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Reference Books & Guides

Our reference books will help you expand your knowledge. We have illustrated reference guides for the entire family, from atlases and encyclopedias to informative reads about animals and nature.

  • Black Friday

    Ripley's Believe It Or Not 2020

    Product Code: BION
    Hardback 14 years +
    Hand-picked favourites
    Prepare to be shocked, stunned, appalled and amazed!

    Every year, the wonderfully weird Ripley's Believe It or Not! annual entertains and shocks children (and their parents!) in equal measure. With all-new content for 2020, this year's edition is no different.

    Sure to gross you out, this dip-in annual contains funny, scary and mind-boggling tales from all around the world. You'll get to read about a cat with 28 toes, a restaurant with a signature dish or a burger made from worms and meet the man who lived in a sandcastle for two decades.

    With plenty of peculiar photographs accompanying the outlandish stories, the Ripley's book is perfect for any fact fans who are intrigued by the stranger side of life.
    • £8.99
    • £6.99 £8.99
    • RRP £20.00
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  • Black Friday

    Fibonacci's Rabbits

    Adam Hart-Davis

    Product Code: FIBO
    Paperback
    Hand-picked favourites
    The most important numbers in history...

    Fibonacci's Rabbits looks at the origin of the word mathematics (the Greek term mathema) and how this means knowledge of learning. It reveals how this still remains at the heart of almost all processes and patterns that occur in the modern world, even though many find it hard to fathom.

    This book offers bite-sized accounts of 50 critical mathematical discoveries that have changed the way we live.
    • £4.99
    • £3.99 £4.99
    • RRP £12.99
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  • Black Friday

    Schrodinger's Cat

    Adam Hart-Davies

    Product Code: CHRO
    Paperback
    (1)
    Hand-picked favourites
    Learn how 50 natural science experiments changed the world with this incredible book. From Schroedinger's Cat to Galileo's stargazing, it breaks down the theories into easily understandable chunks that will delight any armchair philosopher.

    It also reveals all you ever wanted to know about quantum teleportation, the splitting of the atom and Newton's experiments with optics.

    Every experiment is fully described and all possible results and implications are covered, helping you understand the processes and methodology used in each one.
    • £4.99
    • £3.99 £4.99
    • RRP £12.99
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  • Black Friday

    Uncommon Knowledge

    Tom Standage

    Product Code: UNCM
    Hardback
    Hand-picked favourites
    Answers to all the questions you haven't thought to ask...

    The team from The Economist provides eye-opening answers to questions ranging from how carrots became orange to the ways in which we remove broken bits of satellite from orbit.

    Full of facts and figures, this book looks beyond everyday appearances to show how things really tick. It's one you'll be dipping into and amazed by again and again.
    • £4.99
    • £3.99 £4.99
    • RRP £12.99
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  • Black Friday

    AA Road Atlas 2020

    Product Code: RATT
    Paperback
    Hand-picked favourites
    Despite the popularity of satnavs and Google Maps, there is still nothing better than a physical map to help you get where you need to go while navigating Britain's roads and motorways.

    This spiral-bound 2020 atlas, brought to you by the experts at the AA, features clear mapping and 102 city, town and port plans. Each page has been titled with its geographical location so that you can find the page you need with ease and there is also a comprehensive 31,500 entry index with airports, tourist sites and motorways services listed.

    Static speed camera locations are also indicated, along with their speed limits, while National Trust, English and World Heritage and tourist attractions are also all featured. The AA even highlight their top 300 AA-inspected caravan and camping sites!
    • £4.99
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    • RRP £14.99
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  • Black Friday

    2020 Guide to the Night Sky

    Storm Dunlop & Wil Tirion

    Product Code: TTNS
    Paperback
    Hand-picked favourites
    If you're fascinated by the night sky but have never got into stargazing, make sure 2020 is the year you reach for the stars...

    From the experts at Collins, this practical handbook explains which planets, stars and constellations will be visible from the northern hemisphere from January to December 2020.

    It provides advice on where to start looking and contains easy-to-use star maps for every month with detailed descriptions of what you should look out for. It also includes monthly updates on the positions of the moon.

