I've little against book clubs in general. I just don't see the point. I'm a habitual (indeed compulsive) book buyer, and have tried several book clubs over the years - they were all, without exception, far more trouble than they were worth.
These days - with Amazon, eBay, and a whole host of online book suppliers like Bibliophile and Book Depository (plus Bookfinder.com for rarer items) it's quite amazing how rarely I pay more than £5 or £6 for a book - I just leave it on my Wishlist until the price drops - and sooner or later it usually does. Just today I got a book on aviation history that was listed a year ago at £18 - today's price £4.
I could see the appeal of book clubs years ago - but in these online days I just don't see the point. Even what discount you get will seem poor return the first time you get into one of their endless circular arguments about what you know you've received and paid for, as against what they claim - and believe me, sooner or later, you will have such arguments with all book clubs.
Type a wishlist into your PC - save it with Amazon if that appeals. Then wait for the books to appear at prices you want to pay. You just don't need book clubs - take my word.
Do you like cooking? Do you want to please your guests with amazing foods? Do you want to be close to all the new books for cooking? If yes, this book club is for you! What it is It is a book club that sells books mainly for cooking. I joined that club on January because I like cooking and I always want to do adventurous things in the kitchen! That club is very helpful to me because it doesn?t mix other books in it so it?s easier for me to decide the book or books that I am going to order. Only books for cooking. They have great variety of books. The same books that are out in the market, here you will get them between £3 to £10. Most of the reductions though are about £5. This is not bad if you really want to buy that book. How you Join That?s the best part! You go to www.tasteonline.co.uk and request your introductory offer. The introductory offer is 4 books in £0.99(!) up to £2.50. You are giving your details and you don?t pay until the books have reached you and you are satisfied with them, which I find great. The books I order were : 1.How To Be A Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson(that was for my wife) 2.Delia's How To Cook Volume 1 3.Forever Summer by Nigella Lawson 4.How to Eat by Nigella Lawson. Also they sent me for free the book: Recipes for The Nation?s Favorite Food (Britain?s top 100 dishes) which was great. (As I noticed at their website, the free book of the introductory offer this period is The Naked Chef . Really great book.) When the books arrived in perfect condition and in about 20 days, I really was happy for my decision to join this club. What is the commitment? They want in a year to buy 5 books. I like cookery books so for me it?s not difficult to buy these 5 books. I have checked for myself that their books are cheaper from the shops so I?m not seeing it as a burdensome ?task?. If you are not going to buy anything in a year, they will charge you the
full price of the introductory offer. To make sure that you are going to buy something they have the Editors Choice to recommend to you. What is that? The Editor's Choice is one book or rarely more than one book, that the club?s editors recommend for their outstanding interest and superb value for money. You have to place an order, either for the Editor's Choice, or for a suitable alternative, before the "Decide by" date. This is shown on all invoices and statements that are sent out to you, as well as on the web site's home page. It?s by far more easier to do it online, as If you don?t like the book they suggest you just press a button and that?s it! If they will not receive an order from you by the ?Decide by ?date shown, they will assume that you would like to receive the Editor's Choice and they will send it to you. I don?t really like that but I can cope with it as I have mention I like that kind of books. The editor?s choice I have to admit that is not bad at all. Three months now the books that they have chosen are really good and interesting How you can cancel your membership? If you have fulfilled your commitment, you are entitled to cancel your membership. You can do this by writing, a month in advance, to the Customer Service department. But If you want to leave the club before completing your commitment, as I have mention previously, they have the right to charge the full price of the introductory parcel less any amount paid to date, in addition to any outstanding balance on the account you have. How can you contact the club? The best way for me is via internet. They have set an excellent site, very friendly for the user. If you wish to contact them through email, they promise that they will try to reply within one working day. Alternatively you can call the club directly on 0870 165 0253. Other features of the club The magazine they send every month is very informative and t
empting you to buy them all. Really good presentation. They also send you a list of all the best sellers of the market in cheaper prices but I am not buying from them as I can find them cheaper on Amazon. The Taste club has teamed up with Video Direct to offer members access to every Video and DVD on UK release and there is no postage and packing to pay. It?s not as cheap as the CD-wow but in their bargain section you can find DVDs from £7. Also Taste has teamed up with Fonetastic Mobile for some brilliant mobile phone offers. The truth is that they are not making a member discount on the phones. They just re-direct you to fonetasticmobile.co.uk Overall opinion I recommend Taste club to all those that they don?t have cookery books or they want to start collecting all the new recipe books that are available in the market in really very nice prices. Ideal for those who start their own household now or in the near future and they can?t take with them the recipe books of their mothers. Thanks for reading, Vass
