Riot Read Monthly Book Club Subscription Review #RRD01

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Riot Read Monthly Book Club Subscription Review #RRD01 Mailing

I’ve had quite a few requests for which Quarterly boxes to sign up for next, and Riot Read was one of the most requested. Plus I love the idea of getting a great new book to read each month – for the longest time I was only reading the occasional non-fiction book, and only last year did I get into the amazing world of fiction. (To give you an idea of how behind I am, I finished the Harry Potter books last year, and I’m currently reading the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series!)

Riot Read Monthly Book Club Subscription Review #RRD01 Items

The Subscription Box: Riot Read – Book Riot’s Monthly Book Club

The Cost: $30 a month

The Products: 1 new book (released within the past few weeks) selected by Book Riot.

Ships to: US (free shipping), Canada ($10 shipping), Worldwide ($15 shipping)

Riot Read Monthly Book Club Subscription Review #RRD0 Letter

Each Quarterly box comes with a letter from the curator detailing their selections. The Riot Read team discussed why they picked Landline as their first selection, gave a brief synopsis of the book, and also reminded readers that on August 5th there will be a live chat with author Rainbow Rowell on the Book Riot site.

Riot Read Monthly Book Club Subscription Review #RRD01 Landline

Landline by Rainbow Rowell – Retail Value $24.99 (On Amazon for $14.99)

This book was on my Amazon reading wish list, so I was very happy to see it as the monthly pick!

Verdict: I’m pretty torn about this subscription. On one hand, I love the idea of getting a new curated book selection each month  – who knows how long this book would have been on my wish list otherwise. And it’s nice when I’m having some choice paralysis of what to read next to just have a great book put in my hands. But considering I could have bought this book for $14.99 on Amazon, I don’t love the fact that I basically paid double for it.

What do you think of Riot Read?

Written by Liz Cadman

Liz Cadman

Liz is the founder of My Subscription Addiction. She’s been hooked on subscription boxes since 2011 thanks to Birchbox, and she now subscribes to over 100 boxes. Her favorites include POPSUGAR Must Have, FabFitFun, and any box that features natural beauty products!

Posted in Australian Subscription Box Reviews, Book Subscription Boxes, Canadian Subscription Box Reviews, Quarterly Co. Reviews, Riot Read Reviews, Subscription Box Reviews| 37 comments


  1. I got my Riot Read package a few days ago and cancelled today …. because I thought about it, and it’s too much to pay for what I’m actually getting. I’ll wait and see what book they release each month and then if I want that same book, I can buy it myself for less. I get two other book subscriptions as it is already (one of which is Book Riot).

  2. A book store I love in San Francisco has set up a book of the month club that selects a book every month and ships them out across the country (3, 6, and 12months subscription).

    Here is what they say:

    Here’s how it works: We pore over stacks of soon-to-be-released fiction to find the paperback original we’re most excited about. The only guiding policy is that every book we pick will be new, fiction and what we think will be appealing to all types of readers. Why take the risk? Well, we’re hoping you might discover something you never would have picked up elsewhere. You can then look forward to getting a new book with a handwritten note about why we love it in the mail once a month. As publication dates vary, so will the delivery date — that’s part of the fun.

    Figured all you book lovers might like it!

  3. I am also disappointed with this one. I was happy with the last Book Riot box and thought I would try out Riot Read. Wow, one book for $30.00, no extras or anything. I even thought that maybe it would be signed. I cancelled my subscription with them right away. I am now going to see what the new boxes contain and if they are of interest to me, then I will go out and buy the book for a fraction of the cost.

    I haven’t heard of IndieSpensible before. Which do people prefer…Book Riot or IndieSpensible?

    • If I could only choose one, I’d go with Powell’s. Benefits of Powell’s:
      – $10 cheaper
      – You can view the upcoming book before it is sent
      – More “highbrow” book choices than BR
      – The slipcovers!
      – The book is always a new release
      – Better cost to value ratio, IMO

    • Michele, I have received the last two boxes from Book Riot and the last box from IndieSpensable. To me, IndieSpensable is above and beyond Book Riot and $10 cheaper. Book Riot may show extra books on YouTube, but it doesn’t guarantee that you will get one. They have extra books from publishers that they include for free, but not enough to put in every box. The second mailing stated that you have a 25% chance of receiving one of these free publisher’s extras. Well, I struck out TWO OUT OF TWO TIMES and received nothing extra. (Bitter? Heck yes!

