simply the best subscription box

The 3 Best Book Box Subscriptions in Canada

Updated July 16th, 2020.

Living that book life isn’t always easy, especially when it comes to getting a book box. I am a book subscription box addict. As much as I love books, the idea of getting a surprise book plus some extra bookish goods just has me living. It’s like a Kinder Surprise except I’m not allergic to them.

Unfortunately for me, it can be hard to get certain boxes if you’re Canadian. Book of the Month for example, is only open to U.S. Residents only. Other book services end up charging you nearly the same amount for shipping as you paid for the box. This is a hard pill to swallow since the prices tend to be in USD.

Even Canadian book boxes can be pricey. I’m dying to try Sweetreads, for example, but at $80 CAD per box (before shipping)? It’s hard to justify.

I’ve written about my favourite book boxes regardless of budget before, but this is for people who are looking for value.

So below are some boxes that won’t break your bank and that will allow you to get both pretty bookish thing

3. Owl crate

Owl Crate Wicked King Book Box

So there’s no way to sugar coat this. I love Owl Crate, but it’s only worth the money if the Canadian dollar is strong. The crate is chock full of goodies, but will end up costing about $50 CAD per box when the dollar is strong. When it’s weak? It will cost up to $65 – $70 per box.

The exchange rate is the only reason I stopped subscribing to Owl Crate. We’re currently in the midst of Covid-19, and the dollar has gone to crap. It’s more than I’m willing to pay right now.

That said, I wouldn’t have put it on this list if it wasn’t exceptional. Every box comes with an enamel pin, a hardcover book, and a ton of bookish goods. I’ve gotten amazing things out of this crate including some of my favourite jewelry, a bookish beach towel, scarves, amazing cups and mugs… The list goes on.

I love their crates and they’ve been the highlight of my month, hands down. The merchandise isn’t always up my alley, but it’s always lovely and of great quality.

Even if you don’t subscribe to Owl Crate regularly, it’s still worth it to join their newsletter as sometimes they’ll have limited edition crates for big upcoming releases (like the one pictured above). They sell out quick, so keep an eye out for them.

Get your Owl Crate today!

2. Blind Date with Obvious State

Blind Date with Obvious State Book Box

Obvious State is a purveyor of absolutely gorgeous bookish goods and they have these amazing stylized quotes, mugs, and tote bags in their shop so when the chance came to order a Blind Date with them, I couldn’t click buy fast enough. Blind Date is what it sounds like, they send you a package every month or so with beautifully stylized bookish goods including lip balm, candles, candy, note books and the like. On top of that you get a small poetry book that has a visual interpretation of a classic poem each month for $15 USD.

As it says on their website, it’s “dinner and drinks on a coffee and cake budget. Not bad.”

This is the first and only poetry box I’ve seen around and I love it. I don’t read enough poetry and this box is helping me get back in there. The shipping isn’t too bad. It ends up being $25 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.

It’s beautiful and the books are designed beautifully.

Go on a Blind Date with Obvious State here!

1. Indigo Book Boxes

These have been so poorly advertised that chances are you didn’t even know that Indigo had subscription book boxes. Most Canadians will recognize Indigo. It’s Canada’s largest book store chain and for some reason, they’ve never shouted about their book boxes. I stumbled onto their book boxes by accident while searching for a different book once.

The pros of an Indigo book box:

  • You’re getting a book box for a price that’s only a little bit more than you’d pay for a hardcover book. All prices are in Canadian dollars so you know exactly what it’s going to cost you.
  • Shipping is guaranteed to be free if you ship it to a store to pick it up rather than to your home, but will often be free regardless.
  • They tell you exactly what’s in the book box so you can judge for yourself if it’s worth your money or not. You know which book you’re getting, which gifts, everything.
  • It’s not a monthly subscription, so you can stop whenever you want.
  • Old boxes are on sale on their website at discounted prices!
  • If you’re unhappy with the box, Indigo has a generous return policy.

The cons of an Indigo book box:

  • There’s no surprise. Like I said, they tell you what’s in the box so unless you’re carefully not looking while you check out? You know everything.
  • They’re still finding their feet in terms of bookish goodies, so it can be hit or miss whether it’s to your taste. They tend to lean heavily on tea and stationary.
  • New boxes aren’t advertised well. You’ll have to check and see when there’s a new box.

