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The book shop that wasn't quite just a book shop.

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message 1: by Benedict (new)

Benedict (Benedict1606) | 21 comments Hey! I today visited a place that I have been to before but it was about 4 years ago and I didn't have as much passion about books as I once did.

The place in question is Astley Book Farm in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England. It is a treasure trove of books of every genre.

There are literally hundreds of thousands (if not more) of books for you to browse and buy. There are books rare or valuable or both, locked away in glass cabinets and there is a cafe to eat in which delivers up favorable food, delicious drinks and even alcoholic beverages (drink responsibly).

The books are priced at around £2.50 to £9.95 and this depends on the size of them and if they're signed by the author etc. Most the books I bought were around £3.50 ($4/$5).

They are as follows:

The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Nineteen Eighty-Four
Animal Farm
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Assassin's Quest
Fool's Errand
Royal Assassin
Golden Fool
Fool's Fate

This came to around £31/$40 which isn't bad considering new it would have cost, easily, £70-£90/$91 - $117!!

I have pictures here for you all and I hope this thread inspires you to visit the Astley Book Farm!

https://myalbum.com/album/Z9SwaO6asQRe


message 2: by Iain (new)

Iain Bertram (Iain_Bertram) | 719 comments 2.5 hours.... Hmmmm


Ruth (tilltab) Ashworth | 1566 comments A teeny bit less for me if I had a car. Alas, I rely on public transport. Cool pics! Maybe one day.


message 4: by Trike (new)

Trike | 5226 comments “Let’s go to the bookstore! ...and look at our phones.”🤓

Cool shop, though.


message 5: by John (Nevets) (new)

John (Nevets) Nevets (Nevets) | 1061 comments That is a cool used book store. I don't do it as much anymore, but I do love wandering those stores big and small. The layout of this one reminds me a bit of Powell's in Portland, OR.
https://www.powells.com/ I only visited once, but spent all day there, and could have spent more time. I was really glad I had an extra day in Portland that time.

Ruth, I know they cost a bit, but have the short span car rentals like zipcar caught on over in England? If you could get a friend or two to go, it might not be too expensive to make a day out of doing something like that. Just an idea.


message 6: by Leesa (new)

Leesa (leesalogic) | 532 comments Neat place!!


Ruth (tilltab) Ashworth | 1566 comments John (Nevets) wrote: "Ruth, I know they cost a bit, but have the short span car rentals like zipcar caught on over in England?"

I don't know anyone who has ever rented a car, which is not to say car rental isn't available (I know it is, in some form or other) but it is very much outside of my normal. I lack the funds in any case, but I'll look into it should that ever change. Thanks for the suggestion.


message 8: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 414 comments this is less than an hour from my house! Cool. And good to see other Brits lurking in the Sword & Laser group. Maybe one day we’ll get a critical mass of people to have a meatspace meet-up!
(I’ll be at the Edge-Lit event in Derby in July if anyone wants to come and say hi)


message 9: by Iain (new)

Iain Bertram (Iain_Bertram) | 719 comments Ruth (tilltab) Ashworth wrote: "John (Nevets) wrote: "Ruth, I know they cost a bit, but have the short span car rentals like zipcar caught on over in England?"

I don't know anyone who has ever rented a car, which is not to say c..."


In big cities, 2.5 hours in the UK is half way across the country :-)


message 10: by John (Nevets) (new)

John (Nevets) Nevets (Nevets) | 1061 comments Iain wrote: "In big cities, 2.5 hours in the UK is half way across the country :-)"

Yah, I forget things like population density in places when I say things like that. My state in the US (Wisconsin) is a bit bigger then all of England in area, yet only has 1/10th the population. And since I live in the center of it, I can get to about anywhere in it in about 3 hours of hwy driving, so that does sound about right. Because of it's population, and tying it together with the rest of the UK. I tend to think of England as a bigger country then it really is. I really need to get over there and see it for myself. I have a cousin who has been living there for a while, and would love a visit, hmmm.


message 11: by Trike (new)

Trike | 5226 comments John (Nevets) wrote: "I tend to think of England as a bigger country then it really is."

