15 Things to Do Instead of Wasting Time on Your Phone

brick wall with "no cellphones" sign on it
When was the last time you looked up from your smartphone and realized a half-hour had passed—and yet you’d accomplished nothing? If you’re anything like Bas Bleu’s editors, that time was yesterday! We love these handy pocket-sized computers, which allow us to send emails, look up driving directions, buy a new dress, book dinner reservations, check football scores, share photographs with friends, watch an episode of our favorite TV show…and, yes, make telephone calls. But we’re the first to admit we waste far too much time scrolling mindlessly on our phones, time we could be spending doing so many other things. With a little help from our Autumn 2019 edition, we came up with this list of 15 things to do instead of wasting time on your phone. (For the record, reading this blog post counts as a Very Important Use of your smartphone.) Continue reading

An American Bluestocking in London

Buckingham Palace and Victoria Memorial, London

The Bluestocking Salon has been quiet for the past few weeks because yours truly was traveling in France and England to source new products for Bas Bleu’s 2020 catalog season. Three trade shows in three cities over the course of six days made for a breathlessly busy “grand tour”…but it wasn’t all work and no play! This American bluestocking discovered a bevy of literary landmarks in London, popping in for a visit after the day’s work was done. Continue reading

Autumn Reading List 2019

open book on autumn leaves

“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” Like George Eliot, we love “delicious autumn”…and after this hot, steamy summer, the new season can’t come soon enough! Fortunately, your favorite harbinger of fall—Bas Bleu’s Autumn 2019 edition—is here, filled with wonderful books and literary treats! (Feeling proactive? Take a gander at our Advent calendars and other holiday gifts, too.) Continue reading

National Book Lovers Day Sale

stack of book against blue background with SALE! repeated four times

National Book Lovers Day is right around the corner! (It’s on August 9, for those of you who want to put in a last-minute vacation/reading request.) Plus, Bas Bleu’s Autumn 2019 edition heads to the post office next week, which means truckloads of new books and gifts are arriving into our warehouse every day. How can we help our readers celebrate National Book Lovers Day and clear space for our new merchandise? Offer great prices on books and bookish gifts! Continue reading

Can You Decipher These Book Titles “Written” in Emojis?

The Metamorphosis written in emojis

We’re true-bleu word lovers here at Bas Bleu, but we aren’t above slipping the occasional emoji into a text message or tweet. These digital pictographs first popped up on Japanese mobile phones in the late 1990s—the word “emoji” is derived from the Japanese words for “picture” and “character”—and have gained global popularity over the past decade. In honor of World Emoji Day today, we concocted a little quiz for our readers. Can you identify these twenty book titles “written” in emojis? (Hint: Some are literal interpretations of the titles while others include plot details.) Continue reading

Summer Poems: 12 Verses for the Season

excerpt from Alfred, Lord Tennyson's poem "The Throstle"

On a hot summer day, we love nothing more than to settle down in a cool corner with an engrossing novel. But while perusing A Nature Poem for Every Day of the Year, from Bas Bleu’s Summer 2019 edition, we began thinking about how the intensity of the season—the blanket of heat, the endless symphony of insects, gardens bursting with fresh produce, the long days that somehow add up to much-too-short months—is perhaps best captured in summer poems. Today, as the furnace blast that is July in Georgia engulfs our editorial office in Atlanta, our editors have selected a dozen of our favorite summer poems with which to surrender yourself to the season. (To read each poem in full, click on the title or image.) Continue reading

Classic Novels Set During the Summer

Every season has its own personality, but there’s something about summer—the steamy heat, the long slow days, the interruption of school and work routines, travels away from home—that sets it apart. In literature as in life summer has become synonymous with love, adventure, and self-discovery…and, occasionally, heartache. This week, as the Bas Bleu editors prepare our Autumn 2019 edition (yes, it’s only June!), we’re savoring the season here and now with a list of ten classic novels set during the summer. (By the way: SPOILER ALERT!) Continue reading

Literary Insults

slate-blue zip top pouch illustrated with Shakespearean insults printed in various colors

Our parents always told us: “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” It’s an excellent rule of thumb…but it can be very tough to follow when in the midst of an argument. If you can’t bring yourself to always turn the other cheek, why not add a little cheek to your next comeback? Inspired by the Shakespearean Insults Pouch featured in Bas Bleu’s new Summer 2019 edition, we collected fourteen literary insults sure to elevate your next contretemps to, if not a respectable level, at least a bookish one! Continue reading