I apologise. I apologise for the fact that this review is clearly in the wrong catergory. Sorry - hope no ones offended! PLEASE! Dont move to another opinion. This, for me as a new meber of the DooYoo comunity is something that I deem to be a risk. I dont know if this has been done before...and its either gonna work - or it aint. I looked and as far as I can see there is no opinion catergory for short stories so Im putting this here, just because. Im going to write a short story...please, any feedback will be great. I hope no one minds this, and I HOPE Dooyoo wont block it. The Saviour The fire was beginning to die out – it was getting late. Two young children, a boy and a girl, sat on the floor of the room, starring at the low burning fire. The young boy broke the silence – ‘Ask her’, he whispered to his sister. ‘You ask her Robin’ was his reply. ‘You ask…’ Robin began, but didn’t finish. ‘Ask me what?’ The old lady sitting in the corner of the room interrupted him. Silence. ‘Go on then’ – the boy nudged his sister. Cautiously the little girl raised her head and looked at the old woman. ‘We were wondering if you could tell us a story’, she asked apologetically. Again silence. Robin and Victoria sat looking at their grandmother. ‘Yes. But you must let me sleep after’ the old woman reasoned. Robin and Victoria both nodded. ‘Very well. This… this all happened a long time ago, before you, or your mother were born, in the winter of 1865…’ He came one night. I can still hear the sound of horse’s hooves clattering along the old dirt track, which led into Hampden. In such a small village, a stranger arriving was something of an event. His name was William Jackson. He had jet-black, shoulder
length hair, and rode a black horse, named Midnight. He was always so pale – as white as a ghost. His eyes were always so understanding…and he spoke in a soft, gentle voice. His face I will never forget. Your grandfather and I, lived in a small cottage, the across the road from the inn, where William was staying. Money was tight and your grandfather was turning to drink. I remember one night, him stumbling home at around two completely drunk. He wasn’t coming in the house in that state – he slept on the road, outside that night. It was a dark chapter in my past. I don’t think the marriage would have lasted if it wasn’t for William. He came to preach to us about Christianity. We had a church, and a vicar at the time, but this didn’t seem odd to me at the time – I had other problems. Nobody talked to William – I saw him now and again around the village, but I never saw him talking to anybody else and I felt pity for him. I can remember the first time we met properly - in the village shop. As I said money was tight and we were down to the bread line. He came into the shop as I was leaving. Not looking where I was going I walked straight into him, dropping my bag, the contents of which lay scattered on the floor. He was very apologetic, and helped me to pick up what I had dropped. We didn’t say much until ‘I’m William’. He spoke. ‘Ethel’ I replied, then an awkward silence. ‘So what brings you to Hampden’ It was a stupid question, but it broke the silence. Robin and Victoria sat in silence not taking their eyes off their grandmother. Ethel looked like she was in a trance, like she was staring at something that nobody else could see. Over the next few days William and I became good friends. He was my only ray of light in this black period of time. Frank, your grandfather, was out drinking most nights – an
d most days. I saw very little of your grandfather during this period – I’d usually hear him stumble in late at night. To be honest I’d given up caring. I didn’t know where I was going – or where I’d end up. I was Williams only friend – and he mine. Another pause. Ethel looked pained – she stared into the future, or past with a look of great agony. Robin and Victoria looked at each other. The embers of the fire where the only things lighting the darkened room. She continued on – each word she spoke seemed to stick in her mouth and she looked in difficulty as she put effort into each word she spoke. He stayed for just two weeks. Then he left – just like that. Things were beginning to brighten up – then one day I woke up and he just wasn’t there. I went to the inn where he was staying, but nobody there could tell me anything. Nobody seemed to no anything about William – they couldn’t even remember him staying there. There was no one I could turn to – Frank was still drinking all night, wasting whatever money we had, and William had gone. It was in desperation really, that I went to see the vicar – there was no one else to turn to… The room was very dark. It would have been pitch black, had there been no light from the full moon vaguely lighting the room. The children where scared now – what they saw before them was not their strong, kind, loving grandmother, but someone different. She continued. The winter was unusually cold and a mist surrounded the village. I decided to go to the church late one evening – I can recall that walk so vividly – every detail stuck in my memory… The church was a ten-minute walk from the house. I hoped talking to the vicar would help, maybe even solve my problem. I had no answer to what I was about to see… I was alone as I walked down the dirt
path from the village to the church. It was freezing cold, and beginning to get dark. I must admit to feeling scared – was I paranoid? I kept hearing noises and seeing flash backs to the past with William. I hurried my pace and eventually ran the rest of the way to the church. By this point it was late evening, and dark. There was a full moon that night, as I opened the gate to the church graveyard. I was very relieved to have finally made it there. The gate creaked as I pulled it open and stepped inside. I wanted to find the vicar quickly. I walked through the graves to the large wooden church door and knocked – but I received no reply. Trembling, Victoria, the younger of the two, grabbed Robins arm, terrified. I knew that if the vicar wasn’t here he’d be in the vicarage. That was a small cottage round the back of the church. ‘Can I help you?’ said a warm voice. It was the vicar. He’d heard the banging on the church door. I had planned exactly what I was going to say to him, in my head, on the way there – but I lost it all and just broke down weeping. ‘Ethel?’ he said. I was a regular on Sundays. ‘Come inside, out of the cold’. We went into the small cottage behind the church, where he lived. I told him what had happened to me in the past weeks…about Frank and the drink, about our troubled financial situation, about how depressed I was…and then about William. When I told him about William, the priest changed – from an understanding, gentle man, to a worried and confused mess. I told him all about William – what he did, what he looked like – everything. The priest just sat thinking, with a worried frown upon his face. After a while he spoke – ‘William Jackson…jet black shoulder length hair…black horse named Midnight…Christian Missionary…’. He said
