Inside the Book People

The Book People – Book a Day competition Christmas video

Book People competition

All throughout 2014, independent bookseller the Book People has been asking their customers and followers to nominate a special someone they believe deserves a free book in a Book a Day competition. Receiving nominations via email and social media, the company decided to surprise some of the deserving nominees in person – and you can see the results in the video below:

From a dinner lady in Kettering who’s had a tough year to a class in Wigan that has embraced a love of books and a Spider-Man-crazy child in Nottingham who has made outstanding reading progress, the video showcases the joy a free book can bring to people all around the country. With a head office based in Godalming, the Book People also visited the local Shooting Star Chase children’s hospice to surprise their hard-working staff and residents, as well as giving out free books on Guildford high street.

 


The best Christmas adverts 2014

2014 has been a wonderful year for Christmas adverts. Millions of viewers have been treated to a plethora of various Christmas ads taking us to the front line during World War I, the high street, the family home and, of course, the dinner table. Below we have listed our top Christmas ads for 2014. Which one is your favourite?

The Book People Christmas advert

The Book People’s Christmas video features the beautiful Book People fairy as she flies around the country delivering books to all those who have been good this year. Bringing her sprinkling of magic to a homely UK town, the Christmas commercial is fun, festive and embodies the true spirit of Christmas. Naturally, this is our favourite Christmas advert for 2014, but there are some other noteworthy additions to the list.

John Lewis Christmas advert

John Lewis’ 2014 Christmas advert did a pretty sterling job of not only reinvigorating our nation’s love of the penguin (who knew?), in the form of the expertly named Monty, but also reminds us that Christmas is a time for sharing with those we love. There may be a slight suggestion that Paul McCartney’s famous lyric ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ may be untrue (plus the ten-year-old-looking boy seems to be alone a lot; where are his parents?!), but nonetheless it’s lovely Christmas advert that really does pull on the heartstrings. Monty is just so ruddy cute!

Sainsburys Christmas advert

The 2014 Christmas advert that divided opinion: is it bringing an important message of sharing, togetherness and humanity, or piggybacking the centenary of World War I in order to get customers through the doors? I’m personally on the fence, but the advert is beautifully shot and the sentiment (however clouded by product placement) remains strong and was produced in partnership with the Royal British Legion – a very, very worthy cause. The 2014 Sainsburys ad’s music was very good too!

McVities Christmas advert

The cutest Christmas advert ever! EVER! I assume the inference is that McVities biscuits and chocolate fill your tummy with the warm cosiness of a cute fluffy animal. Whether this is the case or not remains unconfirmed (I’ve never eaten a kitten), but there are indeed confirmed accounts that it is impossible not to smile while watching the McVities Christmas advert 2014. Go Ahead (terrible biscuit-based joke), see if you can stop yourself from smiling!

Sky Movies Christmas advert

A Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe-esque family adventure is what Sky Movies has gone with for their Christmas advert for 2014. Taking a regular family on a journey through some of the year’s best films, including The Muppets: Most Wanted, The LEGO Movie, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and, naturally, Frozen, their Christmas ad is fun, family friendly and brilliantly entertaining. If only we could do the same thing with books…

Boots Christmas advert

Here we go. This Christmas advert does it all. We have togetherness, we have snow, we have gifts, we have a flight home from travelling the world on Christmas Day?! Okay, we didn’t totally get it. With a similar message of sharing to the Sainsburys’ Christmas ad, the Boots Christmas advert centres on a family getting together for Christmas to surprise a mother (who is a nurse) after working a shift on Christmas Day. It doesn’t star a penguin, but it’s as good as it can be without one.

The Book People’s #BookADay giveaway video

All this year, the Book People has been taking nominations from you, our customers, for who you think deserves to win a bundle of free books from us. This video shows some of the great causes you’ve voted for this year and sees the lucky winners receiving their brand new books. We’ll be taking nominations next year too, so if you know someone who you think deserves a free book, Tweet us @theBookPeople and use the hashtag #BookADay.

And… 2014 Christmas adverts that got it all wrong

There were also a few Christmas adverts this year that got it all wrong. Maybe it was the casting, the sentiment, the lack of sentiment. There were a couple of questionable ones though…

Aldi Christmas advert

It was all going so well for Aldi. The nation’s budget supermarket has been winning over customers left, right and centre. People are warming to their good customer service, excellent prices and surprisingly tasty food. So, with a whole nation of potential celebrities to endorse the brand (apart from Peter Andre, he has his hands full with the Iceland Christmas adverts), why oh why would they make the decision to make the face of their campaign the little-known looker that is Jooles Holland. I mean, Jooles Holland?! Food taste – good, casting taste – bad!

