archive for the Books category

“Not In the Guide Book” Launch Party

Books Monday 13th November 2006

Last Friday was the launch of James and Alex’s book Not In the Guide Book, a collection of the best content from Google Sightseeing at the swanky Indigo Yard. For the help I gave them with the site when they first launched I got the first copy signed by them both, cheers guys! The books is surprisingly shiny and is neater and more compact than I was expecting. They’ve licensed all the images from the appropriate data providers and given the blog-style entries more polish to make them “book worthy”. It works well and I hope they sell lots. I think the cover lets it down terribly though and Alex lamented that they’d asked to design it themselves (he is a Graphic Designer) but the publisher wouldn’t budge.

There are some god-awful photos from my phone on a Flickr set.


The new

Books,Design Thursday 12th October 2006

I’ve just checked out the waterstones website after noticing an ad in todays Metro. This new site is a reversal of their online strategy as previously the site was run as a glorified amazon affiliate. It was basically just a mirror of amazon’s book site with a waterstones logo at the top.

This new site is much nicer. It has a fresh and clean style and even has a few trendy curved boxes. The styled form elements look a little like a flash app but help to tie together the overall style. Doing a quick comparison the pricing seems competitive and the shipping is marginally cheaper. The threshold for free shipping is the same as amazon (£15) but amazon’s free shipping is “Super Saver” i.e. slow. It’s nice to see that they’ve improved the events and local store information (something which amazon did terribly) and that bookseller reviews are intergrated with product descriptions. The much talked about blogs are a little on the shonky side with no RSS and no visible actual blog-like structure.

Overall though, a vast improvement on the previous incarnation.

Disclaimer: I used to work at waterstones

Barter Books

Books,General,Me Monday 31st July 2006

My parents were in Alnwick for the weekend seeing Jools Holland at Alnwick Castle. I got the train down to see them yesterday, Alnmouth station is only an hour on the train from Edinburgh. You can’t go to Alnwick without going to the awesome Barter Books, one of the largest second hand bookshops in Britain. The place is huge! It’s based in Alnwick’s very grand Victorian railway station and has gazillions of second hand books on a myriad of subjects. All pretty reasonably priced, unlike some places in Edinburgh where you can often get the same book new on amazon for a quid more. They’ve also got cases of old first editions and antique stuff, all very nicely presented. Plus a large reading room with newspapers, seats everywhere and very cheap coffee and cakes that you pay for on an honesty basis. It’s a book geeks dream. We could easily have spent the whole day there but we managed to drag ourselves away after an hour and a bit. We had lunch in the courtyard at The Art House which did nice food but the service was a little slow. After lunch we wandered into the town square where the Alnwick International Music Festival was happening and wandered among the trinket stalls listening to Mexican dancing and Lithuanian harp playing. A good day out with some cracking weather.

The book haul:

  • The Bourne Identity
  • Cross of Iron
  • Straw Men
  • Idlewild
  • The Godfather The Return

Books,Edinburgh Saturday 20th May 2006

Joe has a great post about Waterstones decision to break out of it’s (totally insane) e-commerce relationship with amazon.

“The new website will embrace employee blogging, a dramatic reversal for the company that emerged last year as the first British company to sack an employee for blogging.

Joe Gordon, 37, who worked for Waterstone’s in Edinburgh for 11 years, was dismissed for personal commentary regarding his day-to-day life at the bookstore on his blog.

However, Mr Giles said HMV’s new digital approach would not extend to rehiring Mr Gordon.”

Man, that is priceless.


Joe FM

Books,Movies & TV Wednesday 22nd March 2006

In Joe’s never ending world domination scheme he has now made it on to Radio Scotland’s Radio Cafe progamme, talking about graphic novels and their corresponding movies. You can of course hear the show online thanks to those nice people at the BBC.


Wall & Piece

Books Sunday 13th November 2005


Kerry bought me the shiny new Banksy book “Wall & Piece”. It is supremely awesome, practically every page makes me smile at the ingenious stencils. This book is a very arty coffee table type thing which is quite a departure from his others, which were almost like pamflets. I’ll never forget the jacket blurb on “Cut It Out”:

If you only ever read one book in your life
I highly recommend…
you keep your f***ing mouth shut.

I heartily agree.


Palin’s Travels

Books,Links Thursday 28th July 2005

Wow, Michael Palin has all of his travel books available on his website to read, for free. I’m currently reading (a hardcopy) of Himalya and it’s a very pleasant book, factual yet entertaining aswell.


God’s Little Toys

Books,Technology Thursday 7th July 2005

Nice read over on Wired by William Gibson about the remix, cut ‘n’ paste creative culture of today.


Cut It Out

Books,Design Monday 4th April 2005
cut it out cover

I picked up the latest Banksy book on Saturday and it’s great! It covers all his latest ‘installations’ and his gallery targetting that I blogged about earlier. which sells lots of his stuff has unfortunately sold out, but you can still get it on amazon.


Irony Strikes!

Books,Links Tuesday 8th March 2005

Joe has found a new job working for Forbidden Planet which is probably one of his dream companies to work for. He’s not just working for them though, he’s now running the Company Blog. Oh the irony!