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Holiday 2020: 18 Subscription Boxes for Your Literature-Loving Friends

A woman drinking wine and reading a book by a fireplace at Christmas.

If gifting a book for the holidays feels too risky or played out, that’s understandable. Fortunately, there are other options for the lit-lovers in your life. A literature subscription box makes the perfect gift for any avid reader!

There’s an incredible variety of literary-themed subscriptions, but we’ve picked the best of the best to help you with your holiday shopping. Some are customizable, some are for specific age groups, and some are themed, but all of them will make a joyful gift for your bookish friends and family.

Coffee and a Classic

Coffee and a Classic’s monthly gift of a book and a hot beverage will keep things cozy all year round. As the name suggests, coffee is an option, but you can also choose tea or hot chocolate.

The streamlined Starter box includes a book, beverage, bookmark, and a couple of extra treats, while the Standard option has more extras, like a monthly mug and snack.

Plus, there are three genres you can choose from:

  • Classic literature
  • Classic nonfiction
  • Children’s classics

The beverage and genre can also be changed anytime!

Page 1 Books

A book from Page 1. being placed in a front-door mail slot.
Page 1.

For more personalization, try a curated subscription, like Page 1. You start by filling out a questionnaire regarding your recipient’s reading preferences. Then, Page 1 experts will select the perfect book to send your friend each month!

Readers can offer feedback on the books they receive to make the picks even more personal. If a book isn’t a good fit, the service even sends a free replacement.

Bubbles and Books

Does anything go together better than a book and a bath? If you know someone who loves to read in the tub, this is the ultimate gift of relaxation.

Bubbles and Books sends a monthly mystery or romance novel—just the kind of fiction that creates a blissful escape from reality. Each box also contains bath-friendly extras, like bath bombs, artisan soaps, candles, and more.

With a variety of box sizes and customizable genres, like historical romance or mystery/thriller, this subscription curates a luxurious monthly experience.

Mr B’s Reading Subscriptions

Some literary subscription boxes offer a wonderful side benefit: supporting independent bookstores. Mr B’s is a bookstore in Bath, England, but even if you live nowhere near there, you can support the store by gifting its subscription box!

This subscription begins with a questionnaire that can be completed via email, phone, or online. Then, a bookseller from Mr B’s will be chosen as your recipient’s “bibliotherapist,” and will handpick the perfect book for your loved one each month. And yes, the store ships worldwide!

The Book HookUp

The Book HookUp box supports the Strand Book Store in New York City. This subscription is great for readers who like to keep up on the latest and greatest new releases.

Each month, the box includes a signed first edition of a hot new title, a paperback, and a few extra bookish treats. There’s a wide variety of genres to choose from, including young adult, political nonfiction, and sci-fi/fantasy.

Powell’s Books Indiespensable

The contents of an Indiespensable subscription box (two books, a booklet, and a chocolate bar).
Powell’s Books

Know a reader who prefers indies over big-name bestsellers? If so, Powell’s Books Indiespensable subscription is perfect. Plus, it supports Portland, Oregon’s most famous independent bookstore.

A box will arrive every six to eight weeks, with a new book from an independent publisher (often a special copy, like a signed edition or exclusive printing). It will also include other surprises, like a second book, fancy pens, chic postcards, or some tea.


Seattle’s beloved Elliott Bay Book Company offers a wonderful subscription for comic book and graphic novel fans.

The Panels subscription box sends a stunning graphic novel every other month, that’s handpicked by an Elliott Bay bookseller. The final box also includes a bonus book. It’s a great way to gift the unique world of independent graphic novels, which offer a wide range of stories beyond standard comic book fare.

The Book Drop

A split image with a Book Drop package, book, and a dog on a bed, and an unopened Book Drop package on a blanket.
The Book Drop

When you gift a subscription from The Book Drop, it supports Bethany Beach Books in Delaware. Your friend will receive a surprise paperback every month—perfect for the reader who can never decide what to read next.

