Category Archives: How to Guide

Have a Clever Christmas with Booko: Beating the rush this Christmas

With only 8 weeks to go until Christmas, it’s time to start thinking about gift lists and pressie ideas. While it may seem like plenty of time to get things sorted, COVID has impacted delivery times both locally and overseas. Fear not, we have a few tricks up our sleeves to help you have a Clever Christmas. Firstly we’ll be updating our handy annual delivery date table that notes the shipping cut off times around the world. Make sure you keep an eye out, and be sure to follow our social media channels (instagram, facebook, pinterest and twitter) as we’ll be posting it there. 

Last week we launched our super handy new feature which allows you to follow lists suggesting books from all sorts of genres, interests, reading levels and favourite books. If you missed it, you can read about that here

One of our favourite parts of Booko is the ease in buying for friends and family who live overseas. Today we’re sharing a little refresh to show you how you can cut out the middle person, purchase a DVD or book in the local currency and the gift gets shipped directly to the recipient living overseas. This allows you to avoid the dreaded international postage fees and shipping times, and makes Christmas clever.

Start by jumping online to Booko.

In the top right hand corner, there is a flag (it’s usually your local country flag).  Click on this and all the countries that Booko works with will appear.  Select the country’s flag that you want to send a book to.  When you choose a different country, both the shipping charges and times are automatically changed and are specific to that country (so it’s easy to make sure your gift will make it in time).

You can see from the image above we have selected the UK.  From here, you will have a range of online booksellers that you can purchase from. All prices and delivery charges have now been converted into the British Pound. You can also see the shipping times involved.

Then simply select the retailer you are happy to buy from. You’ll then be taken directly to their website to purchase. In this example we have chosen Amazon UK.

See, it’s super easy and postage-panic free.

Be sure to keep an eye out on delivery times and availability. While many booksellers ship internationally, you may find your presents will arrive sooner when buying from the local store to your recipient. It makes sense to get the book delivered directly to your family and friends, it saves on postage costs, postage times and gives you greater security that it will arrive before the big fellow in the red suit!

Happy shopping and let’s all get all the presents sent so we can sit back and enjoy Summer. 

Enjoy. 

Making lists just got fun, social and super clever

We are all about clever shopping at Booko, whether that’s finding the best price, shopping internationally, choosing second hand or setting your own prices. We have a brand spanking new feature on Booko that we know will make your lives a little easier. 

Sometimes we have no idea what to read and just need a recommendation, other times we’re looking for books to give as gifts but have no idea what the recipient would enjoy. Today, we are taking all of the guesswork away and are launching the ‘following’ function in our hugely popular list section. 

Now you can follow a number of lists which suggest books to read, movies to watch or even ideas for Santa. 

Let’s start by having a look at our current list function. 

When you log into your Booko account a drop down menu appears to the left hand side of the site and you will see Lists and Following as options. 

When you click on Lists you are shown all of the lists you have created on Booko. 

You can also add more lists here. We often suggest making lists for all different reasons such as books for each course at uni, gift ideas, a wishlist of books that you’d love to read this summer, bookclub books, movies you want to watch oneday the options are endless. 

You can change the settings on these lists by clicking on the little pencil icon to the side. Here you can choose to make your list private, sharable or discoverable. 

Private means only you can see what is on the list, sharable allows you to send a copy of the list via a link (super handy when you are giving Grandma ideas for Christmas presents) and finally, discoverable is our new option. It allows you to share your list with everyone and they can follow along as you add more books to your list. 

Because your privacy is super important to us, you can change the setting of your lists whenever you like, you can easily switch from private, shareable and discoverable by clicking on the pencil icon. 

When you click on Following in your drop down menu, it shows all of the lists that you follow, these include all of your own private lists, any that have been shared and sent to you via a link, along with any of the discoverable lists you have decided you’d like to follow. Again, you can unfollow any list at any time by clicking the ‘unfollow’ button to the right hand-side of the list. 

How to find a list to follow.