    Suitable for new and seasoned stargazers, this book has been written for those based in Britain and Ireland but can be used anywhere in the world between 40 DegreesN and 60 DegreesN (including most of Europe, southern Canada and the northern United States).
    • £2.99
    • RRP £6.99
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  • Black Friday

    The Treasures of British History

    Peter Snow

    Product Code: TOBH
    Hardback
    Hand-picked favourites
    Peter and Dan Snow, two of Britain's most popular historians, discuss the importance of 50 key documents in this incredibly informative hardback tome.

    Presented in eye-catching style, this book finds Peter and Dan offering an authoritative commentary explaining each document's criteria for selection and an examination of their pertinent details.

    From the Magna Carta to Hitler's letter to Chamberlain agreeing he'd never go to war and the official design for the FA Cup, these documents have been researched from the collections of The National Archives, The British Museum, The British Library and the National Records of Scotland.

    A must for all history enthusiasts!
    • £7.99
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    • RRP £20.00
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  • Black Friday

    The Maths Book

    Matt Parker

    Product Code: MTHS
    Hardback
    Hand-picked favourites
    Make sure the numbers add up...

    This huge and stylish DK book will help you discover 85 of the most important mathematical ideas, theorems and proof of all time - and learn all about the minds that came up with them.

    From fractions to shapes and patterns to numbers, all the information is presented in authoritative and concise text that complements the bold graphic illustrations. This book reveals how maths is used in everything from world economies and modern technology to computers and AI.
    • £6.99
    • £5.99 £6.99
    • RRP £18.99
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  • Black Friday

    Last Christmas

    Greg Wise & Emma Thompson

    Product Code: LSTX
    Hardback
    Hand-picked favourites
    Give this book to someone special...

    Coinciding with the release of the Last Christmas (yes, it is inspired by the Wham! song of the same name) film starring Emma Thompson, Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding, this gift book celebrates everything about the most wonderful time of the year.

    Curated by Emma and her husband Greg Wise, it finds celebrities including Meryl Streep, Bill Bailey and Olivia Colman sharing personal essays about what Christmas really means to them while celebrating the importance of year-round kindness and generosity, acceptance and tolerance.
    • £5.99
    • £4.99 £5.99
    • RRP £14.99
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  • Black Friday

    Top 10 of Everything 2019

    Paul Terry

    Product Code: TTET
    Hardback 9 years +
    (2)
    Hand-picked favourites
    Dip in and out of this brilliant book and learn some truly mind-boggling facts, stats and trivia - from the world's longest bridges to the longest-running live-action comic book TV shows and countries with the most airports.

    The Top 10 of Everything 2019 is fully updated and bursting full with lists that will tell you everything from what the tallest roller coaster in the world is to the size of the biggest shark known to man!

    This book is beautifully presented with photographs, charts and graphs and all of the lists are separated into different and exciting genres including the animal kingdom, sport and forces of nature.
    • £5.99
    • £2.99 £5.99
    • RRP £14.99
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  • Black Friday

    100 Speeches That Roused the World

    Colin Salter

    Product Code: HNDS
    Hardback
    Hand-picked favourites
    The speeches that stirred nations!

    This inspiring book tells the stories of world-changing speeches delivered through the ages. From ancient Greece all the way through to the modern day, the chronologically ordered entries are complemented by full-colour photograph and supporting text extracts.

    Among the speeches covered are Emmeline Pankhurst's Freedom or Death (1913), Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream (1963) and Malala Yousafzai's The Right of Education for Every Child (2013).
    • £5.99
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    • RRP £14.99
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  • Black Friday

    Downton Abbey: The Official Film Companion

    Emma Marriott

    Product Code: DAFC
    Hardback
    Hand-picked favourites
    Step inside the doors of Downton Abbey...

