A few years ago, I posted a guide to the UK book boxes around with my opinions. Times have changed, a few of those boxes have gone down, and there are a few more options, including subscriptions. I’ve not received all of them, so I can’t rank them. But I thought an updated post could be helpful for fellow bookworms in the UK!
That said, I’ve never received some of these boxes or subscriptions, so if I’ve missed one or gotten some information wrong, then let me know so I can update this post!
One of the longest-running UK book boxes, Fairyloot have come a long way over the last few years. Primarily a YA Fantasy and Sci-Fi book box, they now also offer a YA book-only option and now have an Adult book-only box as well. Sometime soon, they’ve also introduced the opportunity to get both the adult and YA books in a single package. If you enjoy getting special editions of books, FairyLoot offers some stunning copies. On top of that, they’re regularly selling special editions of other books separately.
I love FairyLoot and have done since I first discovered them. The prices for their boxes aren’t too bad if you’re in the UK, so it’s one that I’ll continue to get.
However, you can no longer pick up FairyLoot randomly when you want to buy a box. You’ll have to sign up for a waitlist, but there are separate waitlists for all their box offerings.
YA box – £27.50
YA or Adult book only – £20
Book-only combo – £38
The other big UK book box, Illumicrate, focuses on YA and Adult fantasy and sci-fi. You can get both a full box and a book-only option. As well as this, they have a bi-monthly adult romance book box, Afterlight. This box only features two or three items, but they’re focused on self-care. In contrast, the usual Illumicrate has your typical book box offerings.
Where llumicrate stands out is that one of the owners, Daphne, now has her own publishing company. So Illumicrate has featured one of their books in the box and sold a special edition of another popular book under their imprint. It’s safe to say that Illumicrate won’t sell every Daphne Press book in the future, but it gives you something to look forward to.
My one issue with Illumicrate is their wishlist is that you can only sign up to the waitlist for the individual book boxes. If you want to sign up for the book-only box, you usually have to get on the waitlist for the full box and then contact them to ask if you can switch to join the book-only waitlist. But the books Illumicrate does are stunning, so it can be worth it.
Full box – £27
Book-only – £17
Afterlight – £20
Paper Orange is a reasonably new YA book box focusing on UK YA. It’s a great box to see, as there’s so much UK YA out there, but it’s only sometimes promoted or screamed about as much as US YA is. If you’re looking for a box where you’ll get books you’re less likely to get doubles of, this could be one you might be interested in. This isn’t a box I’ve gotten, so I can’t tell you much about what to expect, but it’s one I’d like to get in the future.
This is an excellent option if you’re after a smaller box. It primarily features paper items, so it will likely be stuff you’ll use, but if you won’t? It’s all smaller stock that you should at least have room for until you need it.
You can subscribe to Paper Orange or pick up the boxes you’re interested in as a one-off purchase. The website also offers some signed copies of books they’ve not included solely to help promote more UK YA.
Full box – £18
The Butterfly Book Club
If you like the readalong experience some book boxes have but want only a few items, then The Butterfly Book Club might be for you. It is a little pricy, but this box focuses on creating special editions of indie books. They come with a single item, including things like a TBR basket or a journal, as well as bookmarks and inserts for the books.
I’ve gotten this box once, and I selected when buying that I wasn’t interested in the readalong. But if I changed my mind, I still received the information for the readalong, so that was great.
I think this box includes YA and adult books, but I can’t be confident there. I’ve only gotten one package myself, but I do love the idea of this one. It’s nice seeing indie books supported, and the owner really does her best to produce some beautiful special editions.
Readalong package – £30.99
The Locked Library
There isn’t much I can say about this box at the moment. It’s still brand new, and I only received the first book a few days before writing this. But this is a box created by HarperVoyager for their readers. You’ll get a special edition of one of their books that month. It’ll be sci-fi or fantasy and could be YA or Adult.
HarperVoyager is the first publisher to do something like this, so it’ll be interesting to see if other publishers follow in their footsteps.
The first book I’ve received is stunning, and I’m excited to see what the next few books will be.
However, this is a box you can only subscribe to. You can subscribe for one month at a time or for three months. But you can’t make one-off purchases, which is a shame. Still, this seems like a great option if you’re going book-only.
Book-only – £22
Goldsboro Sci-Fi and Fantasy Fellowship
Goldsboro’s fellowship has a very limited list, so if you love a truly limited edition book, this is the one. They only allow a few thousand people on their list at a time. So though they have a waitlist, it could take time for you to get off it. But it can be worth it if you love sci-fi and fantasy. You’ll receive a true variety of books.
I don’t have much to say on this one as I’ve never received it, and I’m not interested in doing so. But I know they reveal the books in this one before they’re announced, and you can skip four times. So it’s one where you can easily skip the books you aren’t interested in. You just might have to be a little open to trying some of the books you’re less sure about once you’ve used those skips.
Book-Only – £29.99
The Broken Binding Subscription
If you’re a sci-fi and fantasy fan more interested in collecting series, The Broken Binding has a subscription for you. Their focus is releasing special editions of older and completed series. This is so different to the other boxes on this list as not only do they not focus on new releases, but you can always ensure you’ll have a matching series without having to worry about being able to buy the next volume separately.
Like many of the boxes on this list, they have a waiting list. I don’t know how fast it moves, but with them going through individual series, I imagine it’s pretty slow. But when you sign up for this subscription, it’s only for a year. You can skip one series within that year, but that’s all.
If you’re a collector, this could be a great box to get.
Book-only – £30
Words and Kisses
We don’t have many romance subscriptions in the UK, but luckily Words and Kisses, an online romance shop, has our back. They offer a monthly book-only subscription where you can get one or two new releases from sub-genres and a small book box.
I get the monthly subscription and have gotten it a few times on and off since discovering it. You can choose from YA, contemporary or historical romances. The books come wrapped in cute paper. Though they are standard unsigned paperbacks, there’s always some variety in the types of romance they offer. This is a monthly subscription, so even if you only want it once, you’ll have to email to cancel, but this is quickly done. As well as that, if you already have one of the books, you can contact the shop to switch it. I had to do this with my January package, but it’s the only time it’s ever happened. Fortunately, the owner was very kind about it and shipped me my new books quickly.
If you want a sweet treat alongside your book, you can get the Words and Kisses book box. This doesn’t allow you to choose a sub-genre, but you can buy it as a one-off purchase which is nice. The items you’ll get will be things like drinks, sweet treats, bookmarks and facemasks. So this one could make a great gift if you know a romance reader who wants a surprise. It’s not a bad price, so it’s worth checking out.
1 Book Subscription – £12.99
2 Book Subscription – £21.99
Full Box – £25.99
A Box of Stories
If you like receiving books and want to be thrifty getting lesser-known books, then A Box of Stories will be for you. With this box, you’ll get four monthly books that weren’t sold elsewhere. It means you’re less likely to have heard of these titles and will be saving them from the landfill. I like the idea of this box, especially as you can provide your GoodReads to avoid getting any books you already own.
Unlike many of these other boxes, there are also more options genre-wise. So if you aren’t a romance or fantasy reader, this box will still suit you.
I don’t know much about this box as I’ve never received it, but I believe it’s a great one to support.
Full box – £29.99
One thought on “A UK Book Box and Book Subscription Guide”
I’ve never bought a book box and also don’t live in the uk BUT THIS WAS SO MUCH FUN TO KNOW ABOUT REGARDLESS?? I loved reading it!!!!!!
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