In the menu bar at the top of the Booko website you’ll see Blog, History, Alerts and Lists as options that you can click (along with the super handy country flag which allows you to shop in different countries and currencies). When you select Lists, a dropdown menu appears with Manage My Lists and Discover More Lists along with all of the lists you have previously created. Manage My Lists takes you straight to the list function above where you can change settings on your lists, along with adding and removing books, adding a description about the list and renaming the list. 

Discover More Lists is where you will find book recommendations galore. 

All of the lists that Booko and our community of users have set to ‘discoverable’ will show up here. We have made a few lists to get you started and will continue to add to them but it is also a space where the Booko community can share topics, authors, genres, gift ideas and favourite books. To follow a list, simply click on the orange ‘follow’ button to the right. If you’d like to take a closer look at the list, just click on the list title and a new page will open showing all of the books in the list along with their blurb. You can then click on the book image and add it to one of your own lists, set a price alert, or even buy it straight away!

As always, prices are constantly being refreshed behind the scenes so it doesn’t matter how old the book is, how long it has been on someone’s list, we will always show the most recent price. 

We were inspired by our book loving community to create this new feature, you have so generously recommended books in the past and we wanted to give you a space so that this can continue. So get clicking, make a list, add your favourite books to it, set it to discoverable and we’ll follow along.

As usual, we’d love your feedback on this new feature so we can make sure it serves our community’s needs best. Drop us a line at booko@booko.com.au with your thoughts and suggestions.

Enjoy!

Six gorgeous gardening books for spring

Spring has sprung and gosh what a welcome relief it is. Unlike all of the other seasons, Spring comes with the promise of hope and optimism. Blossoms bursting open on branches remind us that good things can come after months of gruelling times. 

It is with this optimism and joy that we are focusing on what we can do to embrace this cheery new season and take advantage of the sunnier days and brighter skies. So it is off to the garden we go with six gorgeous books to inspire the green thumbs among us. Fear not, we have also included books for those of you that have limited gardening space and those of you that are plant-keeping-challenged. 

Pure Style in the Garden by Jane Cumberbatch

With more and more of us spending most of our time at home, outdoor spaces have become our retreat; somewhere to breathe again, heighten our senses and escape the onslaught of noise, clutter and technology. Pure Style in the Garden offers ideas and inspiration for making the most of any outdoor space we might have; whether it is a garden, a patio or a balcony, or even just a window box  and for bringing touches of nature indoors for mindful enjoyment. Bestselling author Jane Cumberbatch’s ‘Pure Style’ philosophy is all about making the most of what’s around you and finding beauty in the simple and every day as an achievable alternative to the stressful demands of consumer society. In this book, which was put together over the course of 2020, she draws on her the inspiration of her own home and garden to supply ideas and inspiration for life-affirming colour, scent and texture, and to show how even the most unpromising outdoor space can be a source of sensuous renewal. Viewing the garden as an extension of the home, and with ideas for all seasons, this beautiful and inspiring book is illustrated with glorious photographs and enchanting paintings by the author herself. A book for dipping into or enjoying as one long read, or both.

You can click here to see Jane’s other ‘Pure Style’ series books.

Organic Gardening for Beginners by Lisa Lombardo

Imagine cooking with organic tomatoes right off the vine or seasoning with fresh, homegrown herbs. Organic Gardening for Beginners shows aspiring home gardeners how to get started. Learn to raise dozens of fruits and veggies at home with sustainable and eco-friendly practices that protect the environment and produce safe, nutritious food – no grocery store required.

Discover what it means to keep a completely organic garden with tips, advice, and step-by-step instructions for planting the right plants at the right time, designing an efficient layout, and attracting the right pollinators to help every garden thrive. Begin with an overview of the most popular types of organic gardening from in-ground to containers and decide which one works best in every space. Find out how to choose soil, control pests with no chemicals, and combine the crops that grow well together. Get an explanation of each crop that breaks down what it needs to grow and what beginners need to know for success. Grow your own thriving backyard ecosystem with expert advice on nourishing organic gardening.

