You might already know this about us but, we love reminiscing. In fact, when we get together, we can happily spend hours reliving funny moments from years past, retelling stories that start with, “Remember that time when…” and mostly end in incoherent giggles. The other day we realised that it was 2 years ago today that we met up and had our first ever Book Box Club business meeting in a unfamiliar Cafe in Reading (randomly). Four hours (and lots of cups of tea) later Book Box Club was born. When we embarked on this project we had no idea what we were letting ourselves in for and all the fun we would have!
We thought we’d share with you some of the big lessons with learnt over the past two years so carry on reading for Book Box Club anecdotes and small business capers galore.
1.) We’d get by with a little help from our friends!
As it turns out, Book Box Club hasn’t just been an adventure for Kate and I, we have roped in so many people to help us out along the way. Our (very patient) other halves, our families, our friends, our in-laws and Jose the postman from round the corner have all been relied upon in times of need and have warmed our bookish hearts no end!
2.) That technology is actually our best friend
Believe it or not, before we started up our bookish business Kate and I were the sorts of people who were quite happy to own a 100 year old laptop and a phone that was so old it had no camera (!). Back then, we had no idea that we would one day be the sorts of people who would be refreshing their emails in bed in the dark, but now we couldn’t live without our I-phones! When you are in a long distance business partnership (turns out Essex and Wiltshire really are far apart…) you rely on 4 hour marathon Skype calls and 100 daily messages on Whatsapp! At least that means we are technophobes no longer, even if we exceed our data allowances every month!
3.) We’d find a renewed R.E.S.P.E.C.T for other small business owners
Owning your own business is a lot of fun but, boy, it sure is HARD WORK!
From budgets, invoicing, web site building, spreadsheets, researching and corresponding to the dreaded tax return; lots of technical stuff goes on behind the scenes at Book Box Club HQ which is much less glamorous and fun than lounging around reading books all the time. Any small business owner will know the late nights in front of the lap top and the days spent chasing lost post items that have rocked up in a random postal depot in Barking. Running your own enterprise means you give up days off, sick pay and… sleep but you gain a MASSIVE sense of achievement. Seeing you guys enjoy our boxes and chatting about our favourite books in the Clubhouse makes it all worth it and getting to high five your bestie after another successful send out is always a monthly highlight!
4.) There is no such thing as too many books
Something tells me that the Book Box Club boys might have a thing or two to say about this next one! Don’t get me wrong, before we started Book Box Club both of us had quite the collection of books. Having worked together in a lovely independent book shop we spent every day surrounded by tempting reads, so our shelves were already heaving. After Kate built a whole library room in her house with floor to ceiling colour coded shelves and I (Libby) went from living in a tiny flat to a three bedroom house, perfect for spreading out my collection, we never dreamt that we would be at the point where we would stack books in piles in the corners of our living rooms and pretend they’re side tables/plant pot stands/seating solutions at family gatherings. We feel so lucky to be sent lots of exciting reads through the post each week but even with the best of intentions we probably will never get to read them all. But its a good job books make such great furniture… right?!
5.) We are all book geeks here
One of the most fun things we’ve learnt so far is; there are so many of you out there who are just like us! We have loved finding so many other bookish fangirls (and boys) all over the world who are just excited about upcoming YA as we are. Brainstorming items for our boxes is so much more fun when we think about how much you guys would appreciate our favourite fandoms/characters/quotes. It’s great that we can safely predict that if we’re excited about something you probably will be as well! Great minds think alike, after all!
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All in all, a lot has changed over the past two years and it has definitely been a roller-coaster and one which we wouldn’t have changed for the world! Thank you so much for being a part of it. If you haven’t had a chance to join our club yet then what are you waiting for?
Love, Libby and Kate xx