Paperspine Blog

A final thank you to our members! by Dustin
December 12, 2009, 9:54 am
Filed under: Dustin H.

Dear Paperspine friends,

It has been over two years since we launched our service. Our mission was to provide a convenient and cost effective solution for avid readers to get the books they love to read. The whole idea started one night while I was reading in bed and completed one of my many books. I rolled over to stuff it in my nightstand drawer only to find there was no room left with all the other books already in there. I thought, “I wish I could just send the books back like Netflix when I’m done with them” and that was my aha moment. Myself, my wife and my 2 other business partners have worked diligently since that time to bring you our service.

Hopefully it wasn’t always apparent, but have been running the business literally from my garage for the past two years. We have never made money for our work and have full-time jobs we do during the day. We have worked on Paperspine 7 days a week since the day the business was formed, trying our best to bring our customers the service we knew you deserved. If you ever wondered why you were getting answers to your support e-mails at 10:30 on a Sunday night, now you know why. 🙂 We have weathered over 100 degree temperatures and below freezing conditions while packing the books in the garage. We have gone to the post office 6 days a week, every single week since the day we launched the company.

Grand Central Headquarters (aka my garage)


We started Paperspine with our own money and we built the website and backend operations ourselves (with the help of a good friend). Our goal was to get the company running and then raise the capital necessary from a VC firm to grow the business substantially. Unbeknownst to us, unfortunately the timing couldn’t have been worse with the biggest recession seen in over 50 years occurring at exactly the same time our business was getting off the ground. Those economic conditions made fund raising incredibly difficult and substantially limited our ability to expand at the rate we projected. It also meant certain features of the website we had planned on adding had to be significantly delayed or not done at all. We’ve spent the past 2 years trying to ride out the storm and persevere through these difficult times. We’ve made changes to our service to try and help our economics, but the necessary economies of scale never were able to fully kick in.

While our dream of the business was not able to be realized and the financial and emotional impact of running it has been significant, there is some good that has come out of this. We’ve learned a ton and we’ve met some amazing people along our journey. Authors such as Jane Porter and Megan Hart have been so wonderful and supportive of us. Professional investors Pat Kenealy, Pete Zaballos and Josh Kopelman always made time to give me their advice and offer support. Book company executives Doug Ross, Seth Beal and Dick Heffernan offered help in many ways to us over the years. Our attorney Kha Dang has become a great friend and at times my personal motivational coach. And finally my friends Sears, Jeremy, Saravana, Jordan, Mark, Piper and John that risked their own time and money to help Paperspine get as far as it did. Without you guys none of it would have been possible.

My wife (whom many of you know as Isabella and Lipstick Blogger) often tells me, “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” This was one of my shots honey and I missed, but I’m still glad I took it. Your commitment, hard work and support through all this has been nothing short of amazing. I love you and thank you for all you do for me every day.

In closing, I just want to thank all of our members that have entrusted us with the opportunity to serve you. It’s truly been a pleasure and so many of you took the time to send us an e-mail of thanks and appreciation, which ironically always seemed to come on the days we needed it the most. To try and make the transition of our service closing down as seamless as possible, we’ve worked out an arrangement with our friends over at Bookfree that offer a similar service as ours. They are providing all Paperspine members 30% off the first month of service so you can continue enjoying the book rental model you’ve come to love. Thank you to Booksfree for this generous offer and I sincerely hope all of you reading this will give them a chance at your business. You can access the code by clicking here or visiting

My very best wishes,


CEO / Co-Founder


Oatmeal, Banana, Chocolate Chip Deliciousness…. by lipstickblogger
August 7, 2009, 9:54 am
Filed under: Lipstick Blogger

I am an addict – a junk food addict.  Unrefined, processed white flour? Check! White sugar?  Check, check! Brown sugar? Hell yeah! I love it all and so does my family.  I have always been skeptical of “healthy” alternatives to baked goods which usually taste like cardboard with some honey mixed in (and those are the tasty ones), but I was going through Bethenny Frankel’s Naturally Thin book and came across a chocolate chip cookie that is nothing short of FABULOUS!  Seriously, these cookies, which are both low cal, low fat, gluten free actually taste good.  Just take a peek at the finished product….