The Heirloom Gardener by John Forti

This gorgeous book is an A-to-Z compilation of traditional gardening skills and heirloom plants, nostalgically illustrated with wood block art. Modern life is a cornucopia of technological wonders. But when we spend so much time glued to our phones and computer screens, something precious is lost: a sense of connection to the generations that have preceded us. John Forti is acutely aware of this loss, and his mission is to heal it. In The Heirloom Gardener, he celebrates and shares the lore and traditional practices that link us with the natural world and with each other. Arranged alphabetically, entries include heirloom flowers like beebalm, Johnny-jump-ups, and nasturtiums; traditional skills such as distilling, wreath-making, and brewing; and subjects such as ethnobotany, biodiversity, and organic gardening. Throughout, Forti highlights the ways in which these plants and practices can enrich modern life. The Heirloom Gardener is charmingly illustrated, resulting in a beautiful book that will inspire you to slow down, recharge, and reconnect.

Futuresteading by Jade Miles

Futuresteading is a practical and inspirational guide to living in a way that values tomorrow: a slower, simpler, steadier existence that is healthier for you, your home, and the environment. Whether you live in a city apartment, in the suburbs or on twenty acres, the principles of futuresteading offer easy-to-understand information and hands-on ideas. Learn to grow delicious food and medicinal plants; share rituals with loved ones through the seasons; feast on healthy home-cooked food for the family; nourish body and soul with outdoor expeditions and moments of rest; and create wonders with your hands. This welcoming handbook begins by showing how futuresteading works in an accessible and practical explainer, before venturing through six seasonal chapters – Awakening, Alive, High Heat, Harvest, The Turning, and Deep Chill – filled with inspiration for the garden, including making fences and wicking beds, along with over 30 rewarding recipes for slow, nourishing and easy meals. Grow, store, eat, preserve and share food that deepens the connections you have with your household, your soil, and those around you.

House Planted by Lisa Muñoz

This one is for the many of us who do not have a sprawling garden. Green up your living space with this bright, fresh, stylish introduction to choosing, caring for, and designing with houseplants. Get ready to transform your humble abode! Whether you have a funky bohemian den, a chic minimalist loft, or a closet-sized rental, indoor plants will bring a whole new level of warmth, comfort, and style into your home. In House Planted, interior plant designer Lisa Munoz guides you step by step and room by room through picking the perfect plant for the perfect spot and incorporating plants into your indoor decor. You’ll find info on plants that are hard to kill, hanging plants, succulents, air plants, and more. There are creative ideas for displaying plants, tips on caring for your new leafy friends, and primers on potting and troubleshooting. Casual and easy-going, with attainable styles and simple instructions, this short and sweet book of inspiration has everything you need, and nothing you don’t, to start you off on an adventure in better –and greener– living.

How Not to Kill Your Houseplants by Trisha Bora

Okay, another one for those of us who are less than green-thumbed. We’ve all killed houseplants. But a plant’s death is a good starting point, because it can help us answer the important question: Why did it die? Equipped with the right knowledge, you can make plants thrive for many years. How Not to Kill Your Houseplants is a comprehensive guide on how to care for houseplants. In this book, you will learn how to choose the right plants for your space and lifestyle, the right light requirements, when and how to water and fertilise them, the best potting mixes, and how to propagate plants.

With simple and effective advice, and seventy houseplant profiles, accompanied by stunning pictures, plant parenting has never been easier.

Enjoy!

Raise your heart rate with Booko: Ninja Wilderness Survival Guide

If you find yourself in an unexpected extreme situation a fundamental understanding of your surroundings can make the difference between life and death, Ninja Wilderness Survival Guide shows you how.


Why do we think like we do? Six of the newest books exploring logic

How many times do you stop yourself and question why you think like you do? The most common response is ‘hardly ever’. It’s usually not until someone challenges us directly on why we think, or act, like we do that we actually stop to give it some thought. In our household our children are developing their own critical thinking skills and it is them that question us on the logic behind our thoughts. There are so many books on the market that explore logic, mindsets, and reasoning so we thought we’d share six of the newest titles on the market. 

