Alphabet Book Club was founded by our Book Master, Chelsea (who identifies as Queer) in 2021, with the support of her wife, Book Peddler, Theresa (who is proudly Pan) and their sister/in-law, Book Keeper, Ruth, (an awesome Ally).
As Book Master, Chelsea (she/they) reads every title we hold in stock so they are able to answer any questions our customers have about appropriateness for gift giving and reading age. It also means that we intimately understand the representation in the books we have in store and so she always has a good recommendation!
As Book Peddler, Theresa (she/her) takes all of Chelsea's requests for stock and she goes out to the world to find them, ensuring that they arrive at our home base for Chelsea and Ruth to sort out.
As Book Keeper, Ruth (she/her) manages the business and all things financial! She also works with Chelsea to help pack the books and send them out as soon as possible.
Remus (he/him) generally gets in the way, steals packing peanuts and alerts us when the courier arrives. He's a very good boy.
Chelsea is a bibliophile and for Christmas 2020, she requested books as gifts. Theresa gave her The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune - a beautiful story about found family and written to perfection in a way that only TJ Klune is able to. Both Chelsea and Theresa were so taken by the story, they started recommending it to everyone and tried to find copies to purchase, only to discover that it was very difficult to get not only this story, but many other queer titles (not considered 'mainstream') in New Zealand. Having to wait for weeks, sometimes months, to receive titles from overseas, or joining a waitlist of over 100 people at the regional libraries, seemed to be the only option.
The more we looked into it, the more it became apparent just how difficult it is for our New Zealand community to gain access to incredible stories that reflect who and how we are. And so it was that while tripping around the beautiful South Island with our team mascot, Remy, Chelsea and Theresa, along with Ruth on skype, began to brainstorm their dream company - a book store focused on providing LGBTQIA+ titles that can be couriered as soon as our customers order. So instead of waiting for months, they can receive them within a few days and relish in the stories that we love.
Most importantly, Alphabet Book Club is a community. We want to get to know you and for you to get to know us. We have created spaces where you can feel safe to share and talk about books and life as a part of our wonderful rainbow community. We have launched a podcast, to run alongside our Book Box Subscription so let us know if you would like to chat and we have our private Facebook group to kōrero! We'll also host events and eventually, in a post-Covid world, we will open brick and mortar community centres to make regular contact with you all. We can't wait to share our vision with you and we hope you will join us for the adventures ahead!