August 09 tastespot1

Here is how you do it:


1 1/2 cups oat flour
3/4 cup oats
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. raw sugar (I used regular granulated white sugar, because that is all I had)
1/3 c. chocolate chips
1 tsp. canola oil
1/3 c. soy milk (I used 1% milk because that is all I had)
1/2 c. banana puree (from 1 medium sized ripe banana)
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Farenheit. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl. Combine all wet ingredients in a separate bowl.  Mix the dry and wet ingredients together, until combined.

2. Use a medium size ice cream scooop or a large spoon to scoop batter onto a cookie sheet covered with wax paper or a lightly greased cookie sheet.  Bake for 12 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the cooking, or bake until the edges of the cookies are light brown.

I got this recipe from Bethenny Frankel’s book Naturally Thin.  I hope you enjoy the cookies!

August 09 016

An Unexpected Surprise While Sick… by lipstickblogger

The stomach flu recently invaded our house.  First, it hit my five year old, then me and lastly my four year old.  Only my husband was spared – and thank goodness, because he tends to get hit much harder than the rest of us with these things.  J  My boys were really good about being so sick.  It was concerning seeing them sprawled out on the couch in the middle of the day rather than running around like the Tazmanian devil, but I knew that they were getting their rest, which is ultimately what they needed.  They would throw up and go back to resting and watching Scooby Doo.  No complaining, no whining – I guess they were thrilled to be allowed to watch cartoons all day long.

Me on the other hand…I thought I was going to die.  My husband thankfully stayed home for two days from work while I recovered and was good at keeping his distance.  When he did come near me – he was armed with a gas mask (I am not joking) and a bottle of Purell that he kept hanging off his belt loop like a pistol.  He was smart, because like I said, he was the only one who didn’t get sick.  The best part of being sick was I found a new reality TV show that I fell in love with.  The show was, “Tori and Dean Home Sweet Hollywood”.  This is the reality television show featuring Tori Spelling, her husband Dean McDermott and their two children.   I previously read all the tabloid headlines about them, how they met while both being married and eventually got married to one another.  I am of the  mind of “to each their own”, so while I never formed an opinion on the pair, I definitely had some pre-conceived notions of Tori Spelling, daughter of Aaron Spelling and what a spoiled, rich brat she must be. 

I have to say that after watching one episode of this pair I was hooked.  They are a really cute, sweet, and down to earth couple.  They have two small children, a boy Liam and a little girl, Stella and are loving parents just trying to make it through another chaotic day with two little ones.  I could SO relate!  After watching the Tori and Dean marathon on the Oxygen network, I decided to check out her book, Stori Telling.


Stori Telling, written by Tori Spelling talks about growing up as the daughter of Aaron Spelling, her trials and tribulations as an actress, going through horrendous relationships, her time on Beverly Hills 90210, her marriage and later divorce to Charlie Shanahan and how she ultimately met and fell in love with her now husband Dean McDermott. The book definitely shows that regardless of how much money you have, our struggles are all the same.  Wanting to fit in, wanting to feel loved, the neverending journey to finding true love and troubles with family.   The one criticism I would have for the book is that it does have a few “poor me” moments, which I think is ridiculous considering that complaining about leading such a charmed life is petty and selfish, but all in all it was a heartfelt read. 

The book makes a great beach read, great conversation with your next girls night out and a great read if you belong to a book club.  There are definitely some interesting topics that I am sure many could give some interesting insight into.
I hope you are all having a great summer!  Aside from the stomach flu, I know I have! 🙂

All the best,
Lipstick Blogger





You will want to remember this one… by lipstickblogger
June 15, 2009, 8:11 pm
Filed under: Lipstick Blogger

Being the girly girl that I am I love to shop. Shoes, clothes, makeup, handbags, accessories, you name it – I love to shop. I find that as my life has evolved I have less and less time to spend shopping the old fashioned way, but thank goodness for the internet and the iphone where you can now purchase a dress and a pair of shoes with just a few clicks. Ahhhh, you gotta love the 21st century!