The Critical Thinking Toolkit by Galen Foresman

Okay, so this one is a textbook, but boy is it a good one. The Critical Thinking Toolkit is a comprehensive compendium that equips readers with the essential knowledge and methods for clear, analytical, logical thinking and critique in a range of scholarly contexts and everyday situations. It takes an expansive approach to critical thinking by exploring concepts from other disciplines, including evidence and justification from philosophy, cognitive biases and errors from psychology, race and gender from sociology and political science, and tropes and symbols from rhetoric Written in an accessible way, this book leads readers through terrain too often cluttered with jargon Ideal for beginning to advanced students, as well as general readers, looking for a sophisticated yet accessible introduction to critical thinking.

The Art of Logic by Eugenia Cheng

Emotions are powerful. In newspaper headlines and on social media, they have become the primary way of understanding the world. But strong feelings make it more difficult to see the reality behind the rhetoric. In The Art of Logic, Eugenia Cheng shows how mathematical logic can help us see things more clearly and know when politicians and companies are trying to mislead us. First Cheng explains how to use black-and-white logic to illuminate the world around us, giving us new insight into thorny political questions like public healthcare, Black Lives Matter and Brexit. Then she explains how logic and emotions, used side-by-side, can help us not only to be more rational individuals, but also to live more thoughtfully. Filled with useful real-life examples of logic and illogic at work The Art of Logic is an essential guide to decoding modern life.

Livewired by David Eagleman

How can a blind person learn to see with her tongue or a deaf person learn to hear with his skin? What does a baby born without a nose tell us about our sensory machinery? Might we someday control a robot with our thoughts? And what does any of this have to do with why we dream? The answers to these questions are not right in front of our eyes; they’re right behind our eyes. This book is not simply about what the brain is, but what it does. Covering decades of research to the present day, Livewired also presents new findings from Eagleman’s own research, including new discoveries in synaesthesia, dreaming and wearable neurotech devices that revolutionise how we think about the senses.

The Miniature Guide To Critical Thinking Through Concepts and Tools by Richard Paul and Linda Elder

Sometimes you just need a mini-little-book to give you the gist of something rather than a giant textbook. So here’s a gem of a miniature guide that does just that. This miniature guide, which has sold more than half a million copies, and is widely used in teaching and learning for both personal and professional lives. It distills the essence of critical thinking into a 24-page, pocket-sized guide and introduces the interrelated complex of critical thinking concepts and principles implicit in the works of Richard Paul and Linda Elder. 

The Beginner’s Guide to Stoicism: Tools for Emotional Resilience and Positivity by Matthew Van Natta

Optimize joy, overcome obstacles-discover the calm of stoicism. Being a stoic means embracing positivity and self-control through the ability to accept the uncertainty of outcomes. With this stoicism guide, the beginner stoic will learn how to take charge of their emotions on the path to sustained happiness and satisfaction.

This easy-to-navigate stoicism guide gives you the emotional tools needed to let go of the things you can’t control and find joy in what you have. Through thought-provoking strategies and exercises, this book helps you find contentment so you can build closer relationships and become an active member of society. This book explores the evolution and history of stoicism and how its principles can help you find peace.

Using Questions To Think by Nathan Dickman

Our ability to think, argue and reason is determined by our ability to question. Questions are a vital component of critical thinking, yet we underestimate the role they play. Using Questions to Think puts questioning back in the spotlight. Naming the parts of questions at the same time as we name parts of thought, this one-of-a-kind introduction allows us to see how questions relate to the definitions of propositions, premises, conclusions, and the validity of arguments. Why is this important? Making the role of questions visible in thinking reasoning and dialogue, allows us to ask better questions, improve our capability to understand an argument, exercise vigilance in the act of questioning, make explicit what you already know implicitly, engage with ideas that contradict our own and see ideas in broader context. 

Breathing new life into our current approach to critical thinking, this practical, much-needed textbook moves us away from the traditional focus on formal argument and fallacy identification, combines the Kantian critique of reason with Hans-Georg Gadamer’s hermeneutics and reminds us why thinking can only be understood as an answer to a question.

Enjoy!

Cooking up a storm with Booko: Road Trip Cooking

From the ultimate hangover breakfast and salad in a jar, to campfire nachos and ‘apple pie to go’, Road Trip Cooking shows you how to make it all while on the road.