Changing The World: One Book Date At A Time

PieLiving with a chronic physical and mental illness had led me to spend a lot of time managing feeling poorly and struggling. Having spent time in hospital, including a year as an inpatient on an eating disorder ward, I learnt a lot about self care and soothing myself when things are hard. Gradually I realised that I could come up with an idea that combined my love (and the boost it gives to my wellbeing) of craft, vintage and reading to come up with something that might help others who are going through a challenging time. #DateWithABook was born and it has continued to grow from there onwards.

You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me– C.S. Lewis.

Illness can lead you to feel really isolated. You can face days where you are really limited in the amount of energy you have, or motivation to do the things you would love to be doing. This was one of the starting ideas for my book dates. I wanted to reach out to people who might be finding things tough and offer them something to help them through that moment. I’m a lover of everything old and vintage and the idea of rehoming a beautiful old book felt like the best way to go. Giving these books a new lease of life whilst helping others just seemed perfect! The idea is that a book date is a way to reclaim date night and rest and rejuvenate with a hot drink and a cosy homely coaster with your set.

We read to know we’re not alone– William Nicholson, Shadowlands.

So, what do I hope to achieve with my little book dates? Well… quite a lot! I believe that sharing a #datewithabook can be a huge act of kindness, offering someone who is struggling a piece of calm, distraction and an excuse to have a night off. Or it can be a perfect piece of self care for yourself, to help with the stresses that we face day to day. A date with a book can be a way of reconnecting with someone who needs some extra love or showing you care when you can’t ‘fix’ a situation someone is going through.

Praise for #datewithabook

I absolutely loved recieving my date with a book parcel in the post. Kate made one up based on my likes for me to enjoy on maternity leave. Good value for money and such a wonderful idea for a treat to yourself or for gifts to others. Will be ordering from her again in the future.- Jenny


I received my date with a book yesterday and it’s wonderful. I almost didn’t want to open it as it looked so pretty. I’m currently about to sit down and start reading. I will definitely be using you again. It is such a lovely idea.– Lindsey

Fantastic idea. Love this. Date with a Book. Something really different, original & unique. Brought for a friend, who Loved it to & has been showing friends. Whole thing arrives Beautifully packaged in soft tissue paper. Makes a Wonderful gift for Any occasion. Or No occasion at all.. Just to say, Thinking of you. Hello. Etc.– Annette

Such a unique idea! It was very exciting to receive the package as you don’t know which book you will get and I was not disappointed! I received a book from an author who I’ve never heard of, and I cannot wait to read it! Prompt delivery too!!– Bisma

There are lots of different #datewithabook sets available in my Conscious Crafties and Etsy stores. I’m just in the process of a big restock to make way for a beautiful array of Christmas gifts, ideal for the person who has everything. Use the discount code BLOG10 to get 10% off any orders over £10. I also have a #datewithabook advent calendar full of literary themed items.



Widening my perspectives of the world

Telephonstolpar (telephone posts) By Erik Johansson
This week I listened in to a conversation between two very sweet old ladies. They were 88 and 83 years old and had a lot of life experience. One had been a staff nurse at a mental health hospital for predominantly her entire career and both were full of interesting stories and views of the world. They were discussing how sad it was that the youth of today were so distracted from real life by technology that they weren’t out there getting jobs and earning for themselves. 

I was filled with a sense of agreement with some of what they were saying in that I could do with spending less time arsing about on the internet and doing something productive, but equally I didn’t agree. For me my laptop is a gateway into the world and a way to show me how much more to life there is than what I see day to day. This evening we skyped our housemate in America and the ability to talk to her despite her being so far away was something I wished the two old ladies I had listened to had experienced. 

Arbete (work)- by Erik Johansson
Recently I’ve become slightly addicted to stumbleupon and I could easily spend hours aimlessly stumbling at pictures and interesting websites. I realise that this may prove the point that the internet is there for time wasting however being able to flick through places that inspire me and remind me that life won’t remain the same forever fills me with some comfort. I’m just a small fish in a big pond and I just need to remember that there’s a whole world out there ready for me to get exploring. I came across a photographer/artist named Erik Johansson who creates pictures that have different perceptions on what you are seeing. He describes his work as demonstrating what his mind sees and the pictures are really beautiful and I found them to be quite haunting too. There’s something about the images that makes you stop and think about the world for the moment and wonder about some of the aspects of it. The main thing I took away from the pictures was the interaction between what is natural and what is man made and controlled- there seemed to be a wonderful message within the pictures of how interlinked both of those ideas are. Man control and interacts with a world that exists on its own but allows manipulation. 

Tonights blog seems to be a bit of a pile of different ramblings and thoughts. But hey… I’m running with it and I think I might be on to a couple of ideas that other less tired humans might be interested to read haha! My final parting thought is a quote. I’m clearly becoming the queen of quotes but I really like this one. Again it was something that I came across and it made me stop, pause and think for a moment. I think the things in life that make you stop and think are the most valuable especially in a society where we are all so busy all of the time. No wonder there are so many people struggling with there mental health, life moves too quickly to be properly processed so people revert to other ways to cope. 

 … imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, ‘This is an interesting world I find myself in – an interesting hole I find myself in – fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!’ This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it’s still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything’s going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. ” Douglas Adams

Night night for now.

Love Kate x