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Peter Snell of Barton’s Bookshop: “I’m not running scared of Amazon”

READERS’ ROUNDUP: The best social media accounts for book-lovers

April 2015




Say goodbye to boring bookshelves



ReadIt . April 2015 3 Letter from the Editor Welcome!

ON THE COVER 8 Readers’ Roundup The best apps and social media accounts for booklovers

10 Interview: Peter Snell

4 New on the Shelf Our pick of April’s new releases

Manager of Barton’s Bookshop talks bookselling in the 21st century

5 Book Birthdays 10 books turning 10 this year 6 To Tweet or Not To Tweet? What does Twitter offer for book-lovers? 18 Review Carole Matthews, A Place to Call Home 20 News: A Classic Story: A New Perspective The Princess and the Pea (reinvented!)

16 Time to Take a #Shelfie Revamp your bookshelves with our top tips

19 10 Signs You’re Officially a Book Addict How many do you recognise?!

Want more ReadIt? p.16 Are your bookshelves in need of a boost?

Like us on ReadItMag Follow us @ReadItMag Follow our boards at ReaditMag

...or visit

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From the Editor... Hello and welcome to ReadIt, the brand new magazine for book-lovers! Each month, we’ll be bringing you a sparkling selection of bookthemed pieces – from sneak peeks at new and upcoming releases, to exclusive interviews with professionals in the industry. This issue, we’re thinking a lot about technology. Twitter for book-lovers? Check out page 6. Running a bookshop in the 21st century? Head to page 10. You name it, we’ve got it covered – so go on, get stuck in. If you love reading, books, and all things book-related, you’re sure to feel at home.

Quote of the month “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.”

Shona Wood Editor

Questions? Ideas? Feedback? Email me at

– George

R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons

Love books...

Love ReadIt.

DISCLAIMER This magazine was produced by a University of Kent undergraduate student for educational purposes only. No aspect is intended to have any commercial function, and all opinions (unless otherwise indicated) are strictly those of the author. Every effort has been made to ensure that information is up to date and correct, and that permissions have been obtained where required for the reproduction of material. Image credits and sources are detailed on the penultimate page of the publication. The author sincerely apologises if any mistakes or omissions have been made in source attribution or content.

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NEW ON THE SHELF Our pick of April’s releases What is it? Part memoir, part practical advice guide, 22 year-old actress/singer/writer Carrie Hope Fletcher shares her thoughts on growing up and discusses some of the topics she’s asked about most frequently. Who’s the author? Carrie Hope Fletcher currently plays Eponine in the London production of Les Miserables. She also runs a phenomenally popular blog ( and has a Youtube channel (‘ItsWayPastMyBedTime’) with over half a million subscribers. What can I expect? Warmth, wit, humour and wisdom… this one’s a must-read for any teenager or young adult, but entertaining for all.

All I Know Now: Wonderings and Reflections on Growing Up Gracefully (Carrie Hope Fletcher) Release date: 23rd April Publisher: Sphere RRP: £12.99

The Novel Habits of Happiness (Alexander McCall Smith) Release date: 2nd April Publisher: Little, Brown RRP: £17.99

What is it? The tenth novel in McCall Smith’s popular ‘Isabel Dalhousie’ series.

What’s it about? Edinburgh philosopher Isabel Dalhousie is forced to consider some big questions when she’s asked to investigate a little boy convinced he’s led a previous life. Who’s the author? Best known for his ‘No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency’ series, Alexander McCall Smith is a bestselling novelist whose books have been translated into over forty-six languages. What can I expect? A gentle, reflective read. Definitely not one for action-lovers, but thoughtful readers and McCall Smith fans will undoubtedly relish Isabel’s latest musings.

New to Isabel Dalhousie? Check out The Sunday Philosophy Club - book one in the series!

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BOOK BIRTHDAYS What is it? The thirteenth thriller novel from John Connolly built around private detective Charlie Parker. What’s it about? Charlie Parker, grievously wounded after a nearfatal shooting, retreats to the town of Boreas to recover. There, he befriends a widow and her daughter, and soon finds himself in the middle of another case – this time, with its roots in a Second World War Nazi concentration camp. Who’s the author? Connolly is the first Irish author to win an Edgar award and the first non-American author to have won the US Shamus award. His debut Charlie Parker novel captivated thriller fans, and all of his subsequent novels have gone on to become Sunday Times Bestsellers. What can I expect? A chilling, fast-paced thriller with a fantastically intricate plot. One to devour.