To the map!

http://www.undertheraedar.com/2011/01...

The furthest points apart in the UK are 874 miles by road. From my house in southern New Hampshire to my parents’ house in central Ohio is 865 miles. That’s 100% of the UK’s length versus maybe 25% of the US.

Caribou, Maine, to San Diego, California, is 3,300 miles, per Google Maps. Heck, it looks like England can almost fit within Florida. Pensacola to Key West is 832 miles.


message 12: by John (Nevets) (new)

John (Nevets) Nevets (Nevets) | 1061 comments Well, sure if you want to throw Scotland in the mix, but if you are just talking England, it would probably be more like you driving to Philadelphia.


message 13: by Trike (new)

Trike | 5226 comments John (Nevets) wrote: "Well, sure if you want to throw Scotland in the mix, but if you are just talking England, it would probably be more like you driving to Philadelphia."

No way. That’s a 30-hour drive. 26 of which are spent in Boston.


message 14: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (JohnTaloni) | 2755 comments Trike wrote: "No way. That’s a 30-hour drive. 26 of which are spent in Boston. "

Fortunately I had NOT yet started sipping my drink when I read that, and thereby avoided a hydrated nostril.


message 15: by Alan (new)

Alan Denham (AlanDenham) | 123 comments Trike wrote: "30-hour drive. 26 of which are spent in Boston...."
I live in Sunderland (northeast England) and spent the weekend in Cambridge - a bit over 200 miles. I hate motorway driving, so mostly use minor roads. The journey down took 7 hours, one of which was the four miles through Lincoln. John (Nevets) . . "would love a visit" . . . plan accordingly! The motorways are no fun, the main cities are no fun, English road systems were planned for the era of the penny-farthing bicycle (look it up) and Welsh and Scottish weren't planned at all, they were constrained by the geography.
That said, driving on the minor roads can be a real pleasure - but only if you have all day (or if you are going beyond the English Midlands, all week!)


Ruth (tilltab) Ashworth | 1566 comments Alan wrote: "That said, driving on the minor roads can be a real pleasure

Unless you visit Cornwall, in which case they are tiny and terrifying!


message 17: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) | 1097 comments Trike wrote: "“Let’s go to the bookstore! ...and look at our phones.”🤓

Cool shop, though."


LOL my thought exactly..

Looks like a great place, it's heavenly to browse through the collection....


message 18: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 414 comments Ruth (tilltab) Ashworth wrote: "Alan wrote: "That said, driving on the minor roads can be a real pleasure

Unless you visit Cornwall, in which case they are tiny and terrifying!"


Ah, driving in Cornwall... the steep hills, the narrow twisting lanes lined with what look initially like hedgerows but are actually granite walls covered in vegetation... such fun!


message 19: by Iain (new)

Iain Bertram (Iain_Bertram) | 719 comments Ruth wrote: "Ruth (tilltab) Ashworth wrote: "Alan wrote: "That said, driving on the minor roads can be a real pleasure

Unless you visit Cornwall, in which case they are tiny and terrifying!"

Ah, driving in Co..."


And the GPS saying drive on road at 50 mph....

Oh Shit Oh Shit Oh Shit...

Then your come to a fording place and hope it isn't too deep


Ruth (tilltab) Ashworth | 1566 comments Iain wrote: "Ruth wrote: "Ruth (tilltab) Ashworth wrote: "Alan wrote: "That said, driving on the minor roads can be a real pleasure

Unless you visit Cornwall, in which case they are tiny and terrifying!"

Ah, ..."


Or you end up in the middle of the woods on a road so narrow you're not sure your doors will open, then you notice grass growing in the centre of the road and the further you go, the higher it grows. You're thinking "Please, oh please, don't let me get stuck - this is supposed to be an A road!" Nightmare!


message 21: by Alan (new)

Alan Denham (AlanDenham) | 123 comments Ruth (tilltab) Ashworth wrote: "Alan wrote: "That said, driving on the minor roads can be a real pleasure

Unless you visit Cornwall, in which case they are tiny and terrifying!"

