Monthly Archives: February 2013

If best-selling albums had been books instead…

Graphic designer Christophe Gowans imagines if best-selling albums had been books instead. Check out his redesigns here:

Some of our favourites:

Abbey Road by the Beatles

abbey-e1337269377731Loveless by My Bloody Valentine



The Boy who knew too much by Mika

boyknew-e1336592727755The Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon redesign is awesome too but the photo is too small to upload. Go and check them out yourself!


Dear Fandoms

Are you a member of a fandom? f so, check out this awesome blog:


200 years of Pride and Prejudice in book covers


What better way to start Valentine’s Day than to peruse 200 years of Pride and Prejudice book covers…


Happy Valentine’s Day


Valentine’s Day for Book-lovers

Valentine’s day is looming and many of us still haven’t bought our significant others (or ourselves) gifts to celebrate this day of love. If your other half is a book-lover or if you are a book-lover and want to drop hints for the perfect present, or buy yourself something special, then look no further than our top five Valentine’s day gift guide for book-lovers.

1. A trip to Paris to stay at Le Pavillon des Lettres.


Not only will you spend time in the City of Love but you will stay in Paris’ first literary inspired hotel; where each of the 26 rooms reflect the works of the author after which it is named, with writers ranging from Hans Christian Anderson to Emile Zola.

2. Literary themed clothes/accessories.


Screen shot 2013-02-13 at 11.09.09

Just a small selection that we’d like to add to our wardrobe…

3. A chocolate book

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Books and chocolate: the perfect combination!

4.  Literary pieces for the home



original_owl.bookends_lifestyleTo create the perfect reading environment…

5. Books, lots of glorious books!

Stitched PanoramaYou can never go wrong with books! If you’re stuck for what book to buy then The Guardian asks What are the best books for Valentine’s Day?

If you have any more suggestions then we’d love to hear them.

A belated celebration of Sylvia Plath’s life

Sylvia Plath committed suicide fifty years yesterday. This interesting programme documents her last days.


Literary Paris in the 1920’s


Wouldn’t it be wonderful to step-back into Paris in the 1920’s? Such a great era for literary talent.

Sadly, until time-machines are invented, we’ll have to make-do with The Rest is Noise festival in London this week. Check out the programme, it looks awesome!


The Future of Bookselling

Many experts, scholars and lovers of the book trade have prophesied that the book market is following the path of the music business, notably with the rise of technology. If this idea is true, then the collapse of chain-giant music store HMV should serve as a huge wake-up call to the publishing and bookselling industry. Everyone involved in the publishing market should take the advice of Sam Husain (CEO of Foyles Bookstore): “Let’s not leave it until its [sic] too late”.

Husain wrote a letter to The Bookseller to present some strong home truths about the publishing industry. One of the main concerns is that publishers are basing their bookseller discount policies upon the volume of sales made and are neglecting the value of intangible assets. The consequences are that online retailers and supermarkets are enjoying much higher discounts than bookstores are, leaving the industry in an infinite loop: the bigger the discounts online retailers and supermarkets gain; the lower the prices they can offer to customers; the more customers they are attracting; the bigger the discounts they are gaining and so forth. Unfortunately, bookshops are travelling in the exact opposite circuit.

The publishers’ discounting policies make logical business sense for the here-and-now when considering the UK economy’s fundamental short term ideals. However, it is huge worry that publishers are failing to examine the broader prospects of the industry as a whole; in this case the future seems frighteningly formidable.

As a result, bookstores are being forced to plan for the future. The main attempt at a solution is diversification, for example some branches of Blackwells have incorporated coffee shops onto their premises (eg, the Leeds branch has a Costa Coffee). Another chain to differentiate is WHSmith, selling a large range of stationary, gift cards and snacks- although I have heard several people criticise this business model, with suggestions that the branding is confused.

Generally, people are neglecting the fact that bookstores offer an invaluable service to society. Bookshops surround the public with reading materials, with the presence of physical shops and with advertisements that ultimarely encourage adults and children to read. Bookstore assistants provide a point of contact for information about books, whether that be facts about educational reading or recommendations for pleasurable reading. The touch, scent and feel of browsing bookshop shelves is a much more pleasurable experience than browsing on a none-atmospheric screen. It is an underrated fact that bookstores offer more than simply an outlet for book buying.

If the industry is not somehow reformed and bookshop revenues continue struggle, the stark reality might just leave society with the old cliché, ‘you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.’