A Song of Shadows (John Connolly) Release date: 9th April Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton RRP: £14.99

10 (fantastic) books celebrating their 10th birthday this year... 1. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Stieg Larsson) 2. Looking for Alaska (John Green) 3. The Undomestic Goddess (Sophie Kinsella) 4. Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief (Rick Riordan) 5. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (J.K. Rowling) 6. Marley and Me (John Grogan) 7. Twilight (Stephanie Meyer) 8. If You Could See Me Now (Cecelia Ahern) 9. The Angel Experiment (James Patterson)

NEXT MONTH… New titles from Peter James, Kate Atkinson and Lesley Pearse will be hitting the shelves. Better start saving now…

10. Uglies (Scott Westerfield)

…book party, anyone?

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To tweet, or not to tweet? If you like books, there is no question, says Shona Wood


everal years ago, when a friend first introduced me to the concept of Twitter, I remember being wholly unconvinced. A social networking site where you’re restricted to 140 characters? And anyone can view your posts? Really?! I imagined lists and lists of dull, selfcentred updates (‘I’m eating a cheese sandwich’, ‘I’m going shopping’, ‘I want a new phone’) – snippets of unnecessary information that simply showed individuals surrendering their last smidgeon of privacy – and I wondered what on earth the world was coming to. Of course, as Twitter became more and more popular, I realised my initial judgements may have been a little off the mark.

Glimpses of other people’s feeds showed me that ‘tweets’ were (for the most part) far from mundane, and I started to appreciate that the site was as much about sharing content as it was about personal updates. However, I still made a very conscious decision not to sign up. What with school work, exams and a job, I never seemed to have enough time, and I was already spending far too much of what I did have on Facebook. I just didn’t need any more distractions. I stayed firm for a long time – I really did. But just over a year ago, when I was around half-way through my degree, my resolve started to weaken. I was starting to get decidedly anxious about The Future, and I seemed to be

“Twitter is brilliant for book-lovers”

hearing with increasing frequency about companies advertising jobs, work placements and internships via Twitter. I hadn’t really considered before that it might help with a career, but once the idea was in my head, I found it hard to ignore; I hated the thought that I might be missing out on opportunities. So I did it; I caved. Yes, I succumbed to the little blue bird, I bit the bullet and joined the fast-paced, frenzied world of Twitter. To say that I didn’t ‘click’ with it straight away would be an understatement. I followed a few people when I first signed up, but I was hoovering my bedroom more often than I was looking at my feed, and on my first ‘Twitterversary’ I received an email telling me I’d managed a whopping ‘1 Tweets’. Yes, one whole year and one whole tweet. A part of me was glad the number was so small – clearly, I hadn’t been ‘twittering’ away too much of my time – but I was also slightly ashamed that I hadn’t made more of a go of it. So I started to make more of an effort, and although several months later I still have my reservations about social media, there’s one thing I have learnt: Twitter is brilliant for book-lovers. Apart from anything else, it’s a great way to meet and interact with other people who love reading. Okay, so it’s all done via a

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screen, but it’s always nice to find other people who share your interests, and Facebook is so locked down now. Twitter is far more open and far more interestdriven. Because it’s so fast-paced, you can end up discovering all sorts of new things in a matter of seconds, too – authors, titles, websites for buying books or blogs for reading reviews – and following a couple of corporate channels like The Bookseller (@thebookseller) makes it easy to keep up-to-date with the more ‘official’ goings on in the book world. It doesn’t have to be just random, aimless browsing, either. There are some really innovative book-themed Twitter channels out there now, including virtual book clubs like LitChat (@LitChat). They hold two sessions each week in which pre-arranged books/topics are discussed, and you can join in as and when you like. No time one day? No problem. But it’s there when you want it – and it (currently) has over 17,000 bookloving followers for you to browse through and get to know in between scheduled meetings. Perhaps what I like most about Twitter though, is that it gives you the chance to interact with authors – real, published authors who have sold thousands of books and whose novels are sitting on your very own shelves. I’ve been amazed to find how many writers use Twitter, and unlike Facebook pages or official websites, Twitter channels are

usually managed by the people themselves. It means you can tell them how much you enjoyed their work, or ask them questions about their characters or writing, and there’s

