Men Who Stare at Books is a welcome invitation into a world of unapologetic man stuff from the guys at Headline Books. Definitely worth dropping in for a rummage.
The strapline – ‘Books and culture for the thinking man’ shouldn’t be taken too seriously as the team has a witty, irreverent take on popular culture. I particularly enjoyed 5 Popstar Children’s Books We’d Like to See (or not) – I laughed aloud at The Very Angry Caterpillar by Morrissey and Alice in Wonderland by Alice Cooper (with a fab if rather disturbing cover image). Jokes aside – these chaps know their onions.
I’m a big fan of the Edinburgh International Book Festival and visit when I can – but I live 200 miles away, so it’s not always that easy.
What I love about the Festival website is the way it extends the magic of three blissful weeks of book talk throughout the year and across the globe by sharing author interviews and events through Watch Online and Podcasts. The offer is immediate and very visible on the home page - and the navigation is very straightforward, always a big plus. You can dip in and out or invest serious time in a longer recording – the choice is yours.
Mr. Bs Emporium is an independent bookshop in Bath. The website gives a good flavour of why readers love this bookshop. The whole enterprise is a glorious and unashamed celebration of reading and the love of books. The site looks great, too, with quirky graphics and a personal, relaxed approach.
You can find author interviews and eclectic book lists. The website is a good place to pick up ideas for what to read next and the blog is worth following because of the straightforward book reviews. There’s a really good mix of features on bestsellers and new or little known authors. Of course, being Bath, they offer visitors a therapeutic Book Spa.
Presentations from a wide range of countries and events by Rachel Van Riel of Opening the Book
Click on the links below for reports from a small selection of Rachel’s presentations from around the world.
In twenty years of reader-centred practice there are many projects which are no longer running but are still worth mining for ideas and inspiration. Explore some of the most successful reader-centred projects in the UK below.
Blind Date was part of a web project called What are you up to? It was run in partnership between East Midland Reader and Development Project (EMRALD) and Opening the Book between 2000 and 2003 and was targeted at readers aged 16-25. An editorial group of one member of staff from each of the nine participating authorities worked with an Opening the Book site manager to plan site content and development. The resulting website was ground breaking in style and content and linked online and offline services.
Give me a break was the first dual language Welsh/English site for readers. It enables readers to choose their books according to the kind of break they are looking for – for example: a break from the kids (rhag y plant) or a break from stress (rhag y bwrlwm). The target audience for this site is readers in their 20s and 30s, taking on board the specific needs of this age group: first job/unemployment; first baby/unattached; experimenting with first experience with extreme sports and travel/bogged down with domesticity and work boredom. The website was complemented by posters and book displays in libraries – connecting online and offline activity.
The Ønskebok website is the largest international project Opening the Book has undertaken.
Opening the Book won the contract to deliver the Read part of the People's Network service.
Opening the Book was contracted by SLIC/CILIPS to deliver a training programme involving all 32 Scottish Library authorities
This site for readers aged 11-16 was developed with East Ayrshire Libraries
The Stock Quality Health Check was developed for the Audit Commission, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and Arts Council England.
Branching Out was a national reader development project which ran from 1998 to 2006.
A three-year project for readers that unites every library service in Wales