Loving to shop the way I do, I fell in love with the entire Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella. While I can’t relate to Rebecca Brandon’s level of financial irresponsibility, I did love watching her indulge. When I love an author, as I do Kinsella, I can’t wait to read their subsequent novels, so I was delighted to read Kinsella’s most recent novel, “Remember Me?”


Lexi Smart finds herself waking up in a hospital bed only to realize that three years of her life have past. Stunned by the thought of losing three years of her life is slightly offset by seeing her shiny and sleek hair, perfect teeth, and amazing figure, however how Lexi is determined to figure out how she got this way. The last memory Lexi has was getting drunk with her best friends after losing out on a company bonus and being stood up by her loser boyfriend the night before her Dad’s funeral. Lexi begins to piece together the fragments of her life and comes to find out how she became, at age 28, a senior executive of her company, married to a handsome & successful man (who she has no recollection of whatsoever), and at home in a posh loft apartment with furniture and possessions she could never dream of affording.

Although her life appears perfect in the beginning, she discovers her former friends want nothing to do with her, her husband’s right-hand man tells her they are having an affair, and her little sister is constantly up to no good. I found myself unable to put this book down as Lexi sorts out her past and what happened in the missing three years. Both laughing and shaking my head in disbelief at how Lexi sorts out what happened.

The story can be a bit far-fetched at times, but as far as pure entertainment goes, this is a winner. Kinsella has a way of creating heroines in her book that are endearing, charming, and funny. I found myself rooting for Lexi and I think you just might be feeling the same way. “Remember Me?” is an awesome beach read that will not disappoint.

All the best,
Lipstick Blogger

A Junkie… by lipstickblogger
June 3, 2009, 9:07 pm
Filed under: Lipstick Blogger

I admit it, I am completely addicted to trashy reality television shows.  I watch them all – Millionaire Matchmaker, Dancing With the Stars, Celebrity Apprentice, Project Runway, Keeping Up With The Kardashians, The Hills, The City, and my favorite of all The Real Housewives series on Bravo.  For those of you unfamiliar with this franchise, there is the Real Housewives of the OC, New York, Atlanta and coming soon, New Jersey.  Several “housewives” are filmed and it basically shows the more dramatic aspects of their life. 


The Real Housewives of New York has just finished their second season and one of the stars of this show, Bethenny Frankel is the mastermind behind my most recent read entitled, “Naturally Thin.”  Frankel, a natural foods chef who graduated from the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health & Culinary Arts in New York offers frank advice on how she maintains her perfect shape.  She has ten rules that are outlined in her book.  They include:

1.    Your diet is a bank account: It’s all about balancing your calories for the day.
2.    You can have it all, just not all at once: Keep the bulk of your food light and 
       simple to make room for 
       something you really want.
3.    Taste everything, eat nothing: Mooch a bite off your friends; don’t order the 
       whole enchilada.
4.    Pay attention: No mindless eating.
5.    Downsize now: Shrink the size of your plates, bowls and cups and remember 
       portion control.
6.    Cancel your membership in the Clean-Plate Club: Doggie bag it or share; you 
       don’t have to clean your plate.
7.    Check yourself before you wreck yourself: Be in the moment and stop binge 
8.    Know thyself: Customize your eating to who you are.
9.    Get real: The more unprocessed, whole, local foods, the better.
10.  Good for you: Be good to yourself and let your choices come from a place of love
       for yourself.

For those of you familiar with the Bravo series that Bethenny stars on, you are accustomed to her frank advice and candor.  This book is written in the same way.  I liked that she didn’t tell you what to eat, when to eat it and most importantly she didn’t tell you what you can’t eat.  She did offer suggestions on how she manages her diet and how she sneaks in the indulgent food.  Throughout the book there are sections entitled, “Naturally Thin Thoughts” where she offers advice on how to live as a naturally thin person and advice on how she handled certain situations with regards to food.

I liked her frank advice and her honesty.  Perhaps it is my own insecurities, but I like hearing about other peoples struggles.  She covers some of her own past issues with bulimia and a less than perfect childhood, which humanizes Bethenny even more.

A fun read, from a fun girl, that just may inspire you to be a little more healthy.

All the best!