all this as if he was trying to work something out in his mind. Then suddenly he stood up. ‘I know where he is’ he said. My heart jumped. ‘Come with me’. We walked out into the churchyard. The vicar stopped. ‘Here’ he said, standing before a gravestone. I paused, unsure of what he wanted me to do. ‘Down there’ he said. Slowly I got down on one knee and read what the gravestone had inscribed upon the grey stone covered with lichen - William Jackson ‘The Saviour’ 1825 – 1855 Beloved Friend In Time Of Need I let out a scream. William had died, and no one had told me - I wasn’t thinking straight. I couldn’t make any sense of it – what did this mean? The vicar spoke first. ‘A William Jackson, just like the one you described to me, died in Hampden of Tuberculosis, ten years ago’. It was then that the truth hit me – and it hit hard. All this time, William had been dead. All this time, he was a ghost. Victoria let out a scream. Why was their grandmother telling them this? This wasn’t the story she had wanted. Still Ethel continued… The vicar let me stay with him that night. I couldn’t have managed the walk home, alone. There were so many things that I didn’t understand – but I think I now do. The old lady came out of the trance. The children’s grandmother was back, talking in her gentle understanding voice again. She looked at the children, and then spoke to them, as if explaining something. God sent William, to help me in my time of need. He was almost like my saviour. Without William, those two weeks could have been my last two. Then neither your mother or you, would be here now. Now that the grandmother she knew was back, Victoria felt braver. ‘What happened after, with you and gr
anddad?’ She regretted saying it immediately, but Ethel just smiled… Your grandfather quickly cleaned up his act – I fell pregnant with your mother and we put the past behind us. ‘Bed!’ said Ethel enthusiastically. The small cottage the three were staying in had only two small rooms. The bedroom was upstairs. Ethel took Robin and Victoria up the stairs into the small bedroom. They were all tired and slept soundly – except Robin who awoke just once…to see the shadow of a horseman, holding a cross, on the bedroom wall, and the sound of horse’s hooves on the old dirt track below… Thats it! Probably be blocked in an hour or so, but any feedback would be much much much appreciated. Thanks anyway! Rhys.
Book clubs always manage to entice me with their too good to be true introductory offers. You know the ones – buy 5 books for 1p each add postage and package and what do you have – a bargain or do you? I am an avid reader and love books of all kinds. I also like to give books for gifts at Christmas time and therefore book clubs seemed ideal to me. I am currently a member of World Books, Books for Children and Red House. Now World Books and Books for Children are run by the same company. What happens is that when you sign up for membership you are obliged to buy a given quota of books within the first 12 months. This varies between 4 and 6 so check the small print. Every 4 weeks or so you get sent a glossy magazine full of books. The World Books magazine is OK but I find the Books for Children magazine is rather sparse on the age group that I am interested in and month after month the same publication appears. These club offer what is called the ‘Editor’s Choice’. Basically unless you mail the reply slip, email or phone them to reject the selected book it will turn up on your doorstep. I hate this part of the scheme, not once have I bought the Editor’s Choice. I think that this should be scrapped yet believe that the club probably make a lot of money out of people who forget to reject the offer and then end up buying the book anyway. The books claim to be a discount prices yet in all honesty they are not significantly cheaper than high street stores. What you must remember is that on each order you have to add postage and packing which is around £2-50, so any saving that you did make from the RRP is greatly reduced. Also I am finding that high street stores are at last beginning to slash book prices so if you take care when you shop around you can find the books at the same price in the shops. There is a slip that you can fill in telling the club where to leave the parcel if you are out. I
requested that mine be left with an elderly neighbour who is always in but they never follow the instructions always taking it back to the sorting office. This is about 6 miles away and involves me having to set aside a Saturday morning to go and collect my goods. By the time I have paid for the parking and petrol my bargain doesn’t look quite such good value! In recent months I have had run ins with both these book clubs. Firstly I got an abrupt message on my Books for Children payment slip stating that dispatches to my address would not continue until I had cleared my account. I always pay my bills by return of post using a cheque. I emailed them and told them this in October but have still had no response. After 2 months my payment finally showed up and I am now once again able to receive goods. Since I have fulfilled my commitment I decided to ended my membership so I emailed them but still keep getting sent magazines. I therefore decided to write stating that I wanted to end my membership and that I did not want this month’s or any other month’s Editor’s choice. I also stated that any books sent would be kept here for them to send someone to collect them. Unfortunately they have ignored this letter too as today the dreaded Editor’s Choice landed on my doorstep. Now I can’t decide what to do as I know that your account does show up on your credit file – is it worth getting a black mark against my name in order to take a stance? I was previously in this club a few years ago and withdrew my membership as they sent me a curt note telling me that I hadn’t bought enough books and my 12 months was running out. They stated that if I didn’t buy enough they would charge me what I had saved on the introductory offer which was around £80. At the time I was buying for the children at school who are physically disabled. Selecting books that they can access is very difficult and I found tha
