When Julia Jones started Beautiful Madness Bookcase she knew two things for sure: she needed to take a chance, and books were going to be the main character. So she resigned from her desk job after eight years, and she started BeMad (short for Beautiful Madness). “I am made of ink and paper. Books are my joy, my peace, and they save my life,” Julia shares. Beautiful Madness Bookcase is a monthly book box that is themed and curated by Julia.
“I am made of ink and paper. Books are my joy, my peace, and they save my life.”
Like so many of us, books shaped Julia throughout her life, so BeMad is what I like to call her “love” project. She’s sharing the things she loves with all the might she’s got and loving every moment of it. “While in my 20s, from 1999 to 2006, I worked in bookstores. I was a bookseller and manager through those years. Before that, when I was a child, I volunteered at my local library. Also when I was a child, my hometown’s bookstore (which closed in the early 2000s) let me alphabetize and dust in exchange for a book every week or so.” Julia has done what a lot of people dream of doing – she’s created a company from something she enjoys doing, but that doesn’t mean there haven’t been some bumps along the road. Even the most perfect path has a few rocks. “It is a huge learning experience to start a business. I’m learning as I go, and it’s tough sometimes, but it’s always the best feeling to work through and make it to the other side of a challenge. I needed to find work that feeds my soul, and starting my own business is turning out to be just the thing. I want my 40s to be full of opportunities that I was afraid to pursue in my 20s and 30s.” Don’t we all?
“I needed to find work that feeds my soul, and starting my own business is turning out to be just the thing.”
So, what sets Beautiful Madness apart from other book subscriptions? Well, let me start by saying it really is a box full of surprises. The themes are built around each book; fiction and non-fiction with the occasional Young Adult (right up my alley), so every month, you go on a completely different journey. There’s no particular method Julia is using to pick each book, just good old instincts – “I gravitate to interesting and quirky fiction and nonfiction. I love amazing storytelling. I love books that are written so well that reading them is like gliding across ice. I want BeMad’s subscribers to meet books that they wouldn’t necessarily pick up on their own, but be engrossed once they start reading.” Variety really is the spice of life and Julia is sprinkling it all over everything she can get her hands on.
The future of Beautiful Madness is as vast as the British Library (which happens to be the largest library in the world). The ceiling is non-existent, and Julia’s desire is popping at the seams. She’s planning on sending her parents into retirement with these boxes full of love, and she’s not going to stop there. Plans are already forming to expand and make the box accessible to even more people around the globe, “I want to immerse myself in the book industry and culture. It’s where I make the most sense.”
She’s got a lot of mottoes, but my personal favorite is “We love you from the bottom of our book pile,” because that is every book lover that has ever lived. Most importantly, she likes her coffee with a little bit of sugar, a little bit of Coffee Mate’s Sweet Cream or Vanilla Natural Bliss, and a book to get lost in.
Price: The month-to-month subscription is $46.50, which includes shipping. The price is average for a monthly book box and also offers 3, 6, and 12-month plans at a discounted rate. Check out your subscription options here.
This month’s theme was “Be Right Back… Laughing Forever”
This book had me snorting and laughing like I was a few peas short of a casserole. Full of wit and humor of all shapes, Harrison Scott Key has you laughing and feeling all the feelings in one book. And it comes with library check-out cards with writing prompts from the author.
What better way to do your writing prompts than on 160 gold-lined pages?
The first thing I loved was the bright green on the inside; it’s my favorite color. The second thing that got me was the witty quote that is essentially my life. The third thing that sent me over the edge is that it’s a sturdy little mug that holds 16 ounces of coffee.
I seriously didn’t know what to think of this plate. But the more you stare at it, the funnier it gets and now I want to buy a stand so I can display it for all to see.
But I figured out what to do with the plate in the meantime. It’s the perfect size for the delicious snackable Pralines. They taste like if a pecan, brown sugar, and butter had a baby. They just melt in your mouth.
Rich, smooth cold brew coffee and it is strong. This bag makes a single container, but you let it brew in 3-4 cups of water for 12-24 hours then filter and add milk or water to dilute it. And it’s good for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.
You can find out about subscriptions and more here at Beautiful Madness Bookcase.