Lipstick Blogger

All Different Kinds of Love… by lipstickblogger
April 5, 2009, 8:57 pm
Filed under: Lipstick Blogger | Tags: , , , ,

I love seeing people in love. My favorites are the really old couples that still hold hands, giggle together and where the man still opens up the door for his wife. There is something so beautiful in seeing love that has endured many years together and through the ups and downs, still remains strong. I have been married for 10 years and I can honestly say that I love my husband more today than I did 10 years ago. Now he might tell you different since I don’t dote on him the way I did the first few years of our marriage, but our life has evolved so drastically that there isn’t the time to concentrate solely on him. But seeing him stick by me through our ups and downs, birth of our sons and being my rock through all our years together has shown me what a remarkable man he is.


Love is the main theme in my latest book, “You Don’t Know Jack” by Erin McCarthy. But in this case, it is new love, which definitely has the thrills that make it so amazing to read about. Jamie Peters is a social worker with a wonderful spirit, who has an affinity for dating all the wrong guys. A tarot card reading by one of her friends, Beckwith reveals that she will meet the love of her life. While some may not take this prediction at face value, Jamie does seem to have some faith in Beckwith. When Jamie literally runs into a man, Jonathan “Jack” Davidson on the subway who is charming, handsome, kind and thoughtful she immediately is reminded of how her faith in Beckwith was correct.

However, Jamie is no stranger to Jack. Their meeting was intentional on his part as he is investigating Jamie’s agency as it has requested funding from his grandfather’s agency. Upon reviewing the agencies records Jack notices that the books don’t appear to be in order so he is forced to work undercover to figure out what is going on. What Jack didn’t expect to happen was to feel such an intense attraction towards Jamie. The attraction is mutual and after they spend some unbelievable time together Jack soon realizes that he is in way over his head and feels terrible for not coming clean to Jamie.

Both characters are kind and for lack of a better word, lovely. The book has an amazing ability to pull you in and Erin McCarthy has the gift of creating a connection so deep between these two characters that as a reader, I could almost feel. On more than one occasion I found myself sneaking away to read this book. The love is not old or a married love, but it is young and very, very hot. Enjoy! 🙂

All the best,
Lipstick Blogger


P.S. Check me out on Twitter!

Game On! by lipstickblogger
March 22, 2009, 7:21 pm
Filed under: Lipstick Blogger

I am no basketball fan, but with the energy of March Madness penetrating my home I haven’t been able to help but catch a few minutes of a game here and there. Unfortunately the Washington Huskies (my alma-mater) didn’t make it to the Sweet 16, but at least I will be spared the constant chatter over players, coaches and all that stuff. I am the only woman in a house of two boys and a husband. I adore them, but sometimes the giggling after farts, belching and wrestling reminds me of a frat house. I am not sure if I could deal with the level of testosterone that would be produced from having the Huskies go much farther.


The other reason I titled the blog “Game On” is honor of my latest book, “Game For Anything” by Bella Andre. Check out the abs on the cover– whoa baby! Not many Big Mac’s in his diet. 🙂 OK, I will get back on track now… “Game For Anything” is the story of Julie Spencer, one of the country’s top image consultants who is hired by the owner of the Outlaws football team to clean up the image of their star quarterback and notorious womanizer, Ty Calhoun. The one problem is that Julie and Ty have a history that could ruin Julie’s reputation and the business she has worked so hard to create.

Ty Calhoun is at the top of his game. He has just won the Superbowl, has money, fame and more women than he could ever imagine. However, the one woman he can’t forget is the one girl from his senior prom, Julie Spencer. Regardless of all the countless women that have thrown themselves at Ty, he can’t forget Julie and the night that they shared. Nothing has ever compared to the passion he felt for her and his search for another Julie just may have come to an end as his conservative football owner demands that Ty clean up his image and to Ty’s luck, Julie is hired Julie to do it.

The coincidence of Julie and Ty crossing paths seems a bit far-fetched; however the chemistry between these two characters is electric. Their history both personally and with one another gives this book depth and a compelling plot. Game for Anything is a surprising love story that has sizzle and will leave you wanting more and more.

Lipstick Blogger


P.S. Check me out on Twitter!