Archive for December, 2014

Top New Year’s resolutions NOT for bookworms

When the clock strikes 12 on New Years Eve, a world of pain awaits us as we embark on our journey of self-discovery – attempting a New Year’s resolution. But not all New Year’s resolutions are for us book lovers, so we have listed a few that you may want to avoid when trying to think of one for 2015…

Getting fit

A fit and healthy lifestyle is something that we should all hope to abide by. Our bodies are temples and need looking after and treating right. A great way to treat your body is to allow it a little exercise every now and then. And that’s the stumbling block: we don’t have time for exercise. I mean, we could sit on an exercise bike or similar and read our books, but it’s not quite the same as having our feet up in front of the fire. And what if the characters in the book aren’t performing exercise? We’re supposed to slog away dripping in sweat, looking less than appealing while the Mr Darcy’s of the literary world continue being suave, clean and well rested? I don’t think so!

The Book People

Learning something new

New skills are great and all, but why would we want to learn something new when we already have the best skill ever, EVER: the ability to read. Learning a new skill is just going to take far too much time and eat into our precious reading time. Time is precious, so use it wisely. A good book is the natural choice!

Drink less

This New Year’s resolution is a pretty standard one for everyone. New Year’s Eve gets a bit heavy, the Merlot gets hit a bit harder than any normal night, the morning headache proves over-indulgence of our plum-coloured friend was a terrible mistake. But what is a good book without one measly glass of wine? Just one… no need to be silly. And if we’re not going to be silly with our alcohol consumption, what’s the need for a New Year’s resolution dedicated to it? Nah!

Travel to new places

Travel broadens the mind, but we won’t be seeing anything when we travel. We may enjoy some peripheral greenery and such like, but our heads will be so deeply buried within the pages of our favourite novel we won’t have any time to take in the scenery. Don’t waste your efforts. Stay home, stick your feet up, pour the aforementioned glass of red and get stuck in to your book. It’s not like a train could take you to Middle-earth or Mars anyway…


Unless we’re volunteering to read brilliant books to those less fortunate, we’ve got reading to do and can’t spare the time. Sorry!

Be less stressed

Be less stressed? BE LESS STRESSED? How can we be less stressed when these stupid characters keep doing stupid things that get them deeper and deeper into trouble. I won’t be calm until the thrillers stop thrilling and the action-packed adventures stop action-packing. And then there are the times when we’re not reading but we’re deep into a brilliant book. What happens next? What do you mean we have to wait until we finish work? We can’t wait that long!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

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.

An introduction to Zoella


Unless you’ve been living under a rock or on a desert island for the last few months, you surely can’t have failed to notice the YouTube sensation that is Zoe Sugg – better known to her legions of fans as Zoella. Not content with racking up six million YouTube subscribers, the 24-year-old vlogger has now branched out into books with the launch of her debut novel.

Never one to do things by halves, Zoella’s first novel – coming-of-age tale Girl Online – has been a runaway success. The book shifted some 78,000 copies in its first week of release, making it the fastest-selling novel ever from a debut author – including such literary luminaries as JK Rowling and EL James of 50 Shades of Grey fame.

There’s more to come, as well. Zoella has signed a two-book deal with Penguin, and the follow-up to Girl Online is scheduled to hit bookshelves next summer – so unless her fanbase disappears finds a new object for their affections (highly unlikely), the chances are that her second novel will sell like hot cakes as well.

If you’re older than Zoella’s (mostly teenage) target audience, you’re probably struggling to get your head around all this talk of vloggers. Here’s a brief overview of Zoella’s career so far. She first started vlogging in 2009 and since then has racked up millions of YouTube views as well as more than two-and-a-half million Twitter followers. She’s not alone, either – other big-name vloggers include Alfie Deyes (aka PointlessBlog), Tanya Burr, Caspar Lee and Zoella’s younger brother Joe Sugg (ThatcherJoe).

Zoella has also embarked on a tour to promote her new book, and so fervent is her fanbase that tickets for her in-store appearances ended up selling out within 24 hours.

So if you’re looking for a last-minute Christmas present for your daughter/younger sister/niece/etc you’ll no doubt be relieved to hear that Zoella’s Girl Online is available from the Book People. Better still, it’s available for the bargain price of just £6.50 – just under half the recommended retail price.

But remember, the last day for standard pre-Christmas deliveries is December 19th – so if you want your order to be with you before the big day, it’d probably be wise to get your skates on!

Christmas activity books!

Christmas may be the most wonderful time of the year but many children will find themselves getting restless as the excitement of the build-up becomes too much. What better way to calm them down then by getting them to take part in some delightfully fun and festive activities? The Book People has activity books for all ages – from the fun of designing a placemat for Christmas Dinner to finding festive things to draw, it’s a quite sparkling selection we’re sure you’ll agree.

My Big Book of Christmas Activities is a huge book packed with pocket-money projects that will inspire the creativity of any little one this Christmas time. Children who love to colour in will find plenty to enjoy in our 3-book Christmas Colouring Collection, which comes with plenty of stickers and our Christmas Activity Placemats book has also quickly established itself as a Book People favourite! A great way to keep children entertained during any Christmas meal, they’ll love adding their personal touch to the fill-in designs that will decorate the table in time for Christmas lunch in style!

From snowmen to presents and penguins, the Winter Wishes Sticker Book gives children the perfect chance to add a touch of originality to their cards and gift tags this year. Santa’s Beard  is also another awesome original Christmas book. With a velcro beard to try on a variety of faces and a final spread where it gets back to its rightful place, it’s perfect for anyone excited to put the mince pies and carrot out on Christmas Eve. To help children learn the traditional Christmas story, My Nativity Colouring and Sticker Book has activities that help children learn about Joseph, Mary, the baby Jesus and the Three Wise Men – there are even press-out characters included.

Another bumper book of puzzles and activities is Bloomsbury’s My Christmas Activity and Sticker Book. Full of brightly coloured characters and amazing activities, it will help warm up anyone on a cold winter night! Christmas Things to Draw is bursting with wintry inspiration and Toddler Christmas has plenty of festive activities, puzzles, games and stories to enjoy – all complemented by Katie Sanders’ beautiful artwork.

Make Christmas 2014 a Christmas full of activities!

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