    This lavish hardback companion to the film brings Lord Grantham and the Crawley family to life as they prepare for a royal visit. It features a foreword from creator Julian Fellowes, interviews with cast members including Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern and Michelle Dockery and behind-the-scenes photographs

    This book explores the new sets at Shepperton in great detail and also looks at destinations across the country that have become part of Downton Abbey's glorious history. It also celebrates the talented team who have brought the period drama to life.
    • £11.99
    • £9.99 £11.99
    • RRP £25.00
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  • Black Friday

    National Trust: A Treasury of British Folklore

    Dee Dee Chainey

    Product Code: TOBF
    Hardback
    Hand-picked favourites
    Explore British folklore...

    Did you know that people in Scotland believed they could ward off fairies by hanging trousers from the foot of the bed? Or that Gloucestershire residents thought they could cure warts by cutting notches in the bark of an ash tree?

    This beautifully illustrated book finds Dee Dee Chainey telling tales of mountains, rivers, pixies, fairies, witches and alchemy and examining how these tales of folklore have shaped British culture. She even shares the places that keep folklore alive today.
    • £4.99
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    • RRP £12.99
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  • Black Friday

    Marathons of the World

    Hugh Jones

    Product Code: MOTW
    Paperback
    (1)
    Hand-picked favourites
    This guide to the best marathons in the world covers over 50 events that take place across all seven continents.

    All of the races are complemented by stunning photography and have details on when and how to enter plus information on when they take place alongside essential training tips. The race routes are also rated for difficulty and fact boxes tell you when you should apply to take part.

    London, New York, Boston, Berlin and the Midnight Sun (Norway) are just a few of the marathons featured.
    • £3.99
    • £1.99 £3.99
    • RRP £14.99
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  • Black Friday

    Why Do Buses Always Come in Threes?

    Product Code: WHYB
    Paperback
    Hand-picked favourites
    Why does your toast always land butter-side down? How do you measure the speed of a tennis serve? And just how do you win big on the lottery?

    This book looks at the fascinating maths behind 60 different questions that cover a vast range of topics. It uses practical knowledge of numbers to answer all sorts of questions that will quench your curiosity.

    Other topics covered with application include the weather, the internet, DNA testing and romance. People who love to wow friends with facts and their intelligence will find so much joy in this jaw-dropping book.
    • £3.50
    • RRP £14.99
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  • Black Friday

    A Word for Every Day of the Year

    Steven Poole

    Product Code: WEDY
    Hardback
    Hand-picked favourites
    Learn a weird and wonderful word for every day of the year.

    This book offers definitions for words you may not have heard. For example, who knew that 'a eucotastrophe' was another term for a sudden happy ending? Or that 'to dringle' meant 'wasting time in a lazy, lingering manner'?

    This book has 366 words (one for every day of the year - including 29 February on Leap Years) and definitions and will help you expand your vocabulary. Each word also includes a brief history alongside its definition.
    • £5.99
    • £4.99 £5.99
    • RRP £14.99
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  • Black Friday

    Le Tour de France

    Serge Laget

    Product Code: LTDF
    Hardback
    (1)
    Hand-picked favourites
    One of the world's favourite sporting events, Le Tour de France finds cyclists competing in a huge test of skill, passion and endurance.

    This authoritative hardback looks over the event in great detail and contains over 300 photographs from its history - including some from the 19th century.

    Fully up to date with analysis of the 2017 tour (which found Chris Froome joining an elite club of four-time and three-in-a-row winners) alongside all the memorable moments from yesteryear, this beautiful book contains action shots of the most famous stars of the saddle and archive images of brochures, newspaper clippings, posters and postcards.
    • £4.99
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    • RRP £20.00
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  • Special Offer
    Black Friday

    Christmas - A Short History

    Andy Thomas

    Product Code: CASH
    Hardback
    Hand-picked favourites
    From solstice to Santa, explore the short history of the most wonderful time of the year...

    Andy Thomas' fascinating book looks over the diverse origins, figures and traditions of Christmas with evocative accounts, short stories and personal essays.