I like them tiny. OK, I know there have to be limits - but drive a small car slowly, and the narrow bits just add interest. The only time I have really been worried was on the Isle of Man . . . . 3 miles of deep track, with high banks brushing the doors, no passing places, and potholes that almost ate the wheels. (Near Cornaa)


message 22: by Alan (new)

Alan Denham (AlanDenham) | 123 comments Ruth (tilltab) Ashworth wrote: "Please, oh please, don't let me get stuck"
Been close. A friend actually did get stuck once - several other friends helped him out with ropes. All part of the fun.


Ruth (tilltab) Ashworth | 1566 comments Your definition of fun is different to mine.


message 24: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new)

Tassie Dave | 2498 comments Mod
Iain wrote: "And the GPS saying drive on road at 50 mph.... "

I thought the UK had metric? What's this mph shit? ;-)

At least you didn't have to change which side of the road you drive on :-)


Ruth (tilltab) Ashworth | 1566 comments Tassie Dave wrote: "Iain wrote: "And the GPS saying drive on road at 50 mph.... "

I thought the UK had metric? What's this mph shit? ;-)"


Oh, we have the most mixed up system! When I worked on a deli counter, some people would ask for 100g of cooked meat, while others would ask for a quarter. We like our pints over here (when it comes to drinks in the pub) , but buy litre bottles. I've heard talk in fabric shops along the lines of "if it's 10cm for each section, you'll need about a yard of fabric". A table might be a metre high, but a person might be 5ft4. And yes, we measure car speed in miles, even if we know the distance in kilometers. It's a muxed up world.


message 26: by Alan (new)

Alan Denham (AlanDenham) | 123 comments Ruth (tilltab) Ashworth wrote: "Oh, we have the most mixed up system! ..."
I knew we were in trouble shortly after decimalisation (so I'm thinking maybe 1972?) when I found myself stuck in traffic behind a builder's lorry loaded with plasterboard clearly displaying a manufacturer's label saying "Metric length, Imperial width".


message 27: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 414 comments Oh don’t get me started on the UK’s ridiculously stupid mixed-measurements system! I was actually having a conversation with some people the other day who were talking about their height and weight - one measured in feet and inches, the other in kilograms!
Why oh why can’t we just use metric for everything like every sensible country in the world?!?
Of course after Br&£@ it’ll probably be be back to seventeen pecks to the bushel and twelve farthings to the furlong.


message 28: by Iain (new)

Iain Bertram (Iain_Bertram) | 719 comments Britain started metrification and got cold feet... Bloody daft.


message 29: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new)

Tassie Dave | 2498 comments Mod
I still work in both Imperial and Metric. I annoy my storeman by asking for gear in both systems. i.e 5/8" bolt x 30cm ;-)

Ruth (tilltab) Ashworth wrote: "A table might be a metre high, but a person might be 5ft4."

This person is 5ft 4 (163cm). Yes I'm a shorty ;-)

I find height easier in imperial . But car speeds and distances I prefer in metric, probably because we changed over in 1971. 8 years before I got my licence.


message 30: by Phil (new)

Phil (PhilOnTheHillExon) | 206 comments The UK did go metric in 1965 according to legislation. Children in schools are taught metric and the only legislative area it remains imperial is on the UK roads. We even buy our petrol in litres, but talk about car efficiency in MPG. British eccentricity.


message 31: by AndrewP (new)

AndrewP (AndrewCa) | 2220 comments I don't have a problem working with both either. You have to be careful in the USA though as their system is not even Imperial. i.e. A pint of beer is not an imperial pint so you are getting gypped :)


Ruth (tilltab) Ashworth | 1566 comments What? Scandalous! How much do you get then?


message 33: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new)

Tassie Dave | 2498 comments Mod
A US Gallon isn't a Gallon either. A "real" gallon is 20% (Approx) larger than a US gallon.

AndrewP wrote: "you are getting gypped :)"

I know you don't mean anything by it and use it innocently , but that phrase is considered "not politically correct" these days.

It comes from the word gypsy and refers to the out dated stereotype of Romany people being swindlers.