Marks & Spencer

Boring. It’s just really boring! Where are the mouth-watering adverts that focus on their delicious foods? That’s what we want: a gently sexualised voice over describing a romp between a Yorkshire pudding and some ‘I don’t know what those ingredients are’ gravy. Instead, presumably because they’re not selling enough clothes, it focuses on their fashion brands. Bad Christmas spirit M&S – Christmas adverts used to be your forte. Apparently not anymore. This isn’t just an advert, this is a rubbish M&S advert.


Christmas gifts 2014: Our favourite Christmas gift ideas for adults

Time is ticking away. You haven’t long left. We’re already on the third door of the Advent calendar. The Christmas countdown has begun. An overwhelming sense of panic builds from within. “What am I going to by Dad?” “What is Mum going to want this Christmas?”

Not to worry though, you still have a little bit of time to get your loved ones their presents before the big day! At the Book People’s Christmas Shop you will find a host of wonderful Christmas gift ideas – let’s face it, books make the best Christmas presents. In today’s post we are going to list our favourite Christmas gifts for adults. And by ordering your Christmas presents from the Book People, you’ll be saving over 75% off the RRP – making Christmas more affordable, too.

Dexter Collection – 3 Books, by Jeff Lindsay
Dexter was and remains a phenomenon. First appearing in Jeff Lindsay’s Darkly Dreaming Dexter in 2004, when the best-loved anti-hero made his transition to our TV screens two years later the TV ratings soared and the book sales skyrocketed. For those who have not had the opportunity to to meet the literary version of Dexter Morgan and his Dark Passenger, this collection of Dexter books is a must! The first three books in Jeff Lindsay’s bestselling Dexter series, readers can delight in the not-so-delightful adventures of Dexter. Beautifully macabre, the Dexter Collection is the perfect Christmas present for fans of pacy crime thrillers – and the unique perspective of the Dexter books makes them an interesting read for just about anyone (maybe not children)!

Dexter Collection | The Book PeopleMarvel Encyclopedia
Everyone loves superheroes. While this book could quite happily sit in a list of our favourite children’s book, we think there are a lot of grown-up superhero fans out there who would adore receiving this beautiful book this Christmas. Including detailed insight into each of the characters from Stan Lee’s Marvel universe, the Marvel Encyclopedia is packed with original artwork, facts, stats and a plethora of interesting stories. From Spider-Man to Venom, Captain America to Red Skull, Thor to Loki, Iron Man to the Mandarin, this book covers them all and will bring a huge grin to the face of anyone lucky enough to receive this stunning hardback this Christmas.

Marvel Encyclopedia | The Book PeopleNote: This book is enormous. It is unlikely to fit in a Christmas stocking. You may even need a bigger Christmas tree.

Human Universe, by Brian Cox
We have been mesmerized by Professor Brian Cox’s wonderful Human Universe. Combining stunning CGI with beautiful lifestyle commentary and interstellar images from the Hubble telescope, the show has been a huge hit with BBC viewers and has provided us all with answers – and a lot more questions! – about how and why our race exists and with whom we share our galaxy and beyond. A beautiful hardback book that will delight all amateur stargazers this Christmas. We love it!

Human Universe | The Book PeopleMan Booker Prize Collection – 6 Books
The perfect gift for people who love books! The Man Booker shortlist is made up of the finest works of fiction of the year, and the Book People has an exclusive hardback collection that will delight all fans of fine fiction. Widely considered one of the world’s most important literary awards, 2014′s shortlist was full of brilliant, diverse and unforgettable novels – and with this collection the book lover in your life can own them all! So, not only do they get to enjoy six of the best fiction books of the year, but they can also be wrapped individually so that you look like the most generous person ever. Win-win!

Man Booker 2014 Shortlist | The Book PeopleThe King’s Curse, by Phillipa Gregory
Christmas presents don’t come much better than this page-turning delight from the queen of historical fiction, Phillipa Gregory. In the book, Margaret Pole, daughter of George, Duke of Clarence, is one of the few surviving members of the Plantagent dynasty after the Wars of the Roses; once proudly carrying her name aloft, she is now the lone bearer of the most-dangerous name in the England… The perfect Christmas present for fans of Gregory’s earlier books such as The Other Boleyn Girl, we love this book and we’re sure this will be one of the best selling Christmas gifts from the Book People this year.

