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6 subscription box gifts for book lovers

Print books still make great gifts.

While physical bookstores may be going extinct, physical books definitely aren't -- according to a 2015 Pew study, the majority of Americans (63 percent) still read at least one print book a year. Books make great gifts, and for true book-lovers, a monthly book subscription box makes an even better gift. While many book subscriptions gear more toward women, there's a subscription for everyone -- from the book-only Book of the Month club, which sends one newly-published hardcover book each month, to the bookmark-only CraftedVan Read Happy Plan, which sends bookmarks and other paper accessories.

Book of the Month

Price: $12-$15/month

Gift plans: $45/3 months; $84/6 months; $144/year

Book of the Month (Screenshot by Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/CNET)

The Book of the Month club sends one hand-picked hardcover book each month. BOTM has different options for regular subscribers and gift subscriptions; regular subscribers can save money on their first month, while gift subscriptions will cost the full amount ($12-$15/month, depending on subscription length) upfront. You may want to opt for the pricier gift subscription if you're giving this as a gift, because each month customers are asked to pick their book from a selection of five options picked by BOTM's panel of judges. BOTM also allows customers to skip a month at no extra cost if none of the options appeal to them.

Uppercase Box

Price: $20-$29/month; $240-348/year

Gift options: Prepay for 1-12 months at $20-$29/month

Uppercase Box

Uppercase Box is the perfect monthly subscription box for young adults or young adult fiction-lovers. Each box features one recently-published hardcover young adult book and one signed book or signed bookplate, plus a mix of "bookish" items like magnets, bookmarks, stickers and jewelry. Uppercase Box gives readers a special reading experience by placing post-it notes throughout each book with codes that you can use to unlock exclusive content, such as videos from the author or more information on a character. This box comes in two varieties: the full Uppercase Box costs $29/month (gift options cost the same but can be prepaid), or you can opt for a book-only Uppercase Box for $20/month.


Price: $23/month; $252/year

Gift options: $23/month; $65/3 months; $128/6 months; $252/year

Bookroo (Screenshot by Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/CNET)

Make a child's year with Bookroo, a monthly book subscription box designed for children aged zero to six. Bookroo aims to send "hidden gems" or books that you're unlikely to already own, and each book is thoroughly reviewed by a panel of 12 families (and 22 children). For children under the age of three, Bookroo offers a board book option that features three new board books each month. For children over the age of three, Bookroo's picture book option features two new picture books each month. All of the books in Bookroo boxes are individually wrapped in wrapping paper, which makes for a fun experience for kids who love to unwrap things.

LitJoy Crate

Price: $30/month; $168/6 months (plus shipping)

Gift options: $30/month; $87/3 months; $168/6 months (plus shipping)

Instagram user @watermelanies/LitJoy Crate

LitJoy Crate comes in two flavors -- picture books and young adult novels. This monthly subscription box includes one newly-released hardcover book (the picture book option usually includes two books) and two or three "creative and quirky book-themed items," such as candy, bookmarks, stickers and other accessories. Since the young adult market seems to be more geared toward girls in general, some of the book-themed items may be more female-oriented (such as jewelry and lip gloss). This box costs $30/month plus flat-rate shipping. The box also ships to Canada ($15 shipping/box) and internationally ($25 shipping/box).

Signed First Club

Price: $210/6 months; $420/year

Gift options: $210/6 months; $420/year

Signed First Club (Screenshot by Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/CNET)

If you're looking for a gift for a book collector, the Signed First Club is a monthly subscription box that sends one author-signed first-edition novel each month -- complete with a protective Brodart book cover. Signed First Club books are all recently-published hardcover fiction books, but otherwise a surprise when it comes to genre. This subscription makes a great gift for someone who appreciates signed first editions, but might not otherwise hold its value (the subscription costs $35/month, and each book may not be worth $35 minus the signature).

CraftedVan Read Happy Plan

Price: $9/month; $91/year (plus shipping)

Gift options: $9/month; $24/3 months; $50/6 months; $91/year (plus shipping)


CraftedVan's Read Happy Plan isn't a book subscription box -- it's a bookmark subscription box. If your book-loving giftee already has plenty of books but not enough ways to mark their pages, this is the gift for them. This box features a mix of adorable magnetic bookmarks and other paper accessories, such as magnets and greeting cards. The company is based in Vancouver and will ship worldwide via local post (shipping will vary depending on your location, but it's a flat package so it shouldn't be too expensive).