Phinney by Post is the monthly book subscription service from Phinney Books. Every month (or every other month; see below) we'll send you, or the person you have subscribed to our service, a surprise paperback book, with a short note from us to introduce it.

And what books will they be? Each month we choose a book we love but think our subscribers might not know about, or at least haven't yet read. The books alternate between fiction and nonfiction (see the TRUE and MADE-UP plans below), but within those categories we work hard to choose a wide variety of subjects and styles, from novels, history, and memoirs to comics, adventure tales, poetry, compendiums of facts, and books on movies, art, nature, and, well, anything else someone has written an interesting book on. Usually the book isn't a newly published one, although sometimes it might be. Usually the book is short, since we know our books won't be the only things you'll be reading, but once in a while we might send something longer, with apologies and justifications. 

If you know our store or newsletter (or know us!) you might already have an idea of what we like, but in case you don't, here are the books we've chosen for our subscribers so far. And here are some guidelines. (I guess you could call them a manifesto, except that most manifestos don't include the words "I guess.")

  • We like books that feel like they had to be written.
  • We like books that feel like they had to be written (in other words, we like books).
  • We like books that make up a new genre because they don't fit into any other.
  • We like books that don't sound like every other voice you have in your head now, either because they come from the past or because they seem to come from the future.
  • We like books that speak from a variety of cultures and sensibilities, often at the same time.
  • We like books on subjects we never thought we'd have an interest in until they showed us how fascinating they could be.
  • We like beautiful books that are made to last (although we might have to settle for an ugly, poorly made edition if that's the only way a book we love is available).
  • We also like to see any of these rules broken at any time.

And we especially love lost classics, books that have kept enough of a following to remain in print (since logistics, at this point, limit us to choosing in-print books), but that most readers don't know about. The underdog romance of obscurity is probably not entirely healthy—especially for the author—but we can't deny that for a reader there's a thrill in discovering something few others have. Some of our favorite publishing imprints, like NYRB Classics, Melville House's Neversink Press, Europa Editions, Text Classics, and the Pushkin Press, bring many such books back in print or publish them in English for the first time, and we expect more than a few of our choices will come from them.

See more information about Phinney by Post on our FAQ.

There are three Phinney by Post subscription options:

  • The Full Plan, a book a month for twelve months, in which fiction and nonfiction selections will alternate: $240.*
  • The TRUE Plan: a nonfiction book every other month (the odd-numbered ones), totaling six books during the year: $130.*
  • The MADE-UP Plan: a book of fiction every other month (the even-numbered ones), totaling six books during the year: $130.*

* Local subscribers who prefer to pick up their books at our Seattle store can save $40/year on a Full Plan and $20/year on TRUE and MADE-UP plans. Just choose "In-store Pickup" while checking out.

Thanks for taking a look at Phinney by Post. See our FAQ and our list of previous Phinney by Post books for further information, and we'll be happy to respond to any questions you have, both before you subscribe and after, via email at or at 206-297-2665.


Tom Nissley, and the staff of Phinney Books