5 Amazing Indie Bookstore Book Subscriptions
Subscription boxes are all the rage these days and books are absolutely no exception to that. We are doing a Book Box Battle, but as Covid-19 raged more independent bookstores got into the subscription game. While I love a good book box with goodies, I really love how curated the indie picks are, and the best bonus is that you are supporting a bookstore that is trying to survive this very unusual moment in time.
P.S. A lot of these come from store highlighted on my author-owned bookstore post which you can check out here!
Books Are Magic Subscriptions - Books Are Magic in Brooklyn, New York
Out of all of the indie stores that provide subscriptions, there is no doubt that Books Are Magic offers the most selection of different genres for you to pick from - Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry, Young Adult, Middle Grade, and Picture Books. Each of these ships 1 book per month. You can do a 3 months ($100 dollars), 6 months ($200 dollars), and 12 months ($395 dollars) for fiction and non-fiction selections. Poetry and kids books cost a bit less with options for 3 months ($70 dollars), 6 months ($140 dollars), and 12 months ($280). Additionally, they have a cookbook subscription that is one book a quarter ($175 dollars) that you can't find anywhere else! Recent selections have included Torrey Price's De-Transition Baby (Review Here) and Michelle Zauner's Crying in H-Mart (Review Here). I really love their focus on edgy contemporary picks!
12 month subscription average cost per book: $32.92 USD
With Love, From Old Town - Old Town Books in Alexandria, Virginia
With Love, From Old Town curates a mix of debut and long-time favorite authors in their book subscription. Each month you receive a signed, first-edition book and you have an option for either a 6 month or 12 month subscription. The 6 month subscription costs $195 and the 12 month subscription costs $390. I signed up for a 12 month subscription in April and have really enjoyed the selections. Recent books include Luster by Raven Leilani and The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. The signed editions really add to the joy of receiving this subscription!
12 month subscription average cost per book: $32.50
Packaging from Parnassus Next
Parnassus First Editions, Parnassus Next, and Parnassus Spark - Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee
Parnassus offers several different options for their book subscriptions and is second in its options for books for a variety of ages. First Editions Club is for adults, the books are mostly fiction but occasionally you will receive a non-fiction selection. Parnassus Next is a Young Adult box that focuses on new and unique voices in the YA world. Finally, Parnassus Spark is for Middle Grade books. Both the adult and YA clubs come with signed first-edition books, while some of the Middle Grade are unsigned. Each month, you receive the book and a postcard from the staff at Parnassus explaining the selection for the month. You can select from a 3 month, 6 month, or 12 month subscription for each. The First Edition Club is $100 dollars for 3 months, $200 dollars for 6 months, and $400 dollars for 12 months. While Next and Spark cost $75 dollars for 3 months, $150 dollars for 6 months, and $300 dollars for 12 months. Recent selections include Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead (Review Here), The Cost of Knowing by Brittany Morris, and How to Save a Queendom by Jessica Lawson.
12 month average subscription cost for First Editions: $33.33
Interior of Parnassus Next
The Fantastic Strangelings Book Club - Nowhere Bookshop in San Antonio, Texas
Now this one is a little bit different, but in a very good way! The Fantastic Strangelings is more of a book club that discusses each book monthly through their Facebook group. The wonderful park of this is that even if you can't afford the club itself, you can still participate in the community and read the book through your local library or however you choose to consume your books. Unlike the others above, there is no set time period for the subscription. The club costs $10 dollars to enroll initially and you will receive an enamel pin with your first book. From there, it's $25 dollars per month per book plus shipping ($5-$10 dollars in the US). Occasionally, you will receive other random gifts with your books. Jenny Lawson, the owner of Nowhere, is known for her biting humor and unique take on the world so it is no surprise that this is reflected in the selections each month. This is the subscription to get if you are looking for less traditional picks that span both fiction and non-fiction books! Recent selections include Follow Me to Ground by Sue Rainsford and The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix (you can check out Chrissy's review here).
12 month cost w/o shipping: $300
Literati Insisto - Literati Bookstore in Ann Arbor, Michigan
Insisto is unique because it only picks books from independent publishers and is a guaranteed way to find, "books full of beautiful and shocking sentences; books that push beyond the boundaries of popularity and sneak into our hearts and minds in surprising and unexpected ways." Each month you will receive a independently published book that could be from any genre or style, a bookmark, and a handcrafted letter introducing the book. Cost varies per month but is typically $16-$19 dollars per month plus $3 dollar shipping or you can opt to do a 3 month ($70 dollars), 6 month ($140 dollars), or 12 month ($280 dollars) subscription. You are guaranteed to get some off the beaten track selections with this pick! So off the beaten track that I couldn't find any recent examples.
12 month average subscription cost: $23.33
EyeSeeMe Book Box Subscription - EyeSeeMe Books in University City, Missouri
I have to throw this one in as a bonus purely because, as a parent, I think that this is the best kids subscription offer that there is. I've always wanted to be a mom that ensures that her kid is aware that the world is different for different people. After the last year, this is even more true as we have all learned that active allyship is necessary to make change in the world. EyeSeeMee is an African American owned bookstore that specializes in curating diverse book boxes for kids. Foremost, as their name suggests, representation in literature matters. It is essential that little kids grow up seeing their race, ethnicity, gender, and religious beliefs represented. Secondly, it's important that kids that lack those different identities see these kids represented equally in their literature. These boxes do just that! Each month your child will receive 2 age appropriate books that celebrate African American identity and authors. There are several options for the age ranges and each is a set price per month: Baby (ages 0-2) is $15.99 per month, Preschool (ages 3-5) is $21.99 per month, Elementary (ages 6-9), Middle (ages 10-13), and Young Adult (ages 14-18) are $24.99 per month. We get the pre-school box and have loved every single book that we have received. My littles favorite is The Princess and the Pea by Rachel Isadora. She loves the bright colors and the cool illustrations.
Now, more than ever, it's so important to support local bookstores as we can and subscriptions are such a fantastic way to do that while growing a really amazing book collection!
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