World’s Coolest Libraries

Libraries are some of the most beautiful, unique and spectacular buildings in the world. From the old to the new, the busy to the simplistic, the grand to the quaint. There’s a library out there that is sure to intrigue every person’s mind.

We’ve compiled a list of the most astounding libraries on this planet. So get your suitcases ready, because once you’ve seen these amazing libraries you will definitely want to go visit them. 

Trinity College Library: Dublin, Ireland

Located in the heart of Dublin, this 18th Century Library is the largest library in Ireland housing over 6 million books. It is also the home of the Book of Kells, one of the last remaining copies of the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic and The Trinity College Harp (Brian Boru harp) dating back to the 15th Century. The main feature being the 65-metre Long Room. Home to 200,000 of the library’s oldest books and lined with busts of the philosophers and writers of the western world and men of The Trinity College.

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Geisel Library, University of California: San Diego, USA

This futuristic looking library is located in the centre of the University of California. In 1995, it was named after Audrey and Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as the famous children’s author, Dr Seuss. This library houses the Dr Seuss collection of his original drawings, drafts, audios and memorabilia. It is also home to over 7 million volumes.

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Royal Portuguese Reading Room: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Based in the centre of Rio de Janeiro this Brazilian Gothic looking library is home to over 350,000 titles. With the large stained-glass dome, the tall wooden bookcases and the giant iron chandelier this library really is a thing of beauty. It houses the largest collection of Portuguese work outside of Portugal and is home to a collection of art pieces which holds historical elements.

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Library at the Benedictine Monastery of Admont: Admont, Austria

Situated on the Enns River in the town of Admont, it is the worlds largest monastic library. Divided into three sections this library is full of books, art, history and architecture. Home of 200,000 volumes it also houses some magnificent ceiling paintings and sculptures. Some of it’s most prized possessions are 1400 manuscripts (the earliest dating from the 8th Century) and 530 books printed before 1501.

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Handelingenkamer: The Hague, Netherlands

The library of the Dutch Parliament holds every record of parliamentary hearings and discussions. Built in the 1970’s, there was no electric at this time so the library was constructed with a large leaded glass dome to let as much light in a possible, to protect it from possible damage or disaster from candles and gas lamps.

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Tianjin Binhai Library ‘The Eye of Binhai’: Tianjin, China

This newly built library opened its doors in October 2017 as part of the Binhai Cultural Centre. Designed to look like an eye, hence the name, the large luminous sphere in the middle of the library is said to represent the iris of an eye. This can be seen at the park outside through an eye-shaped opening.  The library has the ability to hold up to 1.2 million