    He examines how despite a Puritan ban during the 1600s and the modern commercialisation of the celebration, 25 December has survived and continues to be a time for friends and family to come together and rejoice.
    •   2 for £7 Adult Stocking Fillers Offer details
      Offer only applies to products in the 2 for £7 Adult Stocking Fillers offer category. Book People reserves the right to remove or amend this promotion. Offer is subject to stock availability. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer. This promotion is limited to one use per customer.
    • £3.99
    • RRP £9.99
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  • Black Friday

    Today

    Edward Stourton

    Product Code: TDAY
    Hardback
    Hand-picked favourites
    Sixty world-changing stories from six decades of BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

    Edited by Edward Stourton and complete with forewords by Nick Robinson and Martha Kearney and in introduction from the Today programme editor Sarah Sands, this book examines the impact of major events including the fall of the Berlin Wall, 9/11 and space exploration.

    A keepsake for any armchair historian or people interested in current affairs, this hardback book reflects our history and how one of the BBC's flagship radio programmes has tried to make sense of it all.
    • £9.99
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    • RRP £25.00
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  • Black Friday

    The Little Book of Big Ideas

    Daniel Smith

    Product Code: LBBI
    Hardback
    Hand-picked favourites
    Daniel Smith's The Little Book of Big Ideas provides accessible overviews of important human ideas including religion, science, philosophy, economics and art.

    From geometry and genetics to anarchism, art and architecture, this is a concise account of the most important principles of Western thought.

    This book explains where these ideologies have sprung from and how they have impacted civilisation in so many different ways.
    • £4.99
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    • RRP £12.99
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  • Black Friday

    The Planets

    Brian Cox

    Product Code: PLNT
    Hardback
    Hand-picked favourites
    Professor Brian Cox invites you on a journey through space in Planets, a richly detailed and informative book that pieces together all the latest research to tell the story of our solar system.

    Brian reveals how all eight major planets have been born from violence and how they grew up together to become living, breathing worlds - and how they're set to fade away as they age.

    He also talks about moons, asteroids, comets and a mysterious as-yet-unseen world located beyond the Kuiper belt. With its startling new discoveries inspired by space probe research, this is a super book for stargazers and people with an interest in space and the universe.
    • £11.99
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    • RRP £25.00
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  • Black Friday

    I Like Birds

    Stuart Cox

    Product Code: ILBD
    Hardback
    (1)
    Hand-picked favourites
    Take flight with our feathered friends!

    I Like Birds is an eye-catching and informative book for nature lovers of all ages. It explores the history and habits of 60 of Britain's most popular birds with the illustrated profiles offering up facts and stats about their lifestyles, behaviour, diets and birdsong. You'll also get to learn the collective noun for each bird (a banditry of blue tits; bazaar of peregrine falcons!) and its old names.

    There are lively anecdotes from birdwatching experts, binocular basics and an egg-opedia for you to examine. Whether you want to welcome more birds into your garden or are looking to admire birds in their natural habitat from further afield, there is so much information to behold in Stuart Cox's book. The graphic illustrations are a tweet!
    • £4.99
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    • RRP £12.99
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  • Black Friday

    Tiny Castles

    Dixe Wills

    Product Code: TCST
    Hardback
    Hand-picked favourites
    Tiny castles with huge stories to tell...

    Following the success of Tiny Britain, Tiny Churches and Tiny Histories, Dixe Wills provides another compelling compendium of small sites you'll want to explore. This time around, he's focusing on castles - and although they're on the small side, there is still plenty to discover...

    The delightfully diminutive attractions include Henry VIII's beautifully preserved St Mawes Castle in Cornwall and Scalloway Castle in Shetland, where it is said the blood and hair of the cruel Earl Patrick's tenants were used in the mortar.

    There is also essential information on how to get to each fortress using public transport and highlights of all the special features you wouldn't want to miss.
    • £5.99
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    • RRP £16.99
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  • Black Friday

    The Little Book of Big History

    Ian Crofton

    Product Code: LBBH
    Hardback
    Hand-picked favourites
    Ian Crofton's The Little Book of Big History will take you all the way from the beginning of our planet through to what's in store for our future. It's a concise, accessible and authoritative account of humanity.

    It incorporates everything from the Big Bang to modern day theories and will help you understand the entire story of the cosmos in an accessible way.

    Breaking down the main themes of the universe, this is an informative and essential guide for anyone interested in space and the universe. It includes a timeline that explains how we came to be.
    • £4.99
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    • RRP £12.99
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