Ruth (tilltab) Ashworth | 1566 comments Tassie Dave wrote: "A US Gallon isn't a Gallon either. A "real" gallon is 20% (Approx) larger than a US gallon."

Wait, wait, so it's not just an alcohol thing? If an American cooking book asks for a pint of stock, I shouldn't use a pint? What about Australia? Canada? How will I know?! This breaks my world!


message 35: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new)

Tassie Dave | 2498 comments Mod
That's why I use metric for cooking and anything else important.

A litre, kilogram etc are the same where ever the recipe is from.

It is a real pain converting from US recipes using non-metric weights and volumes :-?


message 36: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 414 comments Tassie Dave wrote: "That's why I use metric for cooking and anything else important.

A litre, kilogram etc are the same where ever the recipe is from.

It is a real pain converting from US recipes using non-metric we..."

American recipes are just weird... for baking anyway. it’s not even ounces and pints, it’s all a cup of flour and a stick of butter. I keep an entirely separate set of cup measures just for baking American cakes!


message 37: by Benedict (new)

Benedict (Benedict1606) | 21 comments I’m just putting this out there that this thread got hijacked my the metric/imperial war of man.


message 38: by Trike (new)

Trike | 5226 comments Benedict wrote: "I’m just putting this out there that this thread got hijacked my the metric/imperial war of man."

This is exactly how we feel everyday, man. Every. Day.


message 39: by Trike (new)

Trike | 5226 comments Ruth (tilltab) Ashworth wrote: "Tassie Dave wrote: "A US Gallon isn't a Gallon either. A "real" gallon is 20% (Approx) larger than a US gallon."

Wait, wait, so it's not just an alcohol thing? If an American cooking book asks for a pint of stock, I shouldn't use a pint? What about Australia? Canada? How will I know?! This breaks my world!"


As with language and accents, America preserves ye olde measurements. The US gallon is the old UK gallon used during the US Revolution ( circa 1770).

When I was a kid, President Carter announced, “America will go metric by 1980,” so my school tossed out the soon-to-be-outdated math books and bought new ones that used metric.

During the conversion period unscrupulous merchants scammed people, which made the news. In California, for instance, gasoline went from 70 cents a gallon to 40 cents a liter. Which everyone thought was a great deal until someone pointed out that was like $1.20 a gallon. Somewhere in the Midwest the same thing happened with milk. It didn’t happen a lot, but it made the news all the time, so Americans associated the metric system with getting ripped off. Any place that used metric pretty much went out of business almost overnight.

So after a couple years the schools went back to the old system, but for a bunch of kids of a certain age (like me) who were taught metric, the old system was confusing and illogical, which it is. Since no one uses the simpler metric system, we never got an intuitive feel for it. To this day I have to stop and look up quarts, pints and ounces, because there’s no rhyme or reason to them, and I missed learning it during my formative years.

The irony being, of course, that behind the scenes everything is metric.


Ruth (tilltab) Ashworth | 1566 comments Trike wrote: "Americans associated the metric system with getting ripped off"

I seem to recall similar conversations here debating whether or not we should be ordering beer by ml measures instead of pints, but that would mean rounding the number down, and no one wants LESS beer! But if I understand this right, in America, you'd be rounding UP from the American pint. Why are there no marches? We are talking about more beer guys! These things are important!


message 41: by John (Nevets) (new)

John (Nevets) Nevets (Nevets) | 1061 comments On occasion I’ve been to an establishment or two here in the US that advertises “imperial pints”, and charges a bit more for it. Usually this is the sort of place that is going after the U.K. pub feel to things, and this just adds to the atmosphere.

When I was at university for mechanical engineering 20 years ago we had to be taught just about everything in both metric and “standard” units. This got really interesting for HVAC type stuff where you rely on charts to find things like if a gas is in a supper heated state or what not. And both your daily problems and tests would often have both units used. Usually not on the same question, but sometimes you’d have to convert just to get all the info you would need. I believe they had to teach this way to stay accredited, but I don’t know if it is still the case, or not. Also seemed a bit of a “weed out” type scenario where they made it a bit tougher early to make sure you would last until the end.

