Skip to main content
A Magazine for

Treat Your Shelf: Books, baths & intersectional feminism

by Now Then Sheffield
513 1561019790

Treat Your Shelf is a brand new monthly box subscription for lovers of books, bath bombs and fair representation. We sat down for a natter with company founder Rosy Morris-Roe to find out more.

Firstly, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and why you decided to start Treat Your Shelf?

Hi, my name is Rosy. I'm a Sheffield native and I currently work as a bookseller for a well-known bookshop. My biggest passions are literature, baths and intersectional feminism.

For a while now I've been sending book packages to friends of mine because I love spreading the joy of books, so I decided to try and make a business out of it. I work with books every day and I noticed that often main characters and storylines are focussed around white, cisgender, heterosexual people, and I wanted to explore and share more books representing all the other wonderful people that take up space on this planet.

What can people look forward to receiving in their monthly box?

Each month the box will include one paperback book that focuses on the inclusivity of marginalised people, along with a couple of bespoke, handmade bath bombs to aid in self care and relaxation, arguably the best and most important things ever. There will also be other lovely little trinkets from indie businesses or artists.

What those things are will change each month depending on the people being featured, but I'm really excited about the artists we have coming up in the next few boxes. I will take this opportunity to say that if any artists would like to get involved in an upcoming box, they can get in touch with me at treatyourshelfbox@gmail.com.

What is intersectionality and why is it so important?

To me intersectionality is about understanding that discrimination doesn't happen in a bubble, that there are different kinds of prejudices that can be amplified in all kinds of ways when they are put together. For example, I'm a woman, and so I feel societal oppressions because of that, but I'm also a white, cisgender woman, and so I have certain levels of privilege also. Black women will feel oppressions for being women but also for being black, and trans black woman will feel discrimination for being trans, for being black and for being women.

It's important to me because I believe that if we are the ones with the voices most likely to be listened to, then it's our responsibility to stand up for and defend marginalised people and help fight their battles.

Will you be choosing all of the books yourself or are you seeking recommendations from other folks too?

For now I will be choosing them myself and they will all be books I've read. The reason for this is because I want to ensure everything I send out to people is purposeful and appropriate.

Luckily I have lots of wonderful people in my life who experience the world in a different way to me, so I've been calling on them to help me understand whether certain books and certain language is appropriate and ok to use in certain contexts. For example, I recently read a book that I wanted to include that focussed on disability, but which also included a lot of ableist language. Because I'm not a disabled person I didn't want to send out a piece of literature that people could find offensive and so I sought advice from a friend of mine who experiences ableism in her everyday life.

I also try to find authors who are writing from a personal perspective. There are of course going to be parts of these books that are triggering for some people or that use language that we wouldn't necessarily use ourselves, but I would never send out a book that I didn't think had purpose. Another reason I want to have read all the books myself is so I can properly trigger-warn each one.

Are we right in thinking your subscribers will also be able to get involved in the Treat Your Shelf online book club? How will that work?

The book club will take place online at facebook.com/treatyourshelf. I will make an event each month for people to be able to discuss and dissect each book - and hopefully make some new buds in the process.

How do people sign up?

People can subscribe by visiting treatyourshelf.co.uk and choosing the package they want.

My first box is a limited run of just ten. The first boxes are due to be sent out on 20 July. Anyone who signs up after the first ten people will have their subscription start in August and then subsequently every month afterwards. They can also keep up to date with everything we are doing on either Facebook or Instagram @treatyourshelfbox.

treatyourshelf.co.uk

Flick Jackson

by Now Then Sheffield

Related articles

Make Yourself at Home, Sheffield

Stories of recovery, resilience and renewal can give us a new sense of shared purpose and agency, says Opus and Now Then co-founder James Lock.