t the club have a very poor choice. I explained this in writing yet bought the books anyway, I never received a reply. I find that the choice in the children’s books is very limited. Significant children’s authors do not feature highly and those that do such as Mick Inkpen are in every single issue with the same offers on. They never really have on offer the best children’s books which I keep in touch with by visiting book stores. World Books have also offended me! They froze my account as I had allegedly not sent £9-98 off in payment for goods received. I thought that I had but never bothered checking before putting another cheque in the post. I had ordered a book for my Mum for Christmas but they wouldn’t dispatch it due to my arrears. My next statement showed that I had in fact sent two cheques off and I am now £9-98 in credit but they still wouldn’t send my book. My last statement showed the credit remained yet the book order had disappeared totally. I emailed them several times stating that I wanted my book but never received a reply. I have also written to them without any luck. Yesterday I wrote to say I wish to end my membership due to the shoddy service that I have received and want my £9-98 back, I have lost all hope of ever getting the book. Both of these clubs have websites which currently display a message apologising for the poor service apparently they are having technical difficulties. This message has however been on for 3 months now which is totally unacceptable. I have got to the stage where I dread seeing a parcel because I know that nobody at the clubs is cancelling my membership. Red House book club has been a totally different experience. You don’t have any commitment to buy on a regular basis and no monthly slips to send back. They only deliver what you order and promise never to send you a book that you don’t want. There selection was also much wide
r and better for the kids. No matter how tempting the introductory offers are in future I have vowed never to get tangled up with one of these clubs again where a commitment is made. Now I have written this op I will be able to look at it in times of weakness and remember the hassle associated with some book clubs. Thanks for reading
We have all seen the really great offers on the backs of magazine or in our post, things like buy 5 from 1p each or buy one regular priced book and get 6 free. Sounds good well it is but the problem is that you then have to stay a member for so long, and/or purchase so many books within 2 years. I joined a couple of book clubs mainly for the great offers, but from then on I found it difficult to reach my minumum member commitment as a lot of the books they had I wasn't interested in. Once a month you would be sent a glossy little catalogue and your reply slip would highlight the editors choice. If your reply of not wanting the editors choice came through just a couple of days late it is automatically dispatched to you which then leaves you with the hassle of having to return it this happened to me a couple of times. One thing I did notice as well was that these reply slips never had a box for not wanting any that month, so if you didn't want the editors choice or any of the other titles you then had to find a way to say no, the options of which are limited a letter, by phone (if you can figure out your way through the automated menu's) or by email (good luck finding out the address). A good point about bookclubs is that occasionally they do have member only offers and special editions. So when applying for a book club be aware there is a commitment and the books aren't that great a value normally they can be purchased in the supermarket a lot cheaper. OK as requested the names of the book clubs that i've been a member of (don't hold it aginst me) World Books The Mystery & Thriller Book Club Mills and Boon
Maybe i'm one of a sad group of individuals who actually love to read Mills & Boon and similar types of romance novels. I have only just recently rejoined Mills & Boon reader service, and can honestly say that not alot has changed though it has been about 12 years, or more, since I first signed up to receive my romance through my letterbox rather than get the pitying looks from the checkout person at my local supermarket. The obvious advantage of being in the'reader service' is that they deliver your 4 books to your door with a few extras thrown in. At the moment they are treating their members to a free glass, a free book (a series of 12 so you get hooked and then need to stay to finish the set)and a chance to gain vouchers for a gold plated watch. You may say wow!! freebies. Yeah, they do also offer other books in their range at a price that, after free post & packing, are quite reasonable. Yeah,ok I realise that there are many different types of both sexes who love to read Romance novels. How many do you know that will actually own up to that fact? At a guess, not many openly though if you go through their book collection I bet there's a few at least, even if they say they belong to someone else. Why is there such shame in admitting that you like to read Mills & Boon, Silhouette or any of the many other brands of modern romance? In this day and age they have become much more sexy and explict in the way in which the authors tend to write their stories. In some cases I think, that the old blue rinse brigade which is the stereotypal person who reads romance, would have a coronary with the way in which the whole modern romance writer now deals with the sexual content. Gone are the days when it was left to your imagination. So yes, there some advantages to being able to buy your romance straight from the publisher. Yet while,so far I haven't ran into any problems with this actual book club i'm s
ure that there is always room for problems to arise.
