Updated February 27, 2021
Okay, so I love books and bookish goods and I especially love getting subscription boxes. Just think of it! Once a month, you’re shipped an entire box of bookish goodies. It’s like Christmas except it comes once every month instead of once a year. It sounds perfect, right? There are so many subscription boxes that you should be able to find one that’s tailor-made for you and your interests. There’s just one little problem… They tend to only be great value if you’re an American.
There are a lot of reasons that being a Canadian is pretty great, but the cost of shipping isn’t one of them. Anyone who’s tried to send something to Canada or outside of Canada probably knows what I’m talking about. Subscription Boxes then, particularly ones that are from the United States, have major hurdles before we even get our first box.
These problems are (in no particular order):
You ever get that sinking feeling after being really excited for a subscription box? Mine comes when I check the shipping. Sometimes the shipping can be more expensive than the box itself which is the worst feeling. I know that shipping is expensive, but I feel like some fees are ridiculous. If there’s a $30 USD box and the shipping for it is $35 USD… I’m not going to buy your box. I know the postal system is complicated, but if I can send shoes to Japan for $12 CAD, I should be able to get a book for around the same shipping fees, right?
Depending on where you are in Canada, you’re going to get hit with Tax/Import fees. This can change depending on where the package is shipping from and what they’ve declared. But there are times when I’ve ordered goods and had to pay over $30 in import fees before I could get my package.
Our dollar is weaker than America’s dollar. Barring a stock market crash, usually $1 CAD is worth around $0.74 USD. It sucks, but keep in mind that all those shiny USD prices aren’t real. Not for us scrubs. $5 books for $10? Not a chance. Especially once they’ve added the shipping in.
Despite all this. I still love the heck out of some subscription boxes.
So which subscription boxes are worth your money?
Indigo Book Box
Hands down, this is the best value for your money simply because you don’t need to pay for shipping.
They’re poorly advertised, so I wouldn’t be surprised if people didn’t even know that Indigo has book boxes. It’s Canada’s largest book store, so they needed to get in on the game.
These subscription boxes aren’t really a subscription which is a pro and a con. You can see exactly what is in each box and you know that it’s already in Canadian dollars. You can ship to the store which means your shipping is free, and if you’re unhappy with the box? It’s so simple to return it.
If you’re looking for the surprise, it’s not here. You know what you’re getting, but if you want a book box with a few extra goodies? Indigo is hands down the best value for a box in Canada.
You can use the money that you’re saving on shipping to buy another book!
The best box, hands down. The only bad thing about it is that they only do YA fiction, so if you’re looking for something else, you’re not going to find it here. But the boxes are carefully thought out, always a joy to open, and the quality of items never feels cheap (like it did with other boxes *cough* Page Habit *cough*). It’s cheaper than other boxes and the shipping to Canada is reasonable compared to the alternatives. Beyond that, they always ship with tracked packages so you can find out where yours is.
Their boxes are beautiful, you can tell that they care about what they’re selling and that they love the community they’ve built up around them. Each box is built around a theme that’s chosen with a book, four or more bookish goods (sometimes including things as big as wall hangings or pillowcases), and come with a little magazine hand made for this box.
Despite the shipping rising over the past year or so,I’ve had a subscription on and off with Owl Crate for years now. Which, really is the best compliment that I can give.
Do you love poetry? Do you want something artistic and elegant?
Most of the subscription boxes I’ve seen around are for YA books. Don’t get me wrong, I love some good YA, but it just can’t compare to how beautiful Obvious State’s Blind Dates are.
I’ve spoken about them before, but Obvious State sells beautiful bookish goods and have these amazing stylized art in their shop. I honestly was so quick to buy from them.
A Blind Date is what it sounds like, they send you a package every month or so with bookish goods including lip balm, candles, candy, note books and the like.You’ll also get a newly designed poetry book that has a visual interpretation of a classic poem each month for around $15 USD.
The shipping is more reasonable than almost any other box I’ve seen from the United States. The entire box ends up being $25 in total or so, but I’ve gotten pretty candles and a book and a lot of things, so I never feel like I’m not getting my money’s worth. For the last box, I even got a full size art print that would normally sell for over $20 USD on their site.
Are there any book boxes I’ve missed or that you think I should look into? Please leave me a comment and let me know.
Do you have any suggestions or are there things you think I’ve missed? Leave a comment below. Or if you want more posts like this? Sign up today and never miss a post!