Bookish Subscription Boxes
Following the news that Hachette, in partnership with Virago books, will be launching their own Feminist Book Box subscription service, we thought we would put together some of our current favourite book subscriptions. During lockdown especially, we have found that waiting for a delivery to arrive on our doorstep is one of the most thrilling parts of our day, and what could be more thrilling than receiving a box full of books and a few book-themed gifts handpicked just for you? No matter your taste in books, there will undoubtedly be a subscription out there to suit you.
“Have some pride in your shelf!” Queer Book Box is a monthly subscription service passionate about queer representation and making sure everyone can feel represented in the literature they read. Their curated boxes of queer books come at three different price points so that it really is inclusive to everyone regardless of their financial situation. All books are sourced through Gay’s The Word, the UK’s oldest lesbian and gay bookshop.
Rainbow Crate (US)
Founders Jamie and Danielle met in 2018 and bonded over their love of LGBTQ+ books but noticed a gap in the market for subscription boxes tailored towards queer books and readers. So, they made their own! First released in June 2020 (during Pride month) Rainbow Crate is a relatively new subscription service but one that is already making waves in the world of queer-inclusive reading.
Feminism and Activism
A best-seller in the book subscription box world, Books That Matter is a themed monthly subscription that seeks to “enlighten, educate and empower” feminist readers. Each box contains a book by a female author and at least three themed gifts by independent female creatives. Past themes have included ‘Women of the World’, which highlighted women in translation and international feminism, and ‘Liberte Egalite Sororite’ which celebrated togetherness and sisterhood.
Each monthly box contains a newly released book and a selection of Illumicrate-exclusive bookish gifts such as bookmarks, stationery and art prints. You can also purchase Illumicrate Editions which are “one-off boxes created to celebrate an upcoming release by a particular author or world” that can include an exclusive copy of the book and even other unique items. Previous Illumicrate editions have been tailored towards Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse and the Nevernight Chronicles by Jay Kristoff.
Food and Drink
Books + Beer are pretty self-explanatory. In each box, you receive a newly released book as well as two bottles or cans of craft beer that have been specifically chosen to compliment your new book. For this box, you can choose to receive either a non-fiction or crime book as a monthly subscription, or a one-off purchase for yourself or a friend. As expected, this box is only available for customers over the age of eighteen.
Bookishly is a brand to supply all your bookish needs: gifts, stationery and apparel that feature some of your favourite literary quotes and themes. Bookishly now also offer the Bookishly Classic Book Crate, a bi-monthly subscription service that brings you a collection of items. Each box will include a paperback copy of a classic book with a Bookishly exclusive dust jacket as well as some stationery, a bookmark, a badge, a second related book and more! March’s box is set to focus on Orwell’s 1984.
A quarterly subscription service aimed at children. OurShelves make an effort to handpick books that feature LGBTQ+, racially and ethnically diverse, and feminist characters and families, among other under-represented identities in children’s books.
Each box will include up to four books tailored towards the child’s selected reading age that are inclusive and representative. For example, their website states that books will include a “big mix-up of family situation” with books that include blended, single parent, same-sex parents, opposite-sex parents, foster parents, and “non-wicked step-parents”. Little Box of Books also works with schools to diversify classroom reading and offer larger book boxes suitable for primary schools.