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Colour photograph of an ‘Open’ sign. If you have time to read, we can send you a book.

Time to Read

Now’s the time to read, but can you get hold of a book? Most of the book trade is shut and Amazon is prioritizing non-book products. Believe it or not, we are operating normally! Our warehouse has found a way of processing orders safely, with customer care teams working from home. So may we suggest some books?

While we’d all love to be out meeting up with people in the spring sunshine, we’ll have to make do with entertaining ourselves indoors for several weeks more. But that’s no problem! There’s never been a better time to read, whether you prefer curling up in an armchair, lounging on a sofa or lying in bed with a really good book. Here are a few suggestions.

Colour illustration by Heath Robinson of his patented personal protection equipment, made of steel with 365-degree sealed-surround visor.
Self-Isolation, Heath Robinson-style

Laughter is the best medicine (for boredom)
Living through the Great Depression and two World Wars, Heath Robinson knew the value of laughter. He had a funny solution to every problem, however serious. Social distancing? Self-Isolation? He had a cast-iron remedy.

To escape the pall of coronavirus, discover the true meaning of Very Heath Robinson by Adam Hart-Davis and Philip Pullman. It is a memorable introduction to one of the greatest figures in British humour. You will lose yourself in laughter.

In a letter to Heath Robinson in 1914, H.G. Wells wrote: ‘Your absurd, beautiful drawings give me a peculiar pleasure of the mind like nothing else in the world.’

Order Very Heath Robinson from our online bookstore to indulge in some peculiar pleasure yourself.

Itchy feet?
While it may be some time before you can venture far from home, for now you can travel vicariously through our Wild Guides series. You can visit the most remote and unspoiled countryside of Britain or even roam as far as Italy from the comfort of your sitting room. What’s more, you’ll get a head start on planning any post-lockdown trips: we all feel the benefit of having something to look forward to.

Colour photograph of a green meadow full of red poppies with the Abruzzo mountains rising behind.
A meadow in Italy’s Abruzzo mountains is brilliantly illuminated with poppies. Photograph by E. Parker, Hutchinson Library.

Order Wild Italy: A Traveller’s Guide by Tim Jepson or Wild Britain: A Traveller’s Guide by Douglas Botting from our online bookstore. You can get 25% off by joining our free membership scheme, with free delivery on orders over £20. These are books written in the first person by natural born travel writers who know how to conjure up a sense of place. They will waft you away into another world.

Click here to order Very Heath Robinson.

Click here to order Wild Italy.

Click here to order Wild Britain.


Since we posted this article our warehouse have warned us that, because of social distancing measures, delivery of some books is taking as long as five to seven days.