      • Sorry, it cut off the rest of my response. I’ll make this short. I think that the main reason to get BR is for the cute extras they include and the notes from the authors. But, over all, IndieSpensable is the best choice. I really think you’ll like it!

    • Thank you both for replying. 🙂 I definitely will be checking out IndieSpensible now!

  4. Thanks for the info about Powell’s. I hadn’t heard of that one before. I agree that $30 is high for one book, but keep in mind that Amazon does not offer the special features that BR does. Sure you can get books for a better price, but I appreciate the curated letter and the website. That doesn’t happen by itself, and it simply isn’t what Amazon is all about. I guess value us in the eyes of the beholder.

    • Since the BR site content is available to anyone, I can’t look at that as a benefit to the subscription. You are right about the curated letter, which is exclusive to the box. In the case of Landline, the cost of that letter is $15. That may be a good value to some folks, but that doesn’t work for me.

      I subscribe to eight Quarterly boxes. When I’ve priced out the value of other boxes, I never attached a cost to those letters. The value of the contents is almost always equal to or greater than the cost, and the letters are icing on the cake.

  5. I subscribed to this, too (as well as BR’s other Quarterly box), and I’ll be cancelling it. I knew what I was getting into with the cost, but I could swear that BR said that the online content would be exclusive to subscribers. They published an FAQ on their site where they also explained that we would be getting just the one book, with no extras. When people questioned the cost, BR said that it would be the equivalent of ordering a full-price book from an indie, with shipping, but they touted the added value of the (exclusive???) online content.

    I’m happy with the choice of book, because I’ve been dying to read Landline. In fact, I picked it up from the library yesterday, just hours before my book came in the mail.

    I thought I would give this subscription one shot to see how wowed I was by their online content, which, when I believed it was exclusive, would have been about $15 of the total sub cost. Now that we know that it is not exclusive, there is absolutely no way to justify the cost when we could have bought Landline from Amazon or B&N for $15 and accessed the online content for free.

    As others have mentioned, check out Powell’s Indiespensable. I’ve received 2 boxes so far. The featured books are signed and encased in a beautiful slipcover, and there are extras, like ARCs and other goodies. This sub is well worth the value. At $40, comparing to the $30 for Riot Read, Book Riot should be embarrassed.

  6. I love the idea of getting a new book each month, but the price seems absolutely ridiculous to me and I would never be able to justify paying that much for a single book. I would rather just wait to see what books they send out each month through other people’s reviews and then buy the books on Amazon.

  7. Rainbow Rowell is one of my favorite authors! I am glad she is getting more exposure 🙂

  8. I love the quarterly box and plan on keeping that one, but I immediately cancelled after I looked the book up on Amazon. Complete rip-off. I’m better off waiting until they announce the book and buying it on my own. Then I can pretend like I’m subscribing :p

  9. This is a nice idea but, unfortunately, it’s not going to ever be cheaper than it already is. I work for a book store and with them not charging shipping to make any money it would need to be sold at a higher price point.

  10. Thanks for reviewing this subscription. I was on the fence, and now I am glad I didn’t subscribe. They released the link to the all the digital “extras” on their blog, which are rather cool, but if anyone can see those, then why get the subscription when the book can be purchased elsewhere for way cheaper.

    • I love book riot and their website, and I really love books. ( I found them through your review of their quarterly box which i signed up for. I found your website this winter and I have found so many great things from it!) I am kind of sad about this because I was looking forward to it and then the fact that the online content wasn’t something only for subscribers, I think I will just buy the book somewhere else for cheaper and then look at the website. They also talked about the book before everyone got it!

  11. I’ve been wanting to find a book subscription box and I thought this would be it but I don’t see the purpose in paying double for a book that I can buy for cheaper at a store/Amazon. If they sent another book, like a paperback or extras like a snack/sticker/journal/etc., then I would be much more inclined to be it. Are there any other book subscription boxes out there aside from the Book Riot Quartely box and the Powell box, that you know of/heard of?

