I met Eva Rice at a wedding in England this Summer, meeting her only as Eva, initially. Once we traded proper names, I instantly let myself down by describing the cover of one of her own books to her, but failing to remember the title. There were wails of “Wait…wait…it’s beige with a dress on the cover, yes…I’ve half read it.” Nice. It was award winning and is called The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets (incidentally, and most probably before this uninspiring display took place, she kindly agreed to do a Day in the Life for Changmoh, so watch this space).
The long and short of it is that I am not that well read. To tell the truth, I’m not well read at all (Anna Karenina has sat on my bedside table for years and I’ve only read up to page 10).
Despite that, I do adore reading – even if finding the time to do so is extremely hard – and once I get started, I generally find it difficult to put a book down. I am proud to say that I can even cook up a white sauce whilst continuing to page turn.
The point to all of this is that when I do, finally, get around to reading, I want inspiring, improving reads.
So when Book Chocolate contacted me and asked for my brutal and honest advice on their site, which is essentially a modern day book loan business based in Singapore, I was more than happy to be on board.
Their concept is simple: sign up for a plan, choose your books (which will be delivered to your door) take your time reading your choices – there are no deadlines for when things must be returned. Once you’ve finished, exchange them for other titles; they have over 1,500.
I have to say that when I first looked at the site, I thought it all looked a bit light and fluffy. Chic lit and more chic lit. Not my cup of tea. I am not in to white chocolate, metaphorically and literally speaking, and because I feel there are a few gaps in my literary education I favour the 70% cocoa solids kind of reads.
It’s a work in progress, but I love how Archana – who owns and runs the site – has now enlarged her list of categories to include an Award winners/nominees section as well as Famous book club picks. I’d still like to see one titled Classics which is what I also need to top up on.
Other existing tags books on the site are catalogued under include: Thought-provoking, A fluffy, fun pick-me-up, Armchair travel, For food lovers and many more.
As there are a mass of titles to choose from, what they do really nicely at Book Choc is to encourage people to drop them an email, once they’ve subscribed, listing their preferences, whether it be a certain author or genre, and they will find your titles for you.
I may be the vaguely proud owner of a kindle but more often than not, the battery is flat. I love to read a real book I can touch and hold; that I am able to flick though to decide whether or not I have the time to start and finish a new chapter before 1am dawns.
Book Chocolate has no queues to grapple with, no late fees and I love that the books of your choice are driven to your door and placed in your hands with almost no effort on your part.
All you then have to do is turn the pages.
My Book Choc book choices have included:
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
The Thread by Victoria Hislop
My subscription to Book Chocolate is complementary and began in February this year. I am on the Classic Mocha subscription plan which allows me three books at any one time, with one book exchange a month. It’s priced at $14.50 and plans start from $9.50 a month.