Members of the Bas Bleu Book Club gathered to celebrate their twentieth anniversary in August 2016.

Members of the Bas Bleu Book Club gathered to celebrate their twentieth anniversary in August 2016. They’re posing with their favorite Bas Bleu catalog cover, Nishan Akgulian’s “The New Bluestockings.”

In August, we received a wonderfully surprising note from a lady named Helen, one of Bas Bleu’s long-time readers in Arlington, Texas:

Around the time I retired from teaching high school math in 1996, I received my first Bas Bleu catalog in the mail. I found it delightful, and it inspired me to form a book club—appropriately named Bas Bleu…We meet in homes and do our own reviews. One charter member travels 70 miles every month to join us. At one time, the [Dallas Morning News] did an article on us.

This August we completed 20 years of continuous meetings—celebrating with a lunch in my home. Many thanks to your catalog for being our inspiration!

Nice notes from our customers delight us whenever they arrive, but this one—landing in our mailbox at the most hectic time of the year for our editors—was just the boost we needed. We immediately sat down to write to Helen; we needed to know more about her book club!

Over the course of our correspondence, Helen told us all about the Bas Bleu Book Club. What began with a dozen members now counts more than twenty loyal readers among their ranks, each member taking turns hosting monthly meetings and choosing the books, authors, and topics to review. She reports they “discuss all kinds of books—biographies, mysteries, classics, travel books, children’s books, inspirational books,” with authors ranging from Alistair Cooke to Daphne du Maurier to Bill Bryson. We think our club is perfect because we learn to love new books and authors through the love our members express during their presentations. Also we have a very informal lending library going on all the time.”

As booksellers, it is, of course, our job to sell books. But we feel most successful when we hear stories like Helen’s, stories about how Bas Bleu inspires readers to gather together to share their love of books. As the calendar turns over to another year, we promise to keep doing our part to find great books and support the literary community…if you promise to keep reading!

We’re taking a break from posting next week, so our editors can finish their Christmas shopping and cookie baking. Be sure to return to the Bluestocking Salon at the end of the month for a sneak peek at our upcoming Winter 2017 edition. Until then: Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah, bluestockings, from our family to yours!