There are several theme options, as well, including books for young adults or “for tea,” which focuses on historical, contemporary, and literary fiction. You can also choose different subscription lengths, like three or six months, or one year.


Serious readers already know that TBR stands for “to be read.” However, the TBR subscription box stands for Tailored Book Recommendations. It’s the ideal way to replenish that to-be-read stack.

The TBR box pairs a reader with a “professional book nerd” to tailor each selection. Every delivery also includes a personal note from the professional curator. You can gift a year-long subscription, or for the reader whose bookshelf is already overflowing, you can make it a one-time gift.

Juniper Books

Know a reader who loves how books look just as much as what’s inside them? If so, a Juniper Books subscription is just the right gift!

Juniper Books makes stunning custom book jackets, creating beautiful editions of beloved reads. You can choose from different subscription options, such as 20th-century classics or contemporary fiction. The monthly deliveries will make gorgeous additions to any bookshelf.

Book of the Month

Someone holding an unopened Book of the Month box.
Book of the Month

A Book of the Month box is ideal for readers with specific tastes. This subscription allows them to choose from five exciting new reads every month, so they can always pick a title they’re interested in.

If they want more than one book from a month’s list, that’s an option, too. They can also skip a month whenever they need to catch up on their reading. You can select a three- or six-month, or one-year subscription.

Unplugged Book Box

The Unplugged Book Box is all about reading and self-care—two things that can make anyone’s year a little better.

This box focuses on fiction, with a young adult or adult option. Along with a new-release book, each box contains extras, like bookmarks, art prints, candles, mugs, socks, and more. The extras all share a fun, bookish theme for a complete, relaxing literary experience.


Does one book a month not sound like enough for the reader you know? Try the BookCase.Club subscription! It’ll send your friend two curated books per month in his or her favorite genre.

Genre options include young adult, romance, mystery/thriller, several options for kids, and more. The first box will ship within a week from the date you sign your loved one up, so it’s also an excellent last-minute gift.


An unopened Scribbler box on a table next to two books and a vase.

Some readers don’t just read, they also write, or at least, aspire to. For the reader who hopes to write a book of their own one day, give the gift a the Scribbler box.

Each box includes a signed novel, literature-themed treats, writing tips from bestselling authors, and chances to chat live with editors and agents. The blend of reading material and writing inspiration will keep writers at all levels motivated to create.

Used Books Monthly

Many people prefer used books because they’re better for the environment and easier on the wallet. A Used Books Monthly subscription makes a thoughtful gift for that reader who loves thrift shops and used bookstores.

You can also choose from a one-, two-, or four-book monthly subscription, or from a list of preferred genres (which includes a “surprise me” option). It’s affordable, fun, and environmentally friendly.


For readers who want the full book club experience, give a Literati subscription. This box includes a new monthly hardcover book, plus the chance to discuss it with fellow readers and Literati’s influential curators.

You can choose from several different themed book clubs, like Fearless (for inspirational reads) or Underrated (for hidden gems). There’s even a Literati Kids option for readers up to age 12.


If you’re shopping for younger readers, there are also a couple of subscription services that cater specifically to kids, such as OwlCrate.

There’s currently a waitlist for the young adult option, aimed at readers 14 and up. However, you can subscribe to OwlCrate Jr. (ages 8-12) right now! Both box options include a new hardcover novel, a letter from the author, a monthly magazine, and more fun treats.


For even younger readers, try a Bookroo subscription. There are boxes for kids ages 0-3, 3-6, or 7-10.

The youngest box option includes three sturdy board books, while the 3-6 option comes with two hardcover picture books. Readers ages 7-10 get two chapter books to advance their reading skills. These monthly gifts can get kids of all ages hooked on books!

A book subscription box is the perfect holiday gift for readers. Use this guide to deliver joy to the booklovers in your life all year!

Elyse Hauser Elyse Hauser
Elyse Hauser is a freelance and creative writer from the Pacific Northwest, and an MFA student at the University of New Orleans Creative Writing Workshop. She specializes in lifestyle writing and creative nonfiction. Read Full Bio »
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