Windows 95 was the first operating system I was using at 4 or 5 years old. I’ve been heavily involved in computers and technology since then and you can tell by my handwriting ability, it is that of a 10-year-old… I put this down partly to being lazy but mainly down to using a keyboard of some sort for the majority of my life. I could never match my proficiency on a keyboard using a pen and paper and despite being a photojournalist I never learned shorthand, again though even if I did I think I’d struggle to outright my typing.
The reason I mention the above is to relay how much screen time I rack up, be it a laptop, desktop, tablet or phone reading quarterly reports, documentation for one thing or another, articles or even stuff like Reddit and Twitter threads. To have a physical book then is a rare novelty and I guess just like a printed photo, something I consider to be a luxury. How it should be done if you will.
Step forward The Book Club from NatWest.
How It Works
A perk of the NatWest Premier account which you pay £31 a month for, is The Book Club which is run by Ten Group. The premise is simple, every month they send you an email with a choice of 3 books to pick from. In that email, you’ll have a detailed blurb along with a date and time. The date and time is a biggie, unlike most book clubs you have a zoom meeting with the author of the book and that date and time are that of the zoom call.
Once you get the email, simply click on the one you are interested in and a representative from Teg Group will get back to you within 24 hours providing you with not only a link to the zoom meeting but also a link where you can order the chosen book.
Primrose Hill Books
Something I may have missed mentioning earlier is that Ten Group also provides a code in their confirmation email. That code is for a 100% discount on your chosen book from Primrose Hill Books. When you click through on the email you’ll reach the above page only with your books for that chosen month.
Simply add your chosen book to the cart and enter the discount code and click apply coupon. Just make sure you enter your discount code within 7 days of receiving it, otherwise, it’ll be expired.
For all deliveries to the mainland UK, it’s free. You do have the option to pay for quicker delivery but the books usually come within 2-3 days so I’ve never bothered.
When you hear the thud on the floor by your front door, fret not. Primrose Hill Books do a good job with padded protective packaging.
Now from what I’m led to believe, in a lot of book clubs, you all read the same book and then sit around to discuss the said book with each other. Not quite the case here. Instead, you’re sent a zoom link where a host will have an in-depth live conversation with the author and you are actively encouraged to message your questions over throughout the conversation.
It usually last’s for an hour or so but the insight you gain is mesmerising, whether that be on concepts, characters or in the above instance, changing of the guard, you’re elequantly brought into the writers’ world.
If life does get in the way and you miss the Zoom, you can request a link to watch it back. Granted it’s not as good as watching live and getting your questions answered by the author, insightful nonetheless.