How are the Paperback Bookshelf books chosen?

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” 
― Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

Paperback Bookshelf was started because we wanted to curate a book box that featured books and authors we love and want to get to know. Through featuring a wonderful mixture of popular classics and lesser known titles, we’re helping to build a paperback library that is diverse, interesting, and that includes a little piece of ourselves. Sometimes we’re discovering these stories for the first time right alongside you, and sometimes we’re sending out newer editions of books that we have loved for years. Either way, Paperback Bookshelf is an experience that we are excited to share with you, and we look forward to exploring the featured books and authors together!

Jeremy and I plan out the books we are going to include several months in advance to make sure that we can curate enough copies. There have been times where we wanted to include a particular title and ended up having to swap it out for another title by the author due to being out of print or an inability to source enough copies. This makes us very sad, but it does happen.

Open Paperback Bookshelf subscription box with Thank You note inside
Photo by Willow + Co

“Just read stories that make you feel something. ”

Thus far, we have pretty much been alternating months, meaning he chooses a book for one month and I choose the book for the next month. We have differing tastes in reading material — for the most part — so this allows us to choose from a wide variety of books. Our choices are often heavily rooted in the science fiction and fantasy genres, however, because these are the books that we love best. This doesn’t mean that a great memoir or literary fiction story isn’t forthcoming! We like those types of books, too. There may also be some nonfiction books to come in the future — maybe something related to writing since this is something we both enjoy. Do you have any favorite books on writing that every aspiriting writer should have on their shelf?

Paperback Bookshelf shipped out for the very first time in November, 2018 with Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams as the featured book. Since then, we have featured The Neverending Story by Michael Ende, The Black Company #1 by Glen Cook, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, and many others. Forthcoming titles will include some timeless stories, as well as more modern stories that are destined to become classics. Plus we’ll throw in books that we enjoy that are purely entertainment-based. Not everything we read has to be bound for the classics shelf, right? Let’s have fun with our reading choices! Read weird stories that challenge the cultural norms or read stories that make you cry. Just read stories that make you feel something.

Curating the Paperback Bookshelf books and creating the scented items that are book-themed has been so much fun, and we look forward to sharing more of these bookish experiences! If you’re curious about what is typically included in a Paperback Bookshelf box, read the post here. If you’re ready to join us on this bookish journey, you can subscribe here. If you’d like to try a single-purchase box without the commitment of a subscription, you can do that, too! We have several options for one-time Paperback Bookshelf boxes in our shop at

Have we included any of your favorite books in Paperback Bookshelf yet? If so, which ones? If not, tell us what your favorites are and we’ll consider featuring them in future boxes!

Paperback Bookshelf subscription box with wrapped featured book and Toad Hall body Spray, handcrafted by Blue Spider Books
Photo by Willow + Co

Blue Spider Books & Wax logo of typewriter with Blue Spider Books & Wax logo
Have you checked out Paperback Bookshelf?