subscription boxes aimed at young adults only cater to fantasy readers.

The extra contents you get when you purchase the box, such as being a part of an author Q&A also adds a special touch to the service and is worth every penny spent. It’s great that if you don’t want to fork out on their main box, the customer has the option to buy just the book, which makes the service even more affordable.

Reposed

Formerly known as Reading in Heels, Reposed is a box that always impresses with books from different genres and various gifts. Even though the box is very cheap to buy, 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. Reposed promises not to include any chick-lit or crime novels in the boxes.

In each box there are usually around three to five surprise lifestyle and beauty gifts which are always things that would be used, rather than go to waste. The gifts range from stationary, coffee bags, luxurious chocolate, makeup, handmade rose flavoured lip balm, bookmarks, tea, flower seeds and more.

Cost: £12.80 including shipping.

Worth the money?

This box is worth the money. It’s great because 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 included is something that would get used. I also think this one makes a perfect gift as it’s unlikely your friend or family member will have read all the books they include in the box. What I love most about this box is the unique items that gets included. At the time of purchasing the one pictured above, I had never had a coffee bag before, so having a service like this was nice so I could try and discover new things.

I was wary that the boxes would always be filled with make-up, as I’m not someone who wears any, but only once out of a yearly subscription did I receive any. If you’re not someone who loves skincare though then you may want to try a different box as this one does include face creams and serums. But if things like this are included, it’s only one out of three to four gifts and they aren’t in every box so you could easily gift the skincare product to someone else you know. For the price and quality of the items, I have no complaints.

Words and Kisses

Words and Kisses is a shop for people who love a good romance novel with a happy ending. The boxes I bought were part of the book box subscription service. There is an option to have this on a monthly basis or pre-pay for three or six months in advance. The book selected is always a new release, so the chances of you already owning it are going to be very slim.

In the subscription box there will also be three to four gifts which can vary from snacks, stationary and beauty items. The gifts in one of the boxes I purchased included a compact mirror, a bar of chocolate, a tea bag, washi tape, a badge and stickers.

If additional gifts aren’t what you’re looking for, the company also does a book-only subscription. The book still remains a surprise but the customer can choose what type of romance read they fancy – contemporary, historical or young adult. It’s also possible with this subscription option to have two books delivered monthly, compared to the one you get with the box option.

Cost: £25.99 including shipping.

Worth the money?

This is my new favourite box, mainly because I have loved every item included. The box is fun and packed with lots of wonderful goodies, from chocolates or sweets to bookmarks and washi tape. I love the fact that the book choices vary as the shop always tries to include diverse reads. I’ve had a handful of boxes and each one is better than the last. Even though £25.99 sounds a lot, it does include postage and packaging so it’s not actually that much. Especially when you add a paperback and a handful of gifts too. The books are all new releases and all the ones I have received have also been signed by the author. It’s great that the company also does a book-only option so if you want a nice surprise every month, without a bunch of random presents, then you don’t have to miss out.

One of the things that really stands out to me about this box is the fact that if you do have the book already, if you email the company they will arrange to swap it for another one, free of charge if the customer is based in the UK. I haven’t seen any other subscription company offer this and it’s great customer service.

Books That Matter

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: £17 plus £3 shipping.

Worth the money?

Books That Matter have a reputation for having great quality items in their subscription boxes and I would agree that every item I have had in all the ones I’ve bought have been excellent choices.

When I first bought this box it was originally £15 and while they have increased the price slightly, it’s not by much so I don’t think it is an issue. 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.

Verdict

The best value for money is The Brave Girls Book Club and Book Hooked Box as they always impress with a great read and lots of wonderful gifts at a low price. And all of the items in these boxes will get used.

However, my favourite boxes at the moment are Words and Kisses and Book Box Club as I’m always happy with the book choices and these are the two boxes I subscribe to and enjoy the most. I also feel that the products they give in the boxes equal the amount of money I am spending.

All of the boxes and services I have listed are ones I enjoyed opening and had great quality products. I’m definitely going to give My Chronicle Book Box another chance too as I know their products are of great quality, I just wasn’t lucky to get a box with items that were to my taste.

A lot of the decision about these boxes comes down to personal preferences, which genre do you enjoy reading the most and what items are you hoping to get out of the boxes you are buying? It’s hard to decide what the best box is for every person, as everyone has different tastes.


What’s your favourite book subscription box? I’m always looking for new ones to try so I’d love to know your recommendations too. Let me know by commenting below. I’m also on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest – @bookwormgirl_24

4 thoughts on “The best UK book subscription boxes to buy in 2021

  1. Ooh, all of these sound interesting and are certainly different to the ones I tend to hear about. I’ve come across a new-to-me box recently called A Box of Stories and after getting one box, it’s certainly one I’ll purchase again at some point. I really liked it as it was just about the books (I’ve realised I can’t be dealing with additional items that create clutter or I’ll never use) and nearly all the books I received were very much unknown to me, which makes a nice change.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s great! It’s sometimes nice to just get the book as a surprise without a lot of stuff you might not necessarily use. I’ll have a look at this box as I’ve not heard of it before! Thanks

      Like

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