      • I’ve subscribed to JTRB for a year and a half. I love it. Their customer service is top-notch, and you get to fill out a survey describing your interests so they can try to pick the perfect book for you. It’s personalized, so you don’t get the same book as everyone else each month, which for me is a plus but for others could be a minus. One time they sent me a book I already had and I was able to exchange it no problem.
        The value of the book will not always exceed the monthly price you pay, but I absolutely love the surprise and have yet to be disappointed. And yes, it is cheaper than Riot Read!
        (I also bought my dad a gift subscription – he loves it too and eagerly waits to see what they picked out for him each month!)

  12. I got an email from Amazon the week this book came out with an offer for $8.99 off the cover price, so I ordered it. The total I paid was $6.48 for the hardcover.

  13. You need to subscribe to Book Riot- 50.00 Quarterly. YouTube will show you what is included. I received Box #3. I am way beyond happy. I would highly recommend Book Riot: 3 books, a pin, pouch, and a wreck it journal, plus a poster. Give this a shot.

  14. I like the idea of this subscription as well, but it’s just too expensive. I’m all for going to the library and getting books for free.

  15. I just don’t see this subscription box lasting long. As a Canadian, it would have cost me $40 for this. I just checked my bookstore – and it would cost me $15.94 to buy a copy, or $12.99 for the ebook (excluding taxes).

  16. Glad that it is a book that you want to read. I don’t understand the subscription because the pricepoint isn’t there. Is the live chat part of the value of the box?

    • From what I can tell the live chat should be open to everyone – subscriber or not. It’s the first month of the subscription though so I’m not 100% sure.

      • That’s disappointing. It will be interesting to see how they handle the backlash from this. I can’t imagine the average consumer being happy with this value. I would had been disappointed in the box. I think based off of B&N and Amazon prices that 2 hardcover books would be worth the cost of the subscription. Or even a hardcover and one paperback. Thank you for sharing the review.

  17. You’d probably be better off waiting to find out what the book is, then ordering it from Amazon in your choice of formats (Kindle, hardcover, or wait for paperback). But then, I don’t read a lot of popular stuff and my TBR pile is huge, plus I get free books from publishers to review a couple of times a month, so this sub probably isn’t my thing anyway.

  18. I think that Powell’s Indiespensable is a better deal. Although you probably won’t get something already on your to-read list, you get a signed first edition of a book that very often becomes a huge hit, like With or Without You or The Night Circus. You also get a treat like a mug or another book. The price is $39.95 and comes every 6 weeks.

    • Awesome tip, Kathy! Thanks!

    • Completely agree. Powell is the premiere book subscription in my opinion. It comes with a first edition that is signed by the author and some bonus prizes (sometimes food, sometimes another book, and sometimes a quirky item). The first edition of the book alone is very limited and you don’t see those very often at all. Powell’s makes their boxes worth the price to me.

    • ooh! Thanks for sharing the info. I was in Powell’s two weeks ago, it took all my power not to load my suitcase with 70 percent off books.

    • I’m thankful I cancelled at the last minute to this one because I also think Powell’s Indespensible is a far better value. $39.95 free shipping, signed first edition with special packaging and with extra goodies that may include another book. It’s luxe and for $9.95 more than this subscription. This one isn’t worth it at all. For all the talk about supporting indie bookstores (which I do) I could have gone to one and purchased the book for less there or used my amazon price and got the book for nearly half the price.

      Slightly off topic, but did anyone see that Quarterly just released 3 new subscriptions and one of them is a Patty Stanger Box from Millionaire Matchmaker for a whopping $100.

      • Correction, Quarterly has 4 new boxes.

    • I was looking at signing up fit IndieSpensible last night. The books and value looks really great, but I was hoping that this sub would be comparable but for almost $10 less. This quarterly one is just disappointing.

  19. That’s really disappointing about the value–or complete lack thereof. For the sub to cost more than the actual book does is a bit silly, particularly considering it’s more expensive than the *retail* price, and they probably get a bajillion copies for dirt cheap wholesale prices. I would love a book subscription, but this will not be it. Now I can understand why some other book subs send autographed copies or things like that to help add value when you could otherwise get the book for dirt cheap elsewhere.

  20. This would be a great subscription if they also send other gifts along with the book, like they should send a hardcover book along with a pack of pens, or little notebooks something to justify the cost of the $30. Cause I would really like to try it.

  21. This sub is on my “I want it” list. I do understand convenience is a part of the price, but double is a bit much. What a disappointment. Also, I didn’t think about the books being hardcover. I prefer paperback which I know books aren’t released that way.

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