Hey, you guys!
Jeremy and I are really having fun with the subscription box platform. It's a great way to stay on top of the creative centers of our brains, because we're constantly spitting out new ideas and making notes on things we'd like to incorporate in the future.
One of the ideas that we've already partially implemented is the idea to offer gift boxes. These boxes are still curated and packed full of secondhand books and nifty artisan items, but they're offered as one-time purchases, rather than subscriptions. They make the perfect gifts because you can buy one or two (or however many you need!) boxes without the subscription requirement. The subscription is still an option, however.
If you're interested in the gift boxes, you can check them out HERE. And check back as we'll be adding more gift box varieties very soon!
What would you like to see in a future gift box? What would be in the gift box YOU would want to receive? Let us know in the comments!
Candice loves dragging her family to arts and crafts festivals, and she's especially fond of those festivals that are SUPER arts and craft-y (meaning it could take DAYS to get through everything). The family loves it. Really.
While genre may be a cut-and-dry thing for some, it is not for us, nor is it so simple for the books that we curate for The Attic Box. Because of the nature of the subscription box we operate (read: secondhand books), we gather used books from all genres, all eras, and all walks of life. What this typically means is that the genre classifications may be a bit hazy.
Those of us who are old enough will remember when TV and movie ratings were lax (circa 1980s). Hearing a few choice curse words and seeing a pair of naked breasts usually meant that you and the family were piled in the living room watching a PG (or, at most PG-13) movie. You may also remember how the ratings system started tightening those apron strings and what was once PG is now nearing an R rating.
So it is with genres.
Genre classifications have morphed through the decades, especially with the explosion of a myriad of cross-genre pieces that now saturate the market. There aren't many authors who can sit confidently in one --and only one-- genre section anymore. Even James Patterson, a revered favorite among many readers, has broken into the Young Adult scene with a series that is obviously different from the murder mystery/crime/thriller novels which the majority of his fan base adores.
The genre-crossing makes it difficult to place books absolutely in one genre, especially those books that may have been indie-published. When a subscriber selects Fantasy as a beloved genre and Sci-Fi as a disliked genre on the Reading Preferences questionnaire, there is a chance that the subscriber may receive a book that has both elements in it. Perhaps the Fantasy element is stronger and, therefore, may land it more sensibly in the Fantasy section. However, even a smidge of Sci-Fi, to some, classifies a book as wholly Sci-Fi.
You can see where this gets difficult.
So, here's what we do:
1. We check the preferences lists on the invoice. We make note of the "disliked" genres.
2. If a multi-month subscriber, we check the list of books that have previously been shipped and try our best not to duplicate anything. We are human, though, and duplicates (albeit rare) have slipped through.
3. A book is chosen (by Jeremy-- he's the Book Whisperer) based mainly on "feeling" and a one-ness with the universe. Seriously, this is the "hand-picked" method.
Sometimes the universe is taking a coffee break and when this happens, subscribers receive books that hold no interest. It happens. Even when we, as readers, peruse book sales and pick up a few books that look interesting, we may decide at about ten pages in that this book may not be for me. THAT'S OKAY. No hard feelings. Our intuition can't always be right. If this happens, reach out to us and we will adjust your preferences to be more closely aligned with what you prefer. We can't guarantee that you're going to love the books you get. We certainly hope you love each and every one you receive, but there's no guarantee that you will.
The Attic Box is about DISCOVERY, and to discover something, the something (in this case, books) has to be A) a surprise, and B) undiscovered. We created this subscription box to give people a chance to discover books and authors who may otherwise sit in the dusty recesses of the book store. Sometimes we happen upon absolute gems and we are more than happy to share those with our subscribers.
I hope that I've given you all a little insight into how our process works. Do you have strong feelings about genre definitions? What about TV ratings and how those have changed over the years? Come, grab a cup of your favorite beverage and let's converse. Comments on the subject are always welcome.
Candice loves books so much that she's currently devising plans for an Olympic-sized swimming pool filled with books in which she can "swim" every day.
Hey, you guys! A recent share on the Facebook prompted me to think on the trend of upcycling books into art and usable objects. Generally, I find there are two camps: those who don't mind bookish upcycling and those who are opposed to the practice.
So, I wonder... Which camp are you? Are there extenuating circumstances that put you more into one camp than the other? Or are you totally and absolutely against it?
I made a promise a while back to have a giveaway once we reach 1,000 followers on Instagram. We are SO CLOSE to meeting the number and we're reaching out to you for help! If you have Instagram and you'd like a chance to win something FREE, swing over to THIS POST to tag some friends. If you're not already following us over there, be sure to do that, too.
We haven't decided what the freebies for the giveaway will be yet, but it'll be a package of bookish stuff that will make you say, "WEE!" I mean, maybe it won't, but you don't wanna miss it either way.
Read more. Bitch less.
Hello, everyone! Thank you for stopping by, and welcome to the first installment in what Candice and I hope to make into a regular blog column here on the site where we can talk about the books we are currently reading. My first foray into all of this will be to talk about the Witcher books by Andrzej Sapkowski, which I have recently become obsessed with.
This series follows the adventures and misadventures of the titular Witcher, Geralt of Rivia. A Witcher is a monster hunter who has been trained since early childhood to become the ultimate killing machine--his forced mutations, baseline magical abilities, and sword skills all make him far more qualified than the average human to hunt vampires, dragons, or whatever other unnatural creature of darkness assails your village. Geralt is a refreshing character in the fantasy genre, and his constant sarcasm and how completely unimpressed he usually is with power or wealth really place into stark contrast how obsessed many corners of the fantasy genre have become with monarchs and courtly politics.
That is not to say, however, that none of that is present here in Sapkowski's complex world inspired largely by Eastern European folktales in addition to the usual Tolkien-esque brushstrokes present in almost all fantasy. That is easily seen in the odd accumulation of friends and allies Geralt carries around, from powerful sorceresses such as Yennefer of Vengerberg and Triss Merigold, to the bard and poet Dandelion, the steadfastly loyal dwarf Zoltan, and young Cirilla, the exiled princess and child of an ancient prophecy from deep within the world's lore.
Though my first taste of these stories came from the highly successful video game series out of Poland that has probably gained many American readers for Sapkowski's work, the best place to begin with Geralt's adventures is with the first collection of short stories about him, entitled The Last Wish. I'm currently on the second novel in the series, The Time of Contempt, and I plan on pushing on through and reading all I can get my hands on.
That said, what do you all think of this? Any other Witcher fans out there? Anyone who might now be curious about the setting? And what are YOU reading right now? Let us know in the comments below.
Jeremy DeFatta is the co-founder and co-owner of Blue Spider Press/Blue Spider Books. While his genre interests sometimes seem to outnumber the stars, fantasy, especially unique and well-drawn fantasy, will always hold a special place in his heart.
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