Audiobooks: A Story Told

row of books with headphones over them

Audiobooks have been available to readers for nearly a century, since The American Foundation for the Blind began recording books on vinyl records in 1932, followed soon after by the Library of Congress. From cassette tapes to compact discs to digital downloads, audiobooks continue to evolve. Today in the Bluestocking Salon, Bas Bleu editor KG shares her own audiobook experience.

When we’re children, we learn how books work before we actually learn how to read them. We learn not through our eyes but through our ears, listening intently as adults and older siblings read aloud to us. This is how we discover that stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Continue reading

Fresh Summer Picks

An updated version of our Summer 2020 edition landed in mailboxes earlier this week, sprinkled with new books and gifts chosen particularly for “staycationers” and youngsters who may be climbing the walls. It’s been a tough summer all around, and while we know Bas Bleu can’t magically resolve all of the challenges you’re facing, we hope these fresh summer picks will add a little extra sunshine to your day. Continue reading

Summer Reading List 2020

blog header for Summer Reading List 2020 post; pictures a woman reading on a beach

If you’ve lost all track of time, let us reassure you: Summer is coming! Bas Bleu’s new Summer 2020 edition sails into mailboxes this week, because if ever there was a time to escape with books, it’s now. A new trio of Summer Reading Collections will transport you to England, Australia, Iran, Japan, Poland, Scotland, Iraq, and Denmark (no passport required!), and a plethora of other books and gifts will brighten your day along the way. To help you create your summer reading list, our editors have selected a dozen of our favorite picks.  Continue reading

Spring Poems: 12 Verses for the Season

In Atlanta, the birthplace of Bas Bleu, pear trees and redbuds are blooming, tulips and irises are unfurling their brilliant petals, and birds are singing on dogwood branches. But we know not all of our readers have witnessed these signs of spring this year; let’s see if we can call them forth for you! April is National Poetry Month, so our editors have selected a dozen of our favorite spring poems with which to surrender yourselves to the season…and maybe, just maybe, coax it into your backyard. (To read each poem in full, click on the title or image.) Continue reading

Spring Reading List 2020

At long last, winter begins to thaw…only to leave us facing the twin challenges of a contentious election season and something called a “novel coronavirus.” (The first “novel” we never want to read.) But whether you’re stockpiling books to hide from the world—we do this year-round, so we’re not judging!—or simply hankering for engaging stories to keep you company on warm, sunny days, Bas Bleu’s new Spring 2020 edition is loaded with fantastic reads. Choose one of our three Spring Reading CollectionsNovels, Mysteries, and Nonfiction—and save 20% off the package price. (Bas Bleu Society members, remember you receive 15% off the regular cover price of all books + free standard shipping, so feel free to create your own book set.) Continue reading

A Bluestocking in New York

Winter is “show season” for Bas Bleu, when our editors travel to trade shows to source new products for our catalog. Earlier this month, editor KG headed to New York to attend NY Now, the National Stationery Show, and Shoppe Object. Three shows in two days is no mean feat—sensible shoes and a hearty breakfast are key!—but she couldn’t travel all that way without squeezing in a little sightseeing, too. Here are a few highlights from our very own bluestocking in New York: Continue reading

Famous Poems Read by Famous People

Audiobooks gain fans every day, helping readers while away long commutes, road trips, workouts, and more. Even bibliophiles who prefer the printed page value those bookish recordings as a way to squeeze extra reading into busy days. How do you think the Bas Bleu editors tackle so many books?) But sometimes what we need most is to stop what we’re doing—if only for a few minutes—and concentrate on nothing but the words. Poetry is ideal on those occasions: Its concise form demands that every word count. And because the only thing better than reading poetry is listening to people read poetry to us, we’re celebrating World Read Aloud Day with seven famous poems read by famous people. Continue reading

Puzzles and Books to Celebrate National Puzzle Day

Jigsaw puzzle pieces

Did you know? Today is National Puzzle Day! In our experience, avid readers also tend to be avid puzzlers, whether whiling away a quiet afternoon bent over a jigsaw puzzle—raise your hand if your family tackles one on summer vacation every year—or flexing those little gray cells with challenging word games and riddles. Puzzles and puzzle books are a staple of the Bas Bleu catalog, for kids as well as adults, so we’re highlighting a few of our favorites with this list of puzzles and books to celebrate National Puzzle Day. Continue reading

10 Important People in the History of the Book

close-up view of a weathered leather book

Modern readers treasure the physical object known as “the book,” a steadfast constant in a rapidly changing world. But a long view of literary history reveals a dynamic creature: From tablet to scroll to ancient codex, from leather-bound luxury item to mass-produced paperback to digital tablet, the book has evolved over millennia. But how did this epic transformation occur? And who can we thank for it? Today in the Bluestocking Salon, Bas Bleu’s editors are tipping our hats to 10 (of many!) important people in the history of the book. Continue reading

Winter Reading List 2020

After the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, January feels like a letdown. But don’t despair: Those cold winter days stretching before you are the perfect excuse to hibernate with the books on our winter reading list. Lucky for you, Bas Bleu’s Winter 2020 edition arrived with the new year, and it’s filled to the brim with terrific new books and gifts. You loved last year’s Winter Reading Collection, so this year we curated three packagesNovels, Mysteries, and Nonfiction. Purchase all six books in a package and receive 20% off the package price; each title is also available for individual purchase at its regular cover price. (Remember, Bas Bleu Society members, you receive 15% off the regular cover price of all books + free standard shipping, so feel free to create your own set.) Continue reading