“it gives you the chance to interact with authors – real, published authors” a good chance you’ll hear something back. Of course, not everyone is on Twitter, and some authors are more likely than others to respond (JK Rowling (@jk_rowling), for example, is bombarded with desperate tweets from Potter fans every time she shows any hint of activity) but even just watching from the sidelines can be rather nice – and not

half as stalkerish as it might sound. As any reader will know, you can feel incredibly close to an author once you’ve engaged with their work, and seeing the sorts of things they share, the type of comments they make and the way they interact with other fans can give you a glimpse of the real people behind the pages. Am I a die-hard Twitter user? No. I still have less than a hundred tweets to my name, and I could quite happily go for weeks without looking at my feed. But I’m glad I did decide to give it a chance, and if you like reading and you’ve been avoiding it – for whatever reason – you might want to consider it too. You never know, you might be pleasantly surprised.



For the latest book news: @thebookseller

For reviews and recommendations: @lovereadinguk

For discussions: @LitChat

For discovering new talent: @ElectricLit

Follow me: @ShonaWood21

Twitter not enough for you? Turn over for our roundup of the best bookish apps, Youtube channels, Pinterest boards and Facebook accounts…

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READERS’ ROUNDUP Facebook fanatic? Passionate about Pinterest? Whatever your preference, we’ve got your online book-needs sorted.

FridayReads In need of reading inspiration? Look no further. Every Friday, people post on FridayReads what they’re currently reading to ‘promote and encourage more reading’. Hugely popular, you’ll never be stuck for ideas again.

Shelf Awareness BuzzFeed Books Their description says it all: ‘Having fun isn’t hard when you’ve got a library card’. Perfect book-themed procrastination.

News, competitions, fun videos, recommendations… Shelf Awareness has pretty much everything book-related covered. It is based in America, so unfortunately some of the competitions are a no-go, but there’s still plenty for everyone. (We’re loving the pun, too.)



Sanne is a 26-year-old currently working at Hot Key Books and Piccadilly Press. She uploads videos every couple of weeks or so, and although reviews and ‘book hauls’ are most frequent, you can expect a whole range of content – from book-related ‘Would You Rather’ sessions to interviews with authors (Veronica Roth was featured in March) and short practical videos covering things like ‘How to Avoid Cracking the Spine of a Book’.

Jean Bookishthoughts Jean’s a book-loving student (who happens to be a friend of Sanne, above!) who posts reviews, recommendations, bookshelf tours and more. Uploads are typically around once a week, although sometimes you’ll be lucky and get a couple more.

Shoutame According to Amy, books ‘make me happy, very happy indeed’. Yep, us too, Amy, us too. Her most regular uploads are monthly ‘Wrap-Up and Mini Reviews’ videos, but her channel also offers a nice mix of other features – including book chats, ‘Top books of...’ roundups and more general thoughts on book-related issues.

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Goodreads If you like reading, you’re likely to have heard of Goodreads. Their website is currently the largest for readers and book recommendations, allowing you to post reviews, see what others are reading, compile ‘to read’ and ‘have read’ lists and more, and this handy app brings together all the best features for easy access.

Audible Books are brilliant, but reading off a page isn’t for everyone. There are loads of places you can find audio books now, but with high-quality recordings, brilliant narrators and useful recommendations, we reckon Audible is one of the best.

Reading Companion Random House If you ever need gift ideas for a book-lover, this is the place to go. From mugs with bookish quotes to ‘page’ style bed linen and book-shaped plant pots, you’re guaranteed to find something that fits the bill (and a few things for your own wish-list, too).

Reading Quotes (or Why I Read) Allyson Pearl Fun quotes, inspirational quotes and quotes that are just so, so true. You’ll be scrolling through, smiling to yourself and nodding like a Churchill dog.

APPS Wattpad Love reading but short of cash? No problem. Wattpad gives you access to millions of free stories written by both aspiring and published authors. Discover new talent, offer feedback, or try your hand at writing yourself, Wattpad has a growing army of devoted users – and for a very good reason.

Book-Inspired Crafts Kansas City Public Library A whole board dedicated to things made from books and their pages. Okay, so we don’t particularly like the idea of cutting up books, but some of the creations really are stunning.

(All free and available for Android or iOS devices!)