Beware of Books For Children unless you want books delivered to your door at average prices, with the need to reject unwanted choices every month, too many clerical errors and annoying marketing ploys. The basis of the above statement is that I am finally at the end of the "you must buy 6 books before the year is up or we will pursue you for all the £60+ that you saved accepting our bargain introduction offer" period The fault that this book club, and others like it, have is that it FORCES you to buy at least 6 other books from their catalogue before a time limit, and if not, then it surcharges for the "savings" on the introductory package. Another fault is the constant stream of recommended books that you have to REJECT each time or otherwise have to spend time and possibly money returning. I got the introductory package as an inducement to join this site because it included Thomas the Tank Engine Magic railroad at £5.99, and The Silver Tower CD by Enid Blyton (not that she programmed it of course being that she is pushing up the daisies). Also a couple of other free books including a huge A3 stereoscopic Dinosaur picture book (complete with red/green lenses). My first irritation with them was the difficulty in logging into their website. (This characteristic was also seen in the HSW site that they also own, which I joined 6 months later. I thought it may have been the CAPS LOCK, but on the HSW site, this was not on and I still got the same script error trouble). I eventually logged in after refreshing a few times. The website is useful to reject the Editors Choice, which is a MUST if you do not want their decision on what is best for your child. The problem with returning the paper based order slip with the rejection on, is that once out of your sight you can not prove what was on it if they make a mistake and send the book on to you, then charge you £2 for a return label to get a refund for
a book that you would never have ACTIVELY chosen. This sort of passive action by default is a real annoyance, and has been mentioned as the cause of problems by other members. Talking of which, even the category of child age is selected as 0-3 years by default so you could end up with both an unappreciated book AND the wrong age range for reading it anyway. The first time you order or pay with their billing slip, you are supposed to change the default age range of your preference to 3-5, 5-7 or 8-12 years old. My second irritation was more of an annoyance, as I had ordered 3 books, and confirmed with the gentleman taking my order and payment, that the postage was indeed FREE as stated on the order form. Well you guess it; I got charged £2.99 for postage as well as the books. I logged onto the website and contacted the administrator via email from a link on their site and got a nice email by return the same day apologising and stating that they would adjust the bill. I wrote back and stated that I had seen opinions on both Ciao and Dooyoo talking of BFC sending in DEBT COLLECTORS and I was worried in case late payment of the original bill would automatically trigger off their computer debt recovery. They replied with a less nice email, still polite but rather terse, saying that I would not have to pay until the new revised bill had been received. When I finally got it, a booklet accompanied the bill with bargains in, and low and behold, the item I had bought for £65 was now £45 saving £20. So I phoned this time and complained that by the time I had got the bill for the item in question it was on sale £20 less, so I was going to return it for a refund and buy the sale item back. Before I could finish the girl taking my order/payment said that I would not need to do that, as she would credit my account with £20 immediately. This was very pleasing as there was no arguing. Full marks to BFC for that. In case anyone i
s wondering the item in question was a Noddy 24 book boxed set (with free soft, and I mean VERY soft, Noddy-in-a-car toy made of rubber). At present (20/6/1) I am still waiting for a replacement set of books, as there is a binding fault in book 3 that has ¼ of another book bound in reverse at the end of the book instead of the correct quire of paper. This is after a month waiting and a reminder 2 weeks ago. Some of the problem may be due to the carriers (White Arrow) not delivering as the computer record shows they were supposed to go out at the end of May. All this rigmarole just because they cannot extract one book from the full 24 set, and post that as a replacement in the Post Office Royal Mail system. Other than these instances, and the general irritation of having to reject the default Editors book of the month, I am actually fairly happy that I found their website and joined. For one thing, it saves me having to waste all my lunch hour walking to and from the bargain bookstore in Bristol in the Horsfair, only to find that they have nothing that takes my fancy. It also does NOT need a credit card! Instead the books are delivered and an invoice follows. If you are responding to the website special offer then the invoice actually comes with the books the first time. Otherwise the books turn up one day and the invoice comes with the next month’s magazine. There is variable delay depending on season, but I have usually received stuff after only a few days of ordering on the website or by letter. I have always been happy with the delivery, except that once the Noddy toy was delivered much later than the books, causing unnecessary concern, but that most likely was down to delivery error by the courier. I am free to cancel my membership now so I have done so, and am now no longer a member, having emailed them a month ago. I will advise others to EMAIL the cancellation, and confirm in writing just in case. You are sup
posed to give 4 weeks notice in writing, so expect another magazine at least to turn up and remember to REJECT the latest Editor’s choice or you will have to return it or pay for it, all extra, unwanted expense when you think you have got rid of the need to worry about this. In case anyone wants to risk it, I enclose the link. Note that I do not earn anything by referring, there is no member ID embedded here, and it is just a courtesy to other Dooyoo members to save them hunting for the site. http://www.booksforchildren.co.uk The site is bright, cheerful, colourful, being mostly black text on white background, and red text on yellow background, well designed. Possibly a bit too much going on at first sight, but you get used to knowing where to look for information quite quickly. There are the classic children’s writes listed on the right of the screen, POTTER, MILNE, LEWIS, DAHL, TOLKIEN, BLYTIN and POTTER each linking to more information and books to be bought. The left side of the screen has the contents of the site and the club magazine image, which itself has a contents drop down menu. A nice red text on yellow background, effective. There is a search facility for Title, Author or order Code at the top of the site, quite useful, as the only way to order a book online for a book discovered in the paper based magazine, is if you find it on the site and then click on the “add to basket”. The only way to find it quickly is to search for the order code form the booklet. Otherwise you could spend all day trying to find where some of the books have been hidden. The magazine is not identical to the website version, I have found that there are some of the less popular book choices that do not seem to be shown on the website in the same context as the magazine. Not a real problem, just makes you wonder what bargains are going undetected if it is so hard sometimes to find what you know
MUST exist somewhere on the site. Trying to find Enid Blyton's Silver Tower was one example where the only way I found it was to search for the order code. Only then could I write a short review on it for the site. This is done for free, unlike being paid by Dooyoo in case you wonder. The site has the categories Bestsellers, CD Roms Audio Books and Competitions at the bottom of the main page. The CD Rom section has Tweenies - ready To Play for £15.99 save £4. Not much of a save when you consider that their sister site (The Home Software World) is doing it as an inducement to join HSW at £2.99, as is also Bob the Builder CD Rom, and Thomas the Tank Engine 2: Trouble on the Tracks CD Rom. Notwithstanding all of the negative comments I have made, I am overall quite satisfied with the BFC site and service. I wish them well, and would continue being a member longer of it were only for the fact that we can never get away from that annoying REJECTION rigmarole. It would be nice if the owners allowed their loyal customer base, once through the initiation rite of “6 more books or a pound of flesh” phase, could carry on receiving the magazine and special offers without the need to reject every month. Now that is a novel customer orientated approach to increasing sales overall.
