Get Nerdy at Home With These Fun, Rewarding Hobbies

In this era of coronavirus and social distancing, we're all looking for ways to make the most of our free time at home. As nights of playing board games together are on hiatus, it's time to explore other nerdy hobbies. If you don't want to google a how-to for your next geek activity, then sign up for a subscription box and have it show up at your doorstep. You can try out new hobbies, stimulate your mind and connect with other hobbyists across the United States. Embrace your inner nerd while you stay safe at home!

Sometimes geeky hobbies inspire entrepreneurship, too -- at least, that was the case with new boxes XP Forge and Book Lovers. We saw these new nerdy boxes in the Cratejoy Marketplace and just had to catch up with the founders.

Follow along as we get to know Tim of XP Forge and John of Book Lovers! These guys put their geek to work to inspire you to have fun at home.

XP Forge and XP Forge: DnD


Now more than ever, we all need fun things to do at home, especially if we've finished our favorite Netflix shows and played too many card games. Enter XP Forge and XP Forge DnD!

The founder of these two boxes, Tim, says he's passionate about two things: "gaming and 3D printing." We're thrilled that Tim combined his passions and launched his monthly subscriptions for lovers of tabletop role-playing games. XP Forge and XP Forge DnD both offer high-quality 3D printed accessories for RPGs. "There is no other subscription that delivers these models," shares Tim. "We QA test each model and are always exploring new models."

With a subscription to XP Forge, your monthly box includes a dozen of scale-model naval miniatures (either 1/1800 or 1/1200 to scale) for tabletop board games like Axis or Victory at Sea. "We select a dozen models from our current selection of 150 models," says Tim, "and ensure that you receive a different fleet each month." He provides further details on the model assortment: "Some months there may be repeats of escort ships, like destroyers or cruisers, as they are more numerous in battle groups. But the capital ships will be unique." Plus you also save a ton with a subscription; when purchased from sites like Amazon, each model retails for around $40.

And if you're a Dungeons and Dragons gamer, you'll love XP Forge DnD. Each monthly box includes 3D-printed terrain sets or miniatures for helping Dungeon Masters build their collections. You get to choose from the following subscriptions: Dungeon Sticks, DragonLock Tiles, 28mm Miniatures or 28mm Scatter Terrain. The items come unpainted, so you can get creatively nerdy and DIY the perfect models. And if you like to play different games, these will work too -- "they're perfect for almost any tabletop RPG system," says Tim.

So who does Tim think would most geek out over these nerdy subscriptions? "Gamers who play tabletop games such as Axis & Allies, Dungeons and Dragons, and other board games/roleplaying games." But anybody with nerdy hobbies looking for new ways to have fun would enjoy these subscription boxes. Plus, with outlets like Reddit and social media, you can connect with other geeks and compare collections or game strategy. "I want to help gamers increase their collections," Tim says. "My goal is to improve the gaming experience."

Book Lovers


While social distancing can make it difficult to nerd out playing video games with your buddies, it's perfect for spending hours getting lost in a book. If you're a fan of the Game of Thrones series, comic books, or stories with superheroes, you'll definitely want to check out Book Lovers! This subscription box delivers 3 or more brand-new sci-fi and fantasy books to your doorstep each month.

As a longtime lover of sci-fi and fantasy books, the founder of Book Lovers, John, started Wildside Press as a hobby in 1987. Since then, Wildside has grown to be an award-winning publisher with more than 15,000 books in print. "We know how to design books that are comfortable and easy to read," says John. "We want to reach readers who enjoy great sci-fi and fantasy books written in an accessible and more traditional style."

Like any industry, publishing comes with ups and downs, and Wildside has experienced them all -- launching one of the most successful sci-fi Kickstarters in history (for the book Frozen Hell), packaging books for many major companies, and more. John says that due to the downtimes, Wildside found themselves with a bit of extra inventory: "Our office and 2 warehouses are overflowing with books, books, and more books! I thought Book Lovers would be a nice way to share some of our favorites with readers who might not otherwise encounter them."

John says that Book Lovers is for everyone, no matter your nerdy hobbies. "We don't have an agenda; we aren't trying to convert anyone to anything crazy," he says. "We want to entertain anyone who likes a good story told well." John hopes that Book Lovers helps great books and authors find new fans.