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The Man at the

Heart of

Barton’s What’s it really like, being a bookseller in the 21st century? Peter Snell, manager of Barton’s Bookshop, talks to Shona Wood about bestsellers, social media, and why Barton’s is better than Amazon.


tepping into Barton’s Bookshop, I immediately feel at home. It’s difficult not to when you’re as devoted to reading as I am, because Barton’s is, without doubt, a proper bookshop. From the Tudor-style beams and towering wooden bookcases, to the squashy leather sofa and huge open fireplace, it’s just the way a bookshop should be. And it’s very much down to Peter Snell. The sixty-something-year-old is sitting at his computer when I arrive, stroking his beard absent-mindedly whilst catching up with the latest Facebook activity. He’s a little bit like Santa crossed with your favourite uncle – with a profound love of books thrown in for good measure. “I’ve spent my whole life reading,” he says simply as we settle down for our interview. “I can’t remember ever learning to read.” Once you’ve seen Peter at work, it’s difficult to imagine him doing anything else, but the truth is that he sort of “fell” into bookselling. “I worked in the finance industry for many years,” he tells me, “but then I became very, very ill. As part of my recuperation,

I got myself a job doing the odd hour here and there in a bookshop and used that as my therapy to rebuild myself. Eventually I ended up running the store, then my lovely wife bought me my own shop and now here we are.” Any regrets? “No,” he says without hesitation. “No, it’s the best job in the world.”

Peter’s certainly doing the job well. Since its grand opening in 2008, Barton’s Bookshop in Leatherhead, Surrey has gone from strength to strength – its most recent achievement being a grant from best-selling author James Patterson. With so many rivals though, and the rise of the juggernaut that is Amazon, I can’t help but wonder how he manages to keep attracting customers. “I don’t tend to stock the books that you’ll find in Sainsbury’s and Tesco – the same books you’ll find cheap on Amazon,” Peter explains. “There’s no point. Recently, David Walliams had a new book out: Awful Auntie, £12.99 hardback, £6.49 in Sainsbury’s – less than it costs me to buy from my wholesalers. So I don’t stock it. When customers come in I tell them, ‘Look, I

“it’s the best job in the world”

(continued on page 14)

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“I’ve spent my whole life reading. I can’t remember ever learning to read.”

could order it for you, but I don’t want you to feel that I’m cheating you. Go and buy it from Sainsbury’s. When you want a real book, come back to me.’” Overall, he seems decidedly unfazed by the competition. “Yes, it means we’re losing out on what should be everyday sales,” he says, shrugging, “but if you want ordinary books that aren’t on bestseller lists, then I’m the same price as Amazon and I’ll get them in here the next day. And they won’t be delivered to a doorstep and be left in the rain or stolen. So no, I’m not running scared of Amazon.” Whilst Barton’s currently does little in the way of online selling, Peter’s made an effort to keep up with technology. “I’ve had to make my own website [] and I do quite a lot on Facebook now. Not so much on Twitter, though.” He pauses and frowns. “It’s so easy to be misunderstood when you’ve only got 140 characters… It’s a dangerous beast.” Ebooks, however, definitely aren’t of much interest. Peter tells me they’re available through Hive, a website which allows customers to support high-street stores whilst shopping online, but “we don’t actually do anything about that sort of thing”. Whilst I admire his faith in traditional publishing, I’m a little surprised by his

relaxed attitude. But when I ask whether ‘proper’ books could be at risk, he’s insistent. “No. I think they’re different animals with different purposes.” If there’s one thing that’s quite clear, it’s that Barton’s is about far more than just making money. So what is it that Peter likes most about his job? He pauses for a while, apparently deep in thought. When he answers though, it’s as if it’s the most obvious thing in the world. ‘It’s the people who come into the shop. They’re all interesting. Either they’re an expert and they know what they want – they’ve got a particular book in mind and I can help them find it – or they’re completely not an expert and they want help finding something to read. I love that I get parents bringing their children in and saying ‘My son, my daughter doesn’t read.’” He stops and shakes his head. “I’m a firm believer that everybody’s a reader, they just haven’t found the right book yet. It’s great when two or three days later, a parent stops me in the street and says, ‘THANK YOU!’ You know, ‘Eric’s now reading, he loves that book and we’ll be in on Saturday for another one!’ I think that’s absolutely superb. That’s the greatest joy in the shop.” His enthusiasm is infectious and I’m tempted to ask whether he’s got any jobs going, but first, there’s one final question I need him to answer. Top five books of 2015 so far? Peter looks at me aghast. “Oh wow! Okay, stop recording and let me think...” I dutifully stop my voice recorder and watch as he turns and heads into the middle of the shop, peering at the bookcases as he goes. I suspect we might be here a little while, but that’s okay – I don’t really want to leave anyway.

