From the Bas Bleu Mailbag: 25th Anniversary

We’re celebrating 25 years of Bas Bleu (our catalog was “born” in 1994), and our editors and other staff have been touched by the anniversary messages we’ve received from our readers over the past few months. Snail mail, emails, comments on our Facebook page and on this blog… No matter the format, each and every message means so much to our team. This week, as we prepare to debut our Autumn 2019 edition—including a first glimpse at this year’s Christmas offerings!—we wanted to share a few of the “happy anniversary!” notes that landed in our mailbox. Are we bragging? No. (Well…maybe a little bit, because any company with such amazing customers should brag about them!) Mostly we’re sharing these to let you know that we do, in fact, read and value every bit of customer correspondence that comes our way. Your words always impact us and remind us time and again just how special Bas Bleu’s readers are. Continue reading

Library Shelfie Day 2019

close-up photograph of antique leather books on a shelf

Once upon a time (in a not-so-distant, selfie-obsessed past), the good folks at the New York Public Library launched Library Shelfie Day, an annual occasion to share portraits of personal—and, often, creatively arranged—book collections. Reading is such a personal experience for so many of us, informed by our individuality, our life experiences, even our schedules, that it’s no surprise our bookshelves can offer a revealing window into our literary souls…or, at least, a peek into our book-organization methods! Continue reading

Gratefully Yours

In the midst of the cooking and the shopping and the party-going and the travel-planning, it can be easy to forget that the holiday season is intended to celebrate gratitude, joy, fellowship, and other non-monetary gifts. At Bas Bleu, we’re not about to dissuade you from holiday shopping—we believe our eclectic selection of books and gifts will make Christmas a little brighter—but we do want to stop for a moment in our Thanksgiving preparations to tell you how grateful we are for you, our readers.

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Write a Bas Bleu Reader Review

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Bas Bleu’s customers are the absolute best, for a multitude of reasons. Among our favorites: Y’all recommend some wonderful books! So wonderful, in fact, that we created our Reader Review program inviting readers to submit your own Bas Bleu-style book reviews. Many of the reviews we’ve  received over the years are for books we’d never heard of; some are for books we were “on the fence” about and a Reader Review cast the deciding vote; others are for books we’ve already carried, but are thrilled to know you loved, too. Continue reading

From the Bas Bleu Mailbag

April is National Letter Writing Month, and a wonderful reminder to us of the joys of writing and receiving “old-fashioned” snail mail. Last April, we wrote about the irreplaceable value of paper mail in a digital world and issued a letter-writing challenge to all of our readers. This year, we thought it would be fun to dig into the Bas Bleu mailbag and share with you some of the recent letters our editors have received. Because in the midst of writing catalog copy, sorting through piles of books, embarking upon reading marathons, and posting on Twitter, Facebook, and this blog, we still get excited when the mail carrier delivers a letter or card from one of our readers. (And it’s not every day someone uses the phrase “sultry feminine charm” to describe our catalog!)  Continue reading

Feeling Thankful

Thanksgiving is less than twenty-four hours away, and whether you’re basting a magnificent bird or tucking in to a convenient take-out meal, this annual celebration of bounty and blessings is always a good opportunity to stop and take stock of all we have to be grateful for.

2017 has been a difficult year in so many respects: Anxiety and fear fueled by global unrest and national political and social upheaval have been exacerbated by devastating hurricanes, wildfires, and earthquakes. Faced with such challenges, it’s natural to wonder what difference we can make as individuals…or, in Bas Bleu’s case, as booksellers. Continue reading

A Society for Modern-Day Bluestockings

Bas Bleu was founded in 1994 by a true bluestocking, a book-loving lady who launched her venture from her Atlanta, Georgia, home. In the beginning, she wrote every word of catalog copy, packed and posted every order herself, and stored the company’s stock in a closet! She mailed 50,000 copies of the first edition of the Bas Bleu catalog. Today, we mail millions of copies to readers all over the country, but our little company never could have survived those early years without the enthusiasm and support of our loyal customers. That’s why, in 1999, we decided they deserved a little something extra…and the Bas Bleu Society was born! Continue reading

Letters of Note

One of our very first customers sent us this homemade flag during Bas Bleu's first year of business, "as a reminder of your cheering section, and to keep the flag of literacy flying."

One of our very first customers sent us this homemade flag during Bas Bleu’s first year of business, “as a reminder of your cheering section, and to keep the flag of literacy flying.”

After ten years in our current office, our editorial staff is preparing to move into new, larger digs next month. (We’re bursting at the seams!) In the midst of packing up paper clips, catalog archives, and so many books, we were delighted to rediscover boxes full of archived customer correspondence from Bas Bleu’s earlier days. In the 1990s and early 2000s, before e-mail was as widespread as it is today, many of our customers directed their inquiries, book recommendations, and, occasionally, criticisms to us via snail mail.

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