Amanda founded Books and Pieces after she spotted a gap in the market for low price books with a personalised service. As she is a lover of books and a bit of a bargain hunter, she has been able to combine two of her assions in Books and Pieces.
Amanda is a wonderful mum to three bubbly boys adn she is one of the nicest people you could ever wish to meet.
We think you will really enjoy finding out more about her and her fabulous business.
What inspired you to start Books & Pieces?
I’ve always been a bit of a bookworm, and when my eldest was born I was really passionate about making sure books were a part of his life too. But when you’re a new parent, it’s really tricky to know which books you should be sharing with your children at what age, and I soon learnt that little ones love to listen to the same book A LOT, so for me it was important to find great books that I really enjoyed reading that my little man would enjoy too.
I spotted a gap in the market for low price books with a personalised service. And because I’m a bit of a bargain hunter it means I’ve been able to combine two of my passions in Books & Pieces.
What do you love most about owning an online book store?
One of my favourite things is getting out to the events and meeting my customers face to face (I exhibit at major UK baby shows). I really love it when customers return to my stall to tell me how much they loved the recommendations I made for them and ask for new suggestions now their little one is that bit older.
I also really enjoy sourcing the books – it’s such a buzz when I find brilliant books I can sell on my 3 for £10 deal.
And I still get a thrill each time I send out book post; I know what an impact books have had in my family’s lives and I think of the enjoyment that’s being sent out in each of the book-filled packages.
Why did you decide to form a Parent Panel for Books & Pieces?
For multiple reasons, really. It’s all very well me telling people my books are great, but having that endorsement from other parents means my customers don’t have to take just my word for it.
Also, my boys are growing up, so it’s important for me to test out my books with younger children too.
And there’s such a great community of parents out there, sharing their love of books through their blogs and businesses – it’s great to tap into their expertise and be able to support each other in what we’re doing.
What do you consider to be the main benefits to children of enjoying story time?
There are so many benefits. The obvious benefits include language development, the quality time you get to spend together sharing and talking about a book, and the opportunity to introduce different ideas and experiences to your little ones.
But by reading with your young children, you’re setting them up for life and education – at a recent parents’ evening at my boys’ school both of their teachers told me it was very obvious that I read lots with them because of their vocabulary, imagination and brilliant story telling. What an excellent by-product of books!
What are your hopes and dreams for Books & Pieces?
I want to help even more families make books and reading a part of their lives by continuing to provide really great books at low prices and sharing useful tips, advice and recommendations on my blog.
And this year I’m launching a storybook subscription service for families to receive brand new handpicked books through the post each month. I’m also introducing a free Birthday Club where members will receive special deals and discounts as their children’s birthdays approach.
My big dream is to grow the business so I can welcome other parents onto my team – giving them chance to work flexibly and earn a living around their children, and spread the love of books.
Have you always loved reading?
I have. I’m an only child so with no siblings to play with I’d often have my nose in a book! One of the first books I remember reading was The Inquisitive Calf – which in hindsight was totally apt as I’m really inquisitive by nature.
I still read lots now. I’m a member of a local book club which has been a great way to find books I probably wouldn’t pick myself!
Who is your favourite children’s book author and why?
I totally love Julia Donaldson. Her books are so fun and easy to read, they’re always so beautifully illustrated, and they’re the books I don’t mind reading again and again…and again! I really admire the way she makes the rhyming stories seem so effortless.
I’ve recently developed a bit of a crush on Yuval Zommer – his books are right up my street, and I’m steadily building up our collection. The illustrations are engaging and unique, and he’s got a great mix of fiction and non-fiction books which really appeals to my boys (and me!).
What is your favourite children’s book?
That is SO hard. I think one of my all-time favourites is Cave Baby by Julia Donaldson and Emily Gravett – it’s one of Julia’s less-known books, but it’s the one that I’ve always read with my boys when we have a new baby; we always pretend Cave Baby is their baby brother and so I’ve got a really strong emotional connection to it. The illustrations are fab too – and a little bit different to the ones you usually associate with Julia Donaldson books.
If you could do anything else for the day what would it be?
Aside from lying on the beach with a good book? I often think it would be great to work in the fitness industry. I’d love to have more time to exercise and encourage others to embrace exercise and live a healthier lifestyle. And I think fitness coaches are always learning, modifying what they offer, and trying new things – this approach really appeals to me.
If you could spend a day with one of the PrenderPals who would it be and why?
It’s got to be Rosie the Racoon; it sounds like we’ve got a lot in common and she’s a Virgo like me - and some of my best pals are fellow Virgos. I reckon we could have a great time together!
We hope you've enjoyed reading this interview and if you would like to get your hands on her 3 books for £10 deal then head over to the Books and Pieces website. As if her offer wasn't enough of a bargain already I have a discount code you can use for an extra 10% off. Just use the discount code Prenderland10 when you checkout.
Happy reading everyone!