“[Twitter’s] a dangerous beast”

Barton’s Bookshop 2 Bridge Street Leatherhead Surrey, KT22 8BZ Mon-Sat: 09.00-17.30 Sun: 10.00-16.00 01372 362988 Search for ‘Barton’s Bookshop’ on Facebook 14  ReadIt

Peter Snell’s Top 5 Books of 2015

Reasons to Stay Alive (Matt Haig) Lamentation (CJ Sansom) Sea of Stone (Michael Ridpath) Closer to the Wind (Jon Walter) The Emerald of Burgos (Gordon Thomas)




Bored of your bookshelves? Fear not: we’re here to help. Okay, let’s get one thing straight: as long as it’s got books on it, a bookshelf can never really be boring. But every now and then, it’s nice to have a change. Check out our suggestions, choose your favourite, and give your bookshelves a boost this spring.

A is for Apple If you’ve got a lot of books and the thought of not being able to quickly find the one you want sends flutters of panic rippling through you, then yes, you may be best sticking to some sort of alphabetical approach. Author, title, a combination of both – you decide. It may not be the most exciting of systems (and things might end up looking frustratingly jumbled), but you’ll rest easy knowing that everything’s in its rightful place. Pros: Makes finding books a doddle. Cons: Not much of a looker.

Ride the Waves Tall books can be a right pain when it comes to organising bookshelves (’It will fit...IT WILL’), but if you’ve got the space, having a selection of sizes to play with can be great fun. Height order is one option, but for a more playful look, try arranging your books to make waves. With a little rubber duck perched on top, the scene is complete.

extract titles = no more messed up spines – YAY! Cons: Smooth waves can be difficult to achieve, particularly if you’ve only got a small collection.

Medley Who said that books always have to be shelved spine up? Try alternating traditional ‘standing’ books with horizontal stacks for a more contemporary look. Depending on the design of your bookshelves, this one can end up being a real space-saver, too. Pros: Great for accommodating lots of different sized books. Cons: Things don’t always end up looking terribly ‘polished’.

Stairs made out of books? Definitely a stairway to heaven.

Pros: Different heights = easy to

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Stack City If you like the idea of stacking, take ‘Medley’ one step further and sort all your books into piles. Then, try mixing up their heights to create a cool ‘soundbar’ effect. Alternatively, if you fancy a more ordered look, why not build yourself a book stairway? (Tip: both of these work particularly well if you’ve got a lot of books the same size.) Pros: You can easily swap a couple of stacks around to create a whole new look if you find yourself getting bored. Cons: Getting to a book at the bottom of a pile can be a bit of a challenge.

I Can Sing a Rainbow Imagine this: You’ve had a long day at uni/work, you’re tired and feeling pretty drained. You finally get home and you’re faced with a huge rainbow of books. Before you can even start on the chocolate, the world is good again. You will need a decent sized collection for this to be really effective (and a reasonable selection of covers, too – 50 Penguin Classics just won’t cut it), but if you’ve got the variety, you really can’t get much better. It’s brilliant for drawing attention away from other things, too – let’s face it, no one’s going to notice the light layer of dust on the top of the shelf when there’s a beautiful rainbow of books to lust over.

Picture Perfect Rainbows will always be our personal favourite, but that’s not to say you can’t do other things with colour. Basic geometric designs often work well, or for the more adventurous among you, why not try a flag or simple picture? Pros: You can tailor your design to suit your collection. Big boxset? Put it in the middle and work around it. Cons: Unless your design is really obvious, you might find your efforts are lost on some people. (‘What do you mean you can’t see the Gryffindor logo?! HONESTLY.’)

Pros: Stunning. Cons: Having to separate members of a series can be a little heart-breaking.