Having belonged to various book clubs for many years I have finally found one that seems to offer good value. Just Good Books is a relatively new club. When you join you are offered the opportunity to purchase up to 6 books at 75% off and you also get a free copy of the Encarta Dictionary - an enormous tome. Post and packing is £1 per book and free if you order more than three books. Your only commitment is to buy one more book in the following year. This is very good as I have found that with other book clubs the savings on the books is lost by the high cost of postage and packing. It works out that sometimes you only save 50p! Not really worth it in my opinion especially since most bookshops are now offering reductions anyway. You get a catelogue from Just Good Books every two months or so and unless you ask for a book you do not get sent a book. No receiving the Editors Choice if you happen to forget to spend time and postage writing to tell the Book Club you don't want it. You can access and order your books on line from www.justgoodbooks.co.uk. Nothing could be simpler. There is a wide range of categories i.e fiction, health, gardening, etc., My only criticism would be that there aren't enough titles available in the fiction category. But that's probably just me - I read books at a rate of knots. Well worth giving them a try - you have nothing to lose.
Yahoo!!!, this is all its says it is (almost). Today l recieved my 3 books and they are great. Along with a bill for £5.99 (cheap). You do also get sent every month a letter offering more books but there is no committment to buy but you do have to send back to slip or phone to say you don't want the editors choice. You get a Choice of 100 books for £1 each is unbelievable, with no commitment. This is too good to be true but thats what www.eTSP.co.uk offers. You can order 3 books and pay only £1 each for them. You are joining a book club of sorts but you have no commitment to buy another book whatsoever. The postage and packing is £2.99 so altogether that makes £5.99 for 3 very useful books. The choice is immense from Leiths cookery bible (which l ordered and would have cost £25.99) to build your own PC and fiction like 'The assasin' by Margerat Attwood. The total of my package would have cost over £50 and its costing me £5.99. The books are all 'Softback' editions and basically they replace the hardcover and lower the price accordingly. Now do they take off the hardbacks and put soft ones on, thats how it reads but i'm sure that can't be the case. You have to go through a list of books (100) and choose you're 3, tell them who you are and you then get membership and no commitment to buy another book. They also send you a free document wallet and because they contacted me via email l will get 500 ipoints also, which can't be bad. The books l ordered were: Prue Leiths Cookery Bible Medical Associations Book of Medicine and Drugs Homeopathic recipes for health. All for £5.99 I am sure there must be a catch somewhere and if l find what it is l will be sure to let you know but as yet l will just wait to receive my package of books and if it comes complete with some catch or other l will simply return them and cancel my membership. Get in there
quick, it may be a limited offer (who knows)! One thing l have noticed is that when l emailed them for information about one of the books l noticed that l was actually emailing bca. They are actually Book Club Associates who have run a book club where you do have to commit to a certain amount of books for the first year of your membership. They also have a policy of sending you their 'book of the month' unless you specifically request that they do not do so and if you don't want it you can send it back but at your expense. I hope that this setup is slightly different although from the same company. I have had very reassuring comments from other dooyoo members who have been members of eTSP.co.uk and it does appear to be as it seems, only time will tell. I have just received a slip today in the post saying, and l quote "Thankyou for responding to our recent advertisement and welcome to the Softback Preview. The response to our advert was much greater than we expected, which has resulted in a delay in despatch. We will, of course, be sending you this as soon as possible and apologise for the delay. Should you wish to contact us, please telephone 0870 1650 298." So there you have it if any of you wish to contact them, as you have ordered and not recieved, or whatever, feel free to use the above number, unless of course its a private line set up especialy for me. I still wait but its good to know theres quite a good chance l can take advantage of this offer. Good luck to you all.
