Recently I met Eloise Stokhuyzen who runs EloiseBooks, a gift subscription service perfect for any book lover! Each month, Eloise will pick a novel for her client and send it beautifully wrapped with a note explaining a bit about the book and why she's has chosen it. Dream gift? Yes. Dream job? Yes.
I had to buy a subscription for myself - obvs. And if you are in anyway connected to me, you may well find you have also been gifted a subscription for your Birthday, Christmas, Anniversary, or any excuse I have found to
So I was thrilled when I was able to arrange to meet with the well-read woman behind such a bespoke subscription service and find out a little more about how it all works.
First things first though, what did Eloise pick for my first EloiseBooks read?
THE EXPATRIATES by Janice Y K Lee. You can read my full review of The Expatriates here
Mercy, a young Korean American and recent Columbia graduate, is adrift, undone by a terrible incident in her recent past. Hilary, a wealthy housewife, is haunted by her struggle to have a child, something she believes could save her foundering marriage. Meanwhile, Margaret, once a happily married mother of three, questions her maternal identity in the wake of a shattering loss. As each woman struggles with her own demons, their lives collide in ways that have irreversible consequences for them all. (Blurb from Goodreads)
I had not come across this author before but the blurb definitely appealed as did the quote from Liane Moriarty on the front. It was published in 2016 and is the author's second book. I rated The Expatriates 5 stars and am keen to read Lee's first book, The Piano Teacher.
Eloise had barely taken her coat off, let alone had a sip of her coffee and I was off, gushing about the book and how much I had enjoyed it! People are very wary about buying me books - and I am very wary about people buying me books too - so I was extremely impressed with the fact that Eloise had discovered something I hadn't read - even more so, something I had genuinely enjoyed- considering we hadn't even had a chance to have the usual preliminary consultation required when you start your subscription. Bibliomaniac might have met her match!
We had a great chat about the book first; what we'd liked, what issues we thought it raised, bits we'd found hard to read, passages that we'd loved, the characters, the setting, the style. We also chatted about Liane Moriarty and her recent success with Big Little Lies on television and a few other authors and titles making the headlines at the moment. It was biblioheaven.
But you don't want to hear about my biblio-ravings, I have a blog site full of them. Let's hear more about Eloise!
At the end of 2015, Eloise struck on the idea turning her passion for reading and recommending books into a business. She has always read profusely and always loved buying books for people so she decided to combine the two and has never looked back since.
Her customer base is expanding with many people signing up initially for one or three months, then renewing the subscription again and again. One customer has been with her since the very beginning and several customers are daughters who have bought for their mothers, then the mothers have bought a subscription for their daughters! Some customers are people Eloise knows as in the early days she focused on advertising herself very locally, but with a new Facebook page and word of mouth recommendations, her custom is becoming much more nationwide. Some clients keep in touch with Eloise more than others - there is no expectation that they need to, but Eloise says it's very rewarding to receive such positive feedback about the books she's chosen. Recently she's even received a few book reviews for the novels she sent!
Eloise now enjoys feeling fully justified in spending most of her days browsing the shelves of bookshops and reading as much as she can to ensure that the perfect book is chosen for each of her clients. Sounds like a pretty good day job to me!
Well, it looks like you can never get a cup of tea large enough to last the length of time Eloise and I wanted to chat about books. We could easily have whiled the day away recommending books, chatting about literary events we'd been too, our favourite authors and what we were reading at the moment. It was possibly the loveliest morning I have had in a long long time! I can absolutely assure you that Eloise is one of the most well read people I have met! From what she told me about her business, and from my own experience, it is clear that any books chosen by Eloise for her clients are genuinely hand picked. Any books selected by Eloise will have been carefully considered with that one person in mind and no one else. And I'm certain that Eloise enjoys the moment when she finds that perfect read as much as her customers do when their lovely mystery package arrives on their doormat.
If you would like to find out more about Eloise Books then you can visit her Facebook page here, or on Twitter @Eloisebooks1
You can also email her directly on email@example.com
If you would like to sign up for a subscription or buy as a gift for someone you know, here are the details of how things work. Please contact Eloise for any further information or if you have any other questions.
Each month, after a phone or email consultation, the gift recipient will receive a beautifully wrapped book specially chosen for them together with a note about the book. It means that your friend or relative receives a book not just for their birthday or Christmas but every month for as long as you choose to subscribe for them.
3 months subscription costs £35.00
6 months subscription costs £65.00
12 months subscription costs £120.00
For more recommendations, reviews and bookish chat you can follow me on Twitter @KatherineSunde3 or catch up with everything via my website bibliomaniacuk.co.uk