Looking for contributors and other waffle-y ramblings

Yesterday I had a cry, as I’m sure many of you have felt compelled to do recently. The sort of cry that sneaks up on you after what already feels like an eternity of this ‘working from home’ lark, coupled with lack of decent sleep and the (entirely internal) pressure to be PRODUCING SOMETHING AMAZING AND CREATIVE, despite the fact that I never really did a whole lot of that in the first place.

<All of this said whilst recognising that I am in a privileged position to be able to safely work from home and not be caring for someone or trying to home school anyone. I am never taking that for granted, I promise you>

Whilst grappling around for one tiny thing that I can control, my aggressive inner-voice kept poking me and saying

You need to be posting on your blog.

You have about a thousand reviews to do.

Why don’t you stop scoffing biscuits while watching The Tiger King and get on with it?

BUT

I have since realised, that one of the things that I do not need to put pressure on myself for  at the moment is content for the blog.

People might want recommendations certainly. I’m all for that. But it really doesn’t have to be me. Other people might want to talk to the world about books, without the faff of setting up their own blog. Offbeat Book Club has always been a community and I’d love for the blog to reflect that more.

SO

Offbeat Book Club is looking for contributors. I want to help you to share your thoughts on the offbeat books that you’re reading with the world. No word counts, no restrictions, no hoity-toity referencing or academic-speak (unless that’s your thing!)

If that sounds like something you might be interested in, then drop me dm on Twitter/Instagram, or email –  offbeatbookclub@gmail.com and we can have a chat. Which will be nice.

Big virtual hugs and sloppy digital kisses,

Kelly

October Update

No Review-ish this week as I’m still reading my current library book… but thought I’d do a quick, unsponsored post about a new discovery.

Now that I am not living in a city and not regularly going to proper shopping centres, I rely a lot on online shopping. And I buy a lot of books online, often as gifts for others, because I am that aunt/sister/friend. One day my sisters will forgive me for years of receiving overtly feminist, girl-power books, as if I could brain-wash them through literature. So for years I have guiltily utilised Amazon Prime, knowing full-well that Amazon doesn’t offer the best deal for authors, or look after its staff or pay taxes, and know that I am not supporting local book shops.

Side note, on local bookshops. There are so few around where I live. Which I know is because so few people used them that they had to close. But for me to go to an actual physical book shop involves a commute or between 25 and 75 minutes depending on traffic. Therefore, using fuel. Find and paying for parking. Getting stroppy at ALL OF THE PEOPLE. Having heart palpitations over the smell of books in a book store. Feeling guilty that I can’t give all of the books a lovely home. Realising that I haven’t bought a tote-bag with me and am therefore DESTROYING the planet by getting a bag. Leaving empty-handed because of all of the stress.

BUT when I do have access to a good, independent book store, I go to town. Like when I went to Hay. And when I bought a huge, beautiful, hard bound John Irving at a shop in New Zealand (without thinking about the cost in getting it home again). Further side note, shops in NZ are never busy so the shop assistant, as well as being informative and giving great chat, HAND-WRAPPED my books in brown paper. Sigh.

So forgive me reader, when I say that I resort to online shopping a lot. But the fact is, I am usually organised enough with gift-buying that I am not buying things at the last minute. So with this in mind, and Christmas looming (yes, I am one of those people that starts buying Christmas gifts in October. Yes, I have an extensive spreadsheet. No, I am in no-way ashamed of myself, or smug about this) I took to the inter-webs to look for a more ethical alternative.

I have used ethical directories in the past when looking at different brands, especially with clothing and shows and I have trusted them implicitly. Which means I could be talking out of my arse here, but they seem genuine and seem to have done their homework. A Google search took me to Ethical Revolution. If you scroll down, you can clearly see how the organisations were graded and rated, and it clearly states those that don’t avoid tax. Win. So I went straight to Wordery.

Despite all of the information given about Wordery, I still assumed that they wouldn’t have the range that Amazon offers but they absolutely do AND I think that’s the books are categorised much better. I was able to search by age range and it wasn’t gendered (!!! Double Win) I ordered three books and they arrived within a couple of days, with free delivery. The packaging wasn’t excessive which was quite the breath of fresh air.

Apparently, they ship world wide so I will try this feature out at some point and will report back. Has anyone else tried other sites for ethical reasons? Really interested to hear about your experiences.

In other news, the first Insole Court Book Club meeting is just under two weeks away (eep!) so please let me know if you want to come along on offbeatbookclub@gmail.com or read along and join in the conversation here. There’s still time to read Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. So excited to get started and meet some fellow readers!

Enjoy your weekend.

Kelly

A real-life Offbeat Book Club @Insole Court

I’m really pleased to working with Insole Court in Cardiff and even more super-delighted to announce that I’ll be running their very first book club. Insole Court is a spectacular building in the heart of Llandaff and I can’t think of a more idyllic setting for a book club. They are offering us their wonder Reading Room (#librarygoals) and they are even going to stock a couple of copies of the books in their shop each month.

The book club will run on the last Tuesday of every month, from 7 – 9pm. The first one is Tuesday 30th October, where we will be discussing Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (available widely online and in libraries across Wales, as well as in the Insole Court Visitors Centre Shop). This will be an opportunity to enjoy the company of other intrepid OffBeat Book Club explorers, have a bevvy and chat about what we’re reading. We’ll be reading books from diverse authors with unique experiences, classics to contemporary, fact and fiction.

If you want to know more, or would like to register your interest, get in touch at offbeatbookclub@gmail.com. Don’t live in Cardiff or can’t commit? You can join in online through the blog. I’ll post a summary after each meeting so that you can read along and join in the conversation through the comments section. We’re terribly inclusive here.