Monday, 2 July 2012
We're gearing up for our very own Domestic Sluttery book club but if you want even more books, more specifically special surprise books that arrive in brown paper packages tied up with string, I'm slightly giddy with excitement to be able to tell you about Mr B's Reading Year.
Mr B's Emporium of Reading Delights is a wonderful bookshop in Bath. I'm not lucky enough to have been but they are kind enough to extend their joy and knowledge through the Reading Year. Sign up and you get eleven books sent to you over the year. It's eleven not twelve titles because they figure you've got all your Christmas books to catch up on in January. Good point. The book you get sent each month is selected especially for you by one selected by one of their staff, rather than simply being their book of the month. You see the Reading Year starts off with either a twenty phone call or a detailed questionnaire to find out all about you and your taste. They ask you about your reading preferences naturally but also things like your favourite song (oh how the Just Seventeen quiz fanatic in me longs to fill out this questionnaire) and all their recommendations go from there.
I found out about this service when chatting to colleague at work. Her post arrived and it beautifully wrapped package complete with string and seal. That turned out to be her Mr B's book for the month. She opened it up and it contained a short and sweet note from the shop which explained exactly why they thought they'd love that book. And she says their hit rate has been excellent: always books she's never heard of before and some new all-time-favourites - she's been raving about Irma Voth since she received it. If they think it's something you might have read already, they drop you a subtle email to check. If you do receive something on your bookshelf, you're allowed to send it back and get a new one. Of course if you really don't like one, they'll be sure not to send you anything similar ever again.
Prices for a year are £135 if you want paperbacks and £220 if you're a hardback reader. Yes, that's undeniably more money than if you walked in Waterstones and picked up eleven books but the level of service and care put into each book selection is outstanding. I can't think of anything lovelier than a new book that I'm almost certain to love popping through the letter box each month. It's a guaranteed gift winner, whether for a loved one, or yourself. Go on, treat yourself to a year's worth of reading adventures. You can find out more details on Mr B's Reading Year here.