Tag Archives: books

A Walk and A Ruddy Good Book – Go Tim!

bunessan at a higher tide

There’s this guy called Tim Wright. He’s a lovely chap. He did some planning and writing and things for a game we made a long time ago at Poke. Anyway he’s either become a nutjob or a genius (or maybe he was always both). I’m not sure if I’m qualified to say which right now.

He says:

From 30th June to 25th August, I’m following a route across Scotland from the south western tip of Mull to the outskirts of Edinburgh, as charted in Chapters 14–27 of Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘Kidnapped’.

That’s quite a bit of walking he’s doing. And he’s documenting the whole thing on a blog: http://www.timwright.typepad.com/kidmapper. And he’s podcasting and Tweeting and all that jazz too.

And he’s sticking up his photos on Flickr where they get combined with a passage from the book that’s relevant, like: “There was in this part of the isle a little hut of a house like a pig’s hut, where fishers used to sleep when they came there upon their business”:

the pig hut

And he’s reading out passages from the book in relevant locations and putting the videos online:

And bravely he’s offering up:

Perhaps there’s something you’d like me to do or think about whilst I’m walking. Perhaps you’d like me to visit specific sites and film them for you. Or better still, perhaps you’d like to come out here and join me for a walk, add your own responses to being on the Kidnapped Trail and have an adventure of your very own.

And like he says, he can be found on most social services under the name ‘kidmapper’.

Now the big problem I have with this kind of thing is that it makes our job as internet slags really hard.

How on earth are we supposed to do things for paying clients that compete with this? He’s not thinking about dayrates. Or production costs. Or about delivering a specific message to a given set of look and feel guidelines. He’s just out there doing something because he really wants to. Because he’s got this mission that he wants to do. Just because.

And it’s charming. And interesting. And funny. And real. And a touch shambolic. And a little bit odd. And I want to follow him. Because I don’t know what’s coming next. And I know that he doesn’t either. Oh in that incredibly honest way he’s starting very much from zero – he currently has only 19 followers on Twitter.

Go Tim!

Visit his blog now: http://www.timwright.typepad.com/kidmapper

By the way, he doesn’t even have an Amazon merchant link from the book on his site. THAT’S HOW PURE HE IS!

Judging Books By Their Covers (and Page Edges)

I’m terrible for judging books by their covers. It’s precisely how I make my first decision about whether or not I’m going to enjoy them.

This technique may have been around for ages, but it was new to me on Saturday. It’s using coloured page edges on paperbacks. The first one I saw was this, with jet black pages:

Jet Black Pages

It looked quite lovely with the deep red and gold. And when you turn it edge on it’s such a deep powdery black that it almost removes light. It’s a really nice effect.

Jet Black Pages

Then I came across this blue one which I also liked a lot:

Beautiful Blue Pages

I wondered if it was just a thing that Canongate had done for Scarlet Thomas until I saw this:

More black pages

For Penguin in a totally different book shop.

I’m probably well behind and everyone’s been rolling out coloured pages for ages. But because I normally get books from Amazon it’s rare that I get to see books that I don’t own edge on.

I’ve been missing out.

10 Books I Heartily Recommend

Whilst trying to unblock blog block at the weekend I started thinking about the books that have been major influences in how I approach work stuff. And I was going to go back and start re-reading some of them to see if they’d kick-start any interesting thoughts.

Then I figured that I should share this list of books with people. Some of them are really well known and some of them are slightly culty books. Some people will know all of them. But I’m hoping that a few of you might find one or two new or interesting titles in the 10.

What amazed me was that you can get Being Digital for 7p on Amazon marketplace – at least you could when I first pulled the widget together. 7p for the book on Digital that started it all for me. It’s almost an insult.

And yes, if you click through from the above and buy stuff I’m using my Amazon referrer link so I’m selling you down the mucky river for a fast buck. If you’d rather not do that feel free to click this unsullied link to Amazon.co.uk and do the searching yourself – it won’t be any cheaper, but you’ll be denying my capitalist ass some filthy ill-gotten gains.

Growing Mushrooms In Your Old Books

Mushrooms in booksSorry I can’t find any bigger / better images of this quite remarkable thing. It’s a kit that enables you to grow oyster mushrooms in the pages of old paperback books. You just put the spores inbetween the pages, damp it down and away they grow. Makes sense when you think about it, they grow on damp trees so it’s not that strange they’d grow in books.

The kits can be ordered from here and cost £9.99. The perfect gift for the person who has everything (including some old books they might not want any more).

I don’t think I can resist…

Oh, and it could beat the hell out of the old ‘growing cress in the carpet’ gag. If I turned up and my books had started sprouting oyster mushrooms I think I’d be quite worried.