Book rainbows: one look, and the world is good again. Mix it Up It is what it is: no rules, no restrictions, no logic, nothing. Perfectionists and neat-freaks might struggle with this one, but if you like a bit of quirkiness, it may be the perfect ‘system’ for you. Mixing everything up can be wonderfully liberating, too – especially if it’s been a long time since you last moved things around. Just be prepared to get frustrated if you ever do need to locate a specific title. Pros: Great for rediscovering old gems. Cons: Keeping track of what you’ve actually got can be a little tricky…

All done? Take a #shelfie then tweet us @ReadItMag!

Can’t choose? Head to and take our quiz to find your perfect match!

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April showers getting you down? Carole Matthews’ A Place to Call Home is the perfect pick-me-up. by SHONA WOOD The front cover of A Place to Call Home simply exudes niceness. Flowers, butterflies, blue sky… It’s all rather ‘rosetinted glasses’. But whilst fans of fun, frivolous chick-lit will undoubtedly relish A Place to Call Home, there’s also a gritty realism to Carole Matthews’ twenty-fourth novel that makes it wholly deserving of broader appreciation. Ayesha is a young woman from Sri Lanka, living in Milton Keynes with her daughter, Sabina, and an abusive husband. One night, after years of suffering, she takes Sabina and breaks free. The pair flee to London where they find sanctuary in a private house occupied by a trio of misfits: Hayden, a former popstar,

grieving after a personal tragedy; Joy, a cantankerous retiree, pining for her family; and Crystal, a bubbly professional dancer, struggling to hide her own insecurities. As bonds begin to form, the future seems to brighten – but Ayesha finds it’s not always easy to leave the past behind. It’s an emotional and uplifting story, brimming with Matthews’ trademark warmth and humour, and yet it’s altogether more daring than much of her previous work. Violence, pain, trauma, loss – difficult subjects are tackled with both honesty and sensitivity, and there’s a real poignancy that’s rare in such romantic novels. Ayesha, too, is a wonderfully refreshing protagonist. With English a second language, she’s certainly not a ‘safe’ option, and

“ emotional and uplifting story, brimming with Matthews’ trademark warmth and humour” yet there’s an impressive authenticity to her voice. She’s likeable, engaging, and above all, utterly believable. Granted, it’s not without flaws. Ayesha’s last-minute housing in a Hampstead mansion does feel a tad farfetched, and the final quarter of the novel is perhaps a little rushed. But even so, A Place to Call Home is definitely a worthy read. Just be warned: Once you pick it up, you may not be able to put it down.

Title: A Place to Call Home Author: Carole Matthews Publisher: Sphere (Little, Brown) Publication date: 10th April 2014 Length: 464 pages ISBN: 9780751552188 Cover price: £7.99 (Details for paperback edition)

Rating: 4.5/5 (must read!)

If you like this, look out for Carole’s new title, The Cake Shop in the Garden (out in paperback 23rd April 2015!)

Buy it now from and support your local bookstore!

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10 SIGNS YOU’RE OFFICIALLY A BOOK How many do YOU recognise?!


You deliberately cook meals that you can eat one-handed, just so you’ve always got one free to turn your page.

You’ve missed your stop on public transport before because you were so engrossed in your book – and you didn’t regret it for a second.



When you’re pushed for time, you cut down on sleep before you cut down on reading. (Hey, it’s called prioritising.)

You’re not terribly bothered if you accidentally leave your phone at home, but if it’s your book… Oh. My. GOD.

have more book8 You cases than any other


You take more books on holiday than you do pairs of socks. And yes, they are all necessary.

type of furniture. And you still can’t fit your whole collection on.


You’ve bailed on friends before because you’d reached a critical point in your book. DOES HE LIVE? DOES HE DIE? YOU NEED TO KNOW!


feel closer to your 7 You local bookseller than


You’ve called a friend by a character’s name before. (“Thanks Hermio- I mean, Hannah.” *Oops*)

You’re completely baffled when people ask for your favourite book. Err, they expect you to choose just one?!


you do to some of your relatives. (Sorry Aunt Maude.) Too many books? Impossible.