I'm not sure whether I can get away with this here, but I could find anywhere to put in Family section. This opinion is about the Sainsburys Book start which is available to all babies at their 7 - 9 mth hearing check from 2000. A bit of background Initially the Book start was initiated by a a charity book trust in 1992 in association with Birmingham Library services. The scheme worked by presenting parents or carers of babies with a Book start packs which contained a few free books, advice about literacy, and an invitation for your child to join the local library. This pack was presented at this development stage as babies have a natural curiosity in objects which turn, flip and have bright colours. Having got used to the feel of books at an early age, babies would build a natural dexterity towards books, how to turn pages and look after them. During the National reading Year in 1998, David Plunkett announced the Book start would be available throughout the UK with the support of Sainsbury's as a national sponsor. If you want to know more about how it all went, there is an annual Report for 200 based on Enfield, London. This report tells you about how much it cost to set up, how its made an impact on local library services and what held for the future. Direct your browser too http://www.enfield.gov.uk/bookstrt.htm Unfortunately, it did take a while for Book start to filter though the country, as when my first daughter was 9 mths, it wasn't available in my area. Fortunately, I had given her a few board books, and she had already acquired the dexterity to handle the pages and could turn them over one by one. Whats in this free pack? Well, all I thought I was getting was a plastic bag with Sainsbury's printed all over it and some leaflets about reading. What a surprise I got. After my second daughter passed her hearing test with flying colours, my Health Visitor handed my a big, linen bag fu
ll of bits a pieces. Ok the bag has Sainsburys on it, by after all they were sponsoring it. The bag itself was thick, cream linen with orange logo. and was about the size of a large handbag. With it came two board books, a Nursery rhythm place mat, leaflets, and a toothbrush. The leaflets were good quality too. Not photocopies but two booklets called "Babies love books " part one and two, a leaflet on local library services with an invite for your child to join. Babies love Books Part one. This is a small guide for grown ups and takes you through a world of a family. There are so many excuses we give our children why we can't read to them. "I haven't the time", " No now I'm cleaning up", " Children can't read until 4 or 5 years old". What a lot of rubbish eh? There are so many reasons WHY we SHOULD read to our children. Ok. so babies can't read as such, but they do love to look at the pictures. When they start to talk, they will start to associate pictures with words, learn to recognise what words look like, which is half the battle to reading and writing. Books are also made for sharing. There's nothing better than having 5 minutes quiet time and read to your baby, toddler or child. Nothing is more important then g a little bit of quality time with your child. Babies and children also love to hear your voice as well as their brothers, sisters, grandparents and so on. Even if you feel silly, make a character come to life in doing different voices. Your child will learn to love reading, just for the sear pleasure of it. This is what this booklet tries to get across and does so very well by illustrating which are common in everyday life. It also gives examples where you can read. You dont have to stick to the home, you can go to read in the park, in the car (as long as your not driving!), on the train... anywhere, anytime and you don't even have to read a book. There
are sign posts, posters, leaflets, magazines, the list goes on. his leaflet also helps by telling you where you can buy books, and what sort of books are available. You dont have to stick to story books, there nursery rhyme books, pop up books, bath books (plastic ones), board books, flip books and song books. Babies love books Part 2 This little leaflet helps you to choose books. What sort of things you can look for in a good book and they don't have to cost the earth either. I always look around in the Pound shops or cheap books shops for most of my childrens books. Save all the expensive books until they are much, much older. The reason is that while they are learning how to read, books get torn, ripped and even scribbled on. This is all part of growing up and learning how to look after their belongings. So rather than getting annoyed they have ripped a expensive book that aunt Mable has brought them, get relatives, friends to buy board or thick pages books that are cheap. First books for babies are great if they a bright and colourful, with simple but familiar objects. Things like BALL, BABY, DOG, CAT, are brilliant as they can start to associate these with day to day objects. Let your toddler pick books with you, but give them a limited choice, say between 2 or 3 books. Otherwise you might be in the shop all day. Rhythms and song books are really good too. This gets a toddler involved and builds anticipation. Its a great feeling when they know all the words to " Twinkle Twinkle little star", you start to feel all proud and gooey. This book also gives a recommended reading list for each stage of development and what to look for books for that particular age. The two free Books The two books I got within the pack are good quality and perfect for little hands.. and mouths. The first one is called " M bear Says Can I have a hug? by Debi Gliori. This book is quite big with lov
ely big black writing, and is about a bear who needs a hug. He goes around all his friends like owl, a rabbit and bees but most of all he likes his hugs with his baby bear. AWWWW. The pictures are lovely in this book and there are some funny bits too. The second book is called Peek a Boo. This is a flip up book in which all the babies are hiding. When you pull up the flap, you can see their faces. At each picture it plays on the word "Peek a Boo". I e a baby is hiding behind a bib and the wording is "Bib a Boo" Children love playing will still words and phrases.Peek a Boo is one of the first games you usually play with your baby. It builds up their anticipation and their humour too. Nothing better too see your baby smile, giggle and laugh. That's the purpose of a book.. its fun. The place mat you get is lamented and has Incy Wincy spider on one side and pat a cake on the other. As well as the obvious of serving your child's dinner on, they make great mats for doing Play do and drawing on.. with paper over the top!!!. Its easy to clean, bright and colourful. Why the tooth brush? Well, there are some leaflets on general health, brushing your child's teeth and about drinking from a cup. Basically is supposed to be bad for your child's teeth if you give a bottle over 6 mths of age as it can distort the developing teeth. If you give juice in a bottle and not a cup it can start to rot their teeth as you are bathing their teeth in juice. So this information is too encourage you to stop the bottle as soon as possible and get into the habit of brushing their teeth at an early age. Well, after telling you all that, what do you think? I think its a great asset to give your child the building blocks to enjoy reading, as well as writing an understanding about the world we live in. Its just such a shame that we didn't have anything like this in our day. I have found this Book Start p
