Nikki Jones from Southsea set up The Bookish Mindset in February last year out of her own love of reading.
The book subscription service provides keen readers with a themed box, complete with gifts and a hand-picked book to accommodate all their reading needs.
Nikki will read up to five books centred around each month’s theme in the run up to the release and pick the one she finds to be the best to make the cut.
She will then include other mini gifts such as themed stickers and a flavoured tea bag.
The business came out of Nikki’s lockdown hobby, which she shared on Instagram and says it has been great for helping people’s mental health.
The 29-year-old said: ‘It began when I decided to start sharing what I was reading, I was reading dozens of books and wanted to share it with others. ‘There’s a little corner of Instagram which is called ‘bookstagram’,’ she explains.
‘It’s a lovely little place where people share book recommendations and review books that they’re reading. For me it started out as just that, sharing and reviewing, but then I wanted to do something more with it – then The Bookish Mindset was born.’
All of the books included in each box, including ones that don’t make the cut, are bought from Pigeon Books on Albert Road, with the other gifts sourced from mainly local or independent businesses.
The books flip between fiction and non-fiction month after month and cover a range of topics and genres, from biographies to personal development books to contemporary novels.
The packaging is almost all eco-friendly with as little plastic used as possible.
Nikki makes it a priority to keep her boxes diverse and seek out books and gifts from non-white and queer authors and businesses.
She said: ‘I really wanted to diversify my own reading so started to make a point of reading more books from people who aren’t just white or heterosexual or from middle-class backgrounds, and that was something I wanted to bring into the business, too.
‘It’s amazing how much of what we consume is all produced by the same type of people and it’s important to broaden our horizons and open up to reading more from people of all backgrounds and walks of life.
‘It’s hard not to relate to someone when you’re literally reading their story.
‘I’m hoping to turn the people of Portsmouth into bookworms, one box at a time. Reading is so good for mental health and if someone takes time for themselves to sit down with a book and a cup of tea, they’re headed in the right direction.’
A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron
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