Once I got out of university the window company I worked for was all standard, and I rarely had to convert. But I was told a few years before I got there they had done a big job for some windows at Heathrow and had to do the full job in metric. Down to having to buy new tape measures and rulers for the folks in the shop actually building the windows.

Now I’ve switched jobs and don’t have to worry about that as much, but have gotten back into doing some design work to be 3D printed, and what unit do most of these printers use? Metric, so I’m using it again, and I honestly don’t mind.


message 42: by Trike (last edited Apr 04, 2019 06:32AM) (new)

Trike | 5226 comments Ruth (tilltab) Ashworth wrote: "Trike wrote: "Americans associated the metric system with getting ripped off"

I seem to recall similar conversations here debating whether or not we should be ordering beer by ml measures instead ..."


Don’t be silly; nobody in America buys beer by the pint. We buy it by the pitcher, which is a bit less than a half-gallon.

Look, this is a big country. All our portions are bigger than Europe, whether that’s booze or food or booze. You never know when your next fill-up will be. We could go without eating for minutes. Minutes!


message 43: by Iain (new)

Iain Bertram (Iain_Bertram) | 719 comments Trike wrote: "Ruth (tilltab) Ashworth wrote: "Trike wrote: "Americans associated the metric system with getting ripped off"

I seem to recall similar conversations here debating whether or not we should be order..."


Of course the amount of alcohol in a pitcher of Coors is about equivalent to the amount of alcohol in a pint of proper beer (making love in a conoe)...

OK, I jest, but not by much. Unless you are having session ales.


message 44: by William (last edited Apr 04, 2019 08:06AM) (new)

William | 280 comments I can't resist posting this footnote regarding the real pre-decimalisation British system of currency, from Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch:

NOTE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE AND AMERICANS:

Two farthings = One Ha'penny. Two ha'pennies = One Penny. Three pennies = A Thrupenny Bit. Two Thrupences = A Sixpence. Two Sixpences = One Shilling, or Bob. Two Bob = A Florin. One Florin and One Sixpence = Half a Crown. Four Half Crowns = Ten Bob Note. Two Ten Bob Notes = One Pound (or 240 pennies). One Pound and One Shilling = One Guinea.

The British resisted decimalized currency for a long time because they thought it was too complicated.



message 45: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Richter (StephenofLongBeach) | 1003 comments Just remember a Mar mission crashed into the Mars surface because at one time somebody forgot to convert.


message 46: by AndrewP (new)

AndrewP (AndrewCa) | 2220 comments But Americans sell soda in 2 liter bottles and nobody seems to have problem with that!

Iain .. ha ha, great old joke about love in a canoe :) When I first moved here from Germany my wife's friends were amazed that I could go out and have 14 or 15 beers and walk home afterwards :)


message 47: by Iain (new)

Iain Bertram (Iain_Bertram) | 719 comments AndrewP wrote: "But Americans sell soda in 2 liter bottles and nobody seems to have problem with that!

Iain .. ha ha, great old joke about love in a canoe :) When I first moved here from Germany my wife's friends..."


If you visit Oxford wile summer students are in residence you have to be careful not to step on the US exchange students who are not allowed to drink back home and start with a few pints!


message 48: by Alan (new)

Alan Denham (AlanDenham) | 123 comments William wrote: "The British resisted decimalized currency for a long time because they thought it was too complicated..."
And the examples you quote are just the money. I expect to see further posts covering lengths and weights. Don't forget the ell - check Wiki for how many varieties there are!


message 49: by Iain (last edited Apr 05, 2019 09:56AM) (new)

Iain Bertram (Iain_Bertram) | 719 comments Alan wrote: "William wrote: "The British resisted decimalized currency for a long time because they thought it was too complicated..."
And the examples you quote are just the money. I expect to see further post..."


And a favourite physics unit's question, determine the speed of light in furlongs per fortnight :-) (view spoiler)


message 50: by Aeryn98 (new)

Aeryn98 | 167 comments This is why I love this book club. : )
I learn so much while making coworkers wonder why I am smiling.


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