ack invaluable for intoducing my daughter to books. The Peek a Boo book is a little recked now. Ive had to glue back in the flip ups but thats why you buy cheap books! If you want to know more about Book start ask your Health Visitor ot visit www.bookstart.co.uk
From day one as a parent it was instilled in me that it was important for my child to read and recieve the benefits of being read to. I loved to read as a child and I love to read as an adult too so I knew I would soon be on the lookout for books to buy for my baby and toddler. But what to buy. There are a whole host of childrens books on the market. Picture,pop-up, first words,classics such as Beatrix Potter - the list can go on and on. After several months of random buying I had amassed a rather mixed set of books. It was about this time that the Books for Children (BFC) bookclub caught my eye in a magazine. The starting offer was excellent and that is what really caught my eye. They were offering 5 books from 50p each - £2.50 + p&p. Not just any old books, well known classics such as Guess how much I love you and The hungry Caterpillar. The only commitment was to buy 2 more books in a year. I believe this is a bargain,first I had gained 5 childrens books for under £10 and then I only had to buy 2 more. What parent is not going to buy 2 books for their child in a year. The books arrived within a couple of weeks and the invoice is to be paid within 10 days. Since then I have bought several books from this book club. Each month you recieve a magazine which is divided into 3 sections- 0-3, 4-7 and 8-12 and each section has a recommended selection which you can choose to reject if you don't want to buy. All the books in the magazine are reviewed by a team of educational specialists so you know you are buying a quality book for your child. All books have some money off publishers reccommended price. You can choose to pay in a number of ways,by cheque, card, via post,telephone or through their internet site . You can also order the books through the internet site which is very user friendly and prompt. Feedback is also replied to ver
y quickly. The only disadvantages I have come across with this bookclub is that sometimes a featured item may be out of stock when ordered and can take several weeks to come through. Also the discount can quickly disappear once you take the postage and packaging into account. Overall though an excellent book club which allows an harassed mother to make an informed decision within the comfort of her own home
For the past six months I have been working in an independant bookshop. But I am unsure of how long my job will last and worse than that is the threat that the bookshop itself wont last. These book clubs sparkle people with their fantastic cheap offers and after their custom has been drawn in they contract that person to commit to buying a certain amount of books over the year. The impact this has on an independent bookshop is astonishingly devastating. How can a small bookshop possibly compete with the 50 pence a book offer. There is nothing like browsing through the shelves of a well stocked bookshop. Finding a wonderful book that you never would have noticed otherwise can be a life changing thing. By continuing to buy from these book clubs we will lose the book shop. If you have ever lost yourself in a book and let your imagination flow with the plot you will understand how prescious a good bookshop is. So please support your local bookshop
I am an avid book reader, and even though my daughter is only 18 months, I am trying to encourage a healthy interest in books, so when I saw a leaflet for BFC, I decided to join immediately. The club offer the standard introductory offer meaning that you get 3 books initially for a fraction of the price the club charge, and you have to agree to buy 6 books in the first 12 months of your membership. I was very pleased with my initial order, as it was well packaged, and arrived promptly, so I ordered some more books from the catalogue. The first thing that struck me was how expensive the books were. A Thomas The Tank hard backed book, about 5 inches square was £4.99. Now maybe I am a Scrooge, but my daughter does not treat her books well, and I have seen similar books locally for a fraction of that price. The second and most annoying thing was that there are no instructions or invoice enabling you to return any books. I called the customer services telephone number, and was informed that it was my responsibilty to return the goods, and ensure that the company could identify the parcel as being from me. It cost me £3.10 to return 3 small books, which totalled £22. I returned these books on 5th September. My account has not been credited and after receiving numerous letters and statements, I again called the company who agreed they had received the parcel and to ignore the reminder letters. Today I recieved a letter from a debt collector and they have added £17 reminding charges. I called BFC and they are now denying the books were returned, so I now have to go through the process of sending copies of the proof of posting and hope BFC work quickly. The debt company however, will not stop any action until BFC instruct them, and they will not do that until this dispute is sorted out. To say that I am mad is an understatement, and to make matters worse I received a call this evening from a supervisor at BFC telling me that I wo
uld be charged a penalty for cancelling my membership as I have not bought the required amount of books. What an absolute disgrace!!! My advice is to steer well clear and use a local bookshop or even better, make full use of your local library.
The Green Reader is a fantastic selection of articles by some of the world's most renowned environmental writers including Rachel Carson (Silent Spring) and Garet Hardin (The Tragedy of the Commons). If you're looking for a really good overview of the most importnat environmental issues without a lot of jargon and emotive discussion then this is the book for you. The facts are laid out in a straight forward but thought provoking way which even those with no previous knowledge of the subject can easily understand.
This book club is one of the best I have found. You only have to buy about two or three books in your first year then that is it you are under no obligation. You get several cheap offers from them in that time too so it need not cost you much money. Every month you receive your invoice telling how much you owe and a little catalogue of books on offer. Also the editor has picked out a special offer for each age range. The only downside to this is that if you don't send the form back or call them to say you don't want the books they are sent automatically to you and then you have to return them if you don't want them. But it is easy to do this by phone they have an automated system which does it for you and it works as I use this way on a regular basis. The majority of the books on special offer are educational and my kids both love them. A very well designed catalogue of lovely childrens books. Have a look. You can contact them at the address below: BFC Books For Children Guild House Farnsby Street Swindon X SN99 9XX Just one last point. This unlike many other book companies supplies you with a telephone number that members can use on your bill. Alot of others don't so you have no way of phoning them and have to wait for the post!