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The Second Shelf is an online bookshop and quarterly publication of rare books and words by women.
The Second Shelf is an online bookshop and quarterly publication of rare books and words by women.
608 backers pledged £32,002 to help bring this project to life.

Recent updates


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For You


The Second Shelf has been honored to have your support through the beginning stages of our journal, business, and store. It's been a laborious journey, but your kindnesses has carried us through. Thank you for supporting women and writing in this way. 

Please expect your perks in your mailboxes any day now. We're excited for you to have them and hope you'll be pleased. It would make our day to see pictures of you wearing The Second Shelf totes and shirts. 

Again, many thanks and we look forward to meeting you all in person in our Soho store, which will open soon. We'll keep you updated. 

Warm wishes, 

The Second Shelf 

The Second Shelf and You!

The Second Shelf is now in print and in the mail to backers!
The Second Shelf is now in print and in the mail to backers!

The Second Shelf: A Quarterly of Rare Books and Words By Women is hot off the press and have been shipped from our mail house. They are crossing the pond and starting to arrive. Digital downloads will be sent by the end of the week!

Backers totes, t-shirts, sweatshirts, and posters have been printed and after a few hurdles with shipping are now getting ready to mail out this week. 

Surprise first editions and mini-libraries are being selected and assembled over the next two weeks, and will ship by mid-October. If there is any reason, if the purchase was a gift, for example, you need yours to arrive sooner, please email and we will do our best to prioritize your needs. Everyone has been patient and we appreciate it so much. 

The Second Shelf has also been pond hopping and setting up at The Brooklyn Antiquarian Book Fair, and the Brooklyn Book Festival, and I spoke at the Cardiff Book Festival and the National Library of Scotland! All of this couldn't have happened without a lot of help from our friends, part-time staff, and supporters. Our biggest project is that we are opening a brick-and-mortar store in London, hopefully in mid-November.

Our website is still under development, primarily due to the unforeseen opportunity to open the shop, and our need to finalize details for the shop, in order to finish the website. It is coming along, though, and when it goes up we will have a bookstore online with over 600 books ready to browse. In the meantime, if you want to purchase something from the first issue of The Second Shelf, simply email us at Don't hesitate, as orders have started to come in! 

Thank you for all of you vocal support. We couldn't have done what we are doing without you and your enthusiasm has been a bright light guiding us through the choppy new business seas. 

To those asking how to help support our launch further, we offer our sincere appreciation. One thing that helps us keep going and growing that you can do, if you wish, is ask your library to subscribe. We can set up an account for them, as many can't do the Backerkit preorder. They can email us for more information at And if you need to direct them to more information about what we are up to, feel free to send them this profile that published last night in Vanity Fair. Thank you!

If you'd like to join The Second Shelf's mailing list to learn about future events, deals, and issues of our quarterly, sign-up here.

If you've decided you want more merchandise, or additional issues or subscriptions you have time! They are available here.

Truly yours,

A. N. Devers

Surveys and Add-ons: The Second Shelf


Dear Second Shelf Supporters, 

You should soon have a survey in your inbox! They are being sent now, but there is a test-run of a small percentage before all will arrive. Please fill that out for us so we can get you exactly what you want from us. We can't wait to see The Second Shelf's merchandise in the wild. 

If you want to add anything on to your order, know that this is a possibility! We're working with Backerkit to provide a way for you to add-on or even change your choice of merch. We added several new options for you. And anything you add on will help us cover the costs of printing the quarterly, and perhaps even open a brick and mortar store - a new development we are crossing our fingers might happen as early as October. Additional shirt, tote, and quarterly purchases will help make that far more likely as well. 

Thank you all for your backing in this multifaceted vision that all comes down to one focus: supporting women's words. 


The Second Shelf

A Summer Supporter Update

Photo credit: Jo Emmerson from Allison Wright's VQR piece "Books We Should Have Known"
Photo credit: Jo Emmerson from Allison Wright's VQR piece "Books We Should Have Known"

Dear Second Shelf Supporters,

Happy Summer to you!

We had anticipated sending out our surveys a couple weeks ago, but are still hashing out details on production of The Second Shelf merchandise and have been held up on rather boring details of batches and quantities and affordability -- and we want to make sure those shirts, totes, and posters are as beautiful as possible before sending them to your mailboxes this fall. Please be on the look out to fill out a survey, coming to your inbox soon, so we can get your perks exactly right.

We've also been finalizing the design of the first issue of The Second Shelf: A Quarterly of Rare Books and Words By Women, getting back to our website design, attending events, and spreading the word about the need to feminize the bookshelves at Virginia Quarterly Review, The Paris Review, and Books and Papers Fairs, and just today at Lithub, and we are selling books, too. We had a booth at the Idler Festival, will be attending the Cardiff Book Festival, the Brooklyn Antiquarian Book Fair, the Brooklyn Book Festival, where we plan on selling the first issue of the quarterly. 

We are also pursing a potential retail space with absolutely no certainty much will come of it, but we believe it's worth investigating. We promise to keep you updated, as we'd love for you to visit. All perks are still on schedule to deliver in September - cross your fingers for us during this wild few weeks!

Warmest wishes,

Allison Devers, Proprietor 

Messages always welcome to

The Second Shelf Sizzling Summer Status and Surveys Update!

Photo credit: Jo Emmerson
Photo credit: Jo Emmerson

Dear The Second Shelf Supporters,

Things are wildly busy over here as we work to breathe life into The Second Shelf after all of your help. Your incredibly generous contributions have just hit the account and it allows us to move forward immediately on the work we have to do. We are finalizing designs and sourcing vendors for your reward t-shirt and totes, selecting the first editions for our surprise boxes and our mini-libraries, and bringing the first edition of The Second Shelf Quarterly and the online bookshop to life. It is wonderful place to be.

All rewards will be delivered September 2018. This includes the quarterly, which we had initially thought we would publish and deliver in July. In the course of the Kickstarter campaign it became clear that our ambition for The Quarterly would be best met by having a little bit more time with it. It could go to press as it is, or it could bring readers more writing and work, and so we have expanded the number of features and contributors. We are currently in our second round of designs and testing covers and it is incredibly fun. Putting the quarterly out in September also sets it up for a standard seasonal publishing schedule and will allow us to bundle your rewards with delivery and save time and resources on shipping and handling.

Our next step for you, dear backers, is to have you fill out your reward surveys, the details of which we are almost done with, and which will be sent out at the end of the week, barring any technical issues. These will ask you for preferences where there is a design or size choice (subject to demand and feasibility), where we might learn a bit more about your reading preferences for your surprise first editions, and give us confirmation of your details. A number of add-on items will become available as well!

If you have any questions in the meantime please feel free to email us. Thanks so much for your patience and support as we get the gears moving on our launch. We can't wait to share everything with you. Our goal is to have the quarterly and online shop up in early September and will keep you apprised! Until then if you would like to purchase books from us, you are always welcome to write and inquire about stock.

Truly yours,