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CRIPPLING LAWSUIT FOR FAMILY-RUN HOTEL AFTER PEA BLAMED FOR BACK INJURY ‘Princess’ claims slipped disc was due to a pea under her mattress By Shona Wood Fairburn Hotel, a popular familyrun establishment in Surrey, is facing a lawsuit after claims that a pea beneath the mattress of a bed caused a guest to suffer a slipped disc. ‘Princess Elle’, now known to be Chantelle Smith, 22, telephoned reception Saturday morning complaining of severe back pain after spending one night in Fairburn’s luxury suite. A doctor was called to the premises and a slipped disc diagnosed. An inspection of the sleeping facilities – which included a four-poster kingsized bed – revealed a single pea between the mattress and frame, which Ms Smith is insisting was the cause of her injury. The bed in which the pea was found

“I was uncomfortable all night and I’ve been in agony ever since. There’s no other explanation.” According to a fellow guest, Ms Smith arrived at the hotel late Friday evening “laden with designer shopping bags”. She is believed to have spent the day at the nearby Silver Swan shopping complex before checking into Fairburn when she was unable to find a taxi to accommodate her purchases. The witness has expressed outrage at the claims. “If she really is injured it’ll be because of those bags – nothing to do with any pea!” “She does have a habit of being melodramatic,” admitted a longterm acquaintance. “She’s very spoilt and she can be quite irrational.” John and Molly Fairburn, the founders of the business, have been left shell-shocked by the incident. “We pride ourselves on giving our guests the best service possible,” said John in response to accusations of negligence. “Their welfare has always been our top priority. I don’t know where the pea came from, but we will

‘Princess’ Elle, 22

certainly be conducting a thorough investigation.” “How could a pea even cause such an injury?!” added a distraught Molly. “It’s ludicrous!” Based in Guildford, Fairburn Hotel has earned hundreds of loyal visitors since its establishment in 1978. It was named Surrey’s ‘Best Family-Run Hotel’ in 2010 and is currently the area’s second highest rated accommodation on TripAdvisor. A court date is yet to be set.

Got an idea for a fairy-tale news story? Tweet us your headline @ReadItMag with the hashtag #fairytaleheadlines and our favourite will appear next issue!

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Image Credits Front cover Rainbow bookcase: CC image (‘Bedroom book rainbow’) courtesy of ‘Nick Southall’ on Flickr: njsouthall/3294168025/in/ photostream/


Page 2 Rainbow bookcase: CC image (‘Bookshelf Spectrum 1.0: mission accomplished’) courtesy of ‘Pietro Bellini’ on Flickr: pio1976/3330670980

Page 15 Barton’s Bookshop interior: Editor’s own

Page 3 Girl reading: CC image (‘Reading’) courtesy of ‘Stefano Corso’ on Flickr: pensiero/70530914 Editor’s headshot: Photo editor’s own, taken by Jo Pittarides Page 6 Twitter feed on phone: Editor’s own Page 8 Shelf Awareness: Logo available at shelfawareness?fref=ts Page 9 Book bouquet: http:// Apps: http:// Page 10 Peter Snell outside Barton’s: Editor’s own Page 12 Barton’s Bookshop: CC image (‘Barton's Bookshop in Leatherhead’) courtesy of ‘Alistair Young’ on Flickr: ajy/15676613492/in/photolist-

Page 13 Peter Snell inside Barton’s: Editor’s own Barton’s Bookshop interior: Editor’s own

Page 16 ‘Stairs’ bookcase: Editor’s own Page 17 Rainbow bookcase: CC image (’Bookshelf spectrum 2.0 - mission accomplished!’) courtesy of ‘Pietro Bellini’ on Flickr: pio1976/12519624925 White bookcase: CC image (‘Bookcase’) courtesy of ‘Claire Sutton’ on Flickr: thesuttonfamily/5149219334 Page 19 Girl reading: Image courtesy of ‘Phil Ashley’ via Getty Images Page 20 Bed image: Royalty free stock photo from Elle: CC image (’Blonde beauty’) courtesy of ‘Nathan Rupert’ on Flickr: nathaninsandiego/4233842661

Kobo vs. Kindle, how to choose your next read, and the 10 most beautiful libraries in the world… Don’t miss the next issue of

ReadIt. - on sale April 20th!

Page 21 Stockholm library: CC image courtesy of ‘elmoree’ on Flickr: lmoore/9460669041 Back cover Book pile: CC image (‘CB068378;) courtesy of Raoul Luoar on Flickr: photos/72006245@N05/65060665 31 Stockholm library

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A book-themed magazine produced for the Writing in the Media module at the University of Kent (Spring 2015)


A book-themed magazine produced for the Writing in the Media module at the University of Kent (Spring 2015)

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