The King's Curse | The Book PeopleLeaving Time, by Jodi Picoult
For some time now Jodi Picoult has been a favourite with the staff at the Book People and our customers, and we believe that Leaving Time will be one of her best selling books to date – it’s certainly one of our favourites here. The story follows Jenna following the disappearance of her mother ten years earlier and is a gripping, compelling and emotional mystery about one young girl’s quest for the truth. If you are looking for the right Christmas presents for mum (and dads, too), Leaving Time will not disappoint. In fact, if you buy Leaving Time for a loved one this Christmas, you probably won’t get much sense from anyone – they’ll be engrossed!

Leaving Time | The Book People


World Book Night 2015 – list of books announced

WBN

Now an annual tradition throughout the country and beyond, the next World Book Night takes place on 23 April 2015. This may seem a long time away, but as soon as the final decoration off the Christmas tree has been taken down it will come around quick!

World Book Night is a celebration of books that aims to share the joy of reading throughout local communities by putting books into the hands of those who wouldn’t or can’t normally go into a bookshop. Every year, passionate volunteers take special World Book Night editions of some famous books to give out for free and to try to inspire a lifelong love of reading in those lucky enough to receive them.

Full of bestselling books, this year’s World Book Night list has been announced – and there’s something for everyone, from Book People favourite M. C. Beaton’s cosy crime to Lynda La Plante’s original Prime Suspect and ponderings on life from the one and only Karl Pilkington. You can apply to be a volunteer at www.worldbooknight.org today.

 

World Book Night 2015 – the list:

Chickenfeed by Minette Walter

Prime Suspect by Lynda La Plante

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

Honour by Elif Shafak

Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb

Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death by M. C. Beaton

My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher

Essential Poems from the Staying Alive Trilogy by Neil Astley

Escape from Camp 14 by Blaine Harden

The Moaning of Life by Karl Pilkington

Dead Man Talking by Roddy Doyle

Spring Tide by Cilla and Rolf Borjland

Skellig by David Almond

Custard Tarts and Broken Hearts by Mary Gibson

When God Was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman

The Martian by Andy Weir

Queen’s Gambit by Elizabeth Fremantle

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

After the Fall by Charity Norman

Street Cat Bob by James Bowen


Film and TV books from the Book People

2014 has been a brilliant year for film and TV – and what could make a more perfect Christmas gift that ties in with someone you know’s favourite programme or movie of the year? The Book People has all the best film and TV books of the year – and they’re all available with huge savings off the price you’d be paying in the high street shops.

Film

Starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike, David Fincher’s Gone Girl was a brilliant adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s much talked-about novel and we have the hardback edition of the book (complete with a jacket from the film) available. Already a bestseller, the film not only attracted many more fans to this most twisting and twisted of thrillers but is also attracting some awards buzz.

Following in the footsteps of Katniss Everdeen and The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner has been one of the highest-grossing young adult fiction novels of the year. Telling the story of Thomas, a young teenager who wakes up in a strange place with no memory other than his first name, we have the trilogy available so that fans of the film who were blown away by the film’s cliffhanger ending will be able to read on!

Every film fan is eagerly awaiting December 2015 when The Force Awakens in the seventh Star Wars film. Starring the original cast, it’s bound to bring the story of ‘A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away’ to an entire new generation of Jedis. We have so many great Star Wars books to help children (and grown-ups) learn all about the history of the likes of Luke Skywalker, Yoda and R2-D2 – from sticker books to enyclopedias and annuals.

Frozen is still one of the biggest films around and many families will be settling down for a Christmas Day sing-along of ‘Let It Go’ come 25 December. We have so many great books featuring the likes of Elsa, Anna and Olaf the Snowman – sure to warm the hearts of any Frozen fan over Christmas! Disney now also owns Marvel and with the second Avengers film released in cinemas in 2015, the comic book superheroes are showing no signs of slowing down in popularity – our huge encyclopedia has all the information any Marvel fan will need to learn about this huge universe!

TV

This Christmas Day after the turkey’s been devoured and the family are playing all sorts of games, why not bring the Pointless Quiz Book out and see if you can beat Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman? And then when it’s time for the traditional Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Day special, you can enjoy the 2015 Strictly annual – packed full of all the glitz, glamour and gossip from the hit show. Another festive tradition is the Christmas Day Doctor Who special (with Peter Capaldi making his first appearance in a festive edition this year) and we have many books about the Doctor and his friends including Clara Oswald and foes including Daleks and the Cybermen.

Many Doctor Who fans also love Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in BBC’s Sherlock series and with the show not back until its Christmas special in 2015, the Sherlock Chronicles will help ease the pain of missing Baker Street’s most famous detective. Another extremely clever man is Professor. Brian Cox and in his Human Universe documentary, he tried to examine who we as the human race are, where we came from and why we do what we do. The hardback edition of Human Universe is simply beautiful – one of the best books for Christmas 2014.


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