I’ve bought this box multiple times and always loved it. If you’re unsure, check out their listings. There are often older boxes that are on sale for discounts, so you can try it at a lower price.

Get an Indigo Book Box here.

This all goes to say that if you’re in America, you have a LOT more choices for subscription book boxes. You can click here to find book subscription boxes for kids to adults and in all genres.

Did I miss your favourite subscription box? Is there one that I should try next?  Today’s Featured Image is by @infinitelynovel on Instagram please check them out!

Let me know in the comments below~.


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The 3 Best Book Box Subscriptions In Canada

14 thoughts on “The 3 Best Book Box Subscriptions in Canada

  1. Lindsay says:

    These boxes look really great! I’m in the US and I’ve gotten OwlCrate before, but I’m glad there are some awesome boxes up in Canada for you wonderfuls as well!

    • trulybooked says:

      It can be really hard since we’re so limited and shipping is more expensive here. 🙁 I’m always looking for cute boxes, but when you buy a box and then the shipping is more than half the cost of the box, it’s off-putting.

  2. Kristina says:

    Ah ! seeing this title made me SO. Happy. !! as I am Canadian aswell.

    I took a look at Owlcrate the other day, and with the shipping to my province and the $US from $Can conversion..it goes over 54$ for me! Which.. let’s be honest i’m so not up to that..The box being only 30.bucks. to begin with- my shipping price is almost half of that price (10something)🙃 While seeing it’s your No.1 and highly up to it for you, I’m not a huge fantasy fan and most of the hyped book don’t interrest me, so in that forecast; paying that much for something I don’t know if i’d enjoy isn’t really worth it for me.. I do love to read the Owlcrate Unboxings though !

    • trulybooked says:

      🙁 That really sucks. It’s my number one just because you get so much stuff from it and I’m so excited for it each month. Whereas I’ve gotten some really bad boxes from other services where I felt like it was a waste of money. Haha, I’m glad the title made you happy! We’ve got to give Canada some love.

      I was thinking of doing a Canada/international giveaway for an owl crate box at some point, if I do, I’ll give you a poke because it can help with the shipping.

      Also if you’re interested in book boxes, Indigo has started doing them and if you ship to store, shipping is free.

  3. Jennifer says:

    I have been toying with the idea of book boxes for awhile. It is hard when you live outside the United STaes. Canada does seem to have a lot of nice offers! We aren’t quite so lucky here in Swiitzerland. I might have to wait until we move back to the US.

    • trulybooked says:

      All of these boxes are based in the US, it just means that there are boxes that I can try where the shipping isn’t too too bad. It sucks that it’s so hard to get them in Switzerland. 🙁 Is it the shipping that kills it?

  4. Michelle says:

    As someone from the Netherlands, I understand your struggle that lots of bookboxes are so expensive, the shipping alone will cost you a kidney. I have subscribed to Owlcrate recently, since shipping for that box is still okay, the box seems to be a bit cheaper than other ones. But I’ve really loved every box I’ve gotten! It’s such high quality and with the new pins they’re including in the boxes, I will definitely stay a subscriber for as long as I can afford it!

    • trulybooked says:

      Oh man, I can’t imagine how much it would cost to shit overseas. What does Owl Crate work out to with shipping if you don’t mind me asking?

      I love Owl Crate even though I was hesitant about it being all YA all the time.

  5. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious says:

    I love OwlCrate but rarely splurge on it because while I am fine spending $30, the extra $8 for shipping is just a mental issue for me haha. But the quality & items are so good, so I do buy when I know the book and want to own it.

    Blind Date sounds like a really neat box!

    • trulybooked says:

      If they don’t sell out, I like going for their past boxes since they’re discounted and the shipping doesn’t matter as much or their limited time boxes like the ones they did for Wicked King.

      Blind Date is a lot of fun! I’m always on the look out for non-YA subscription boxes that still have that whimsy to them and I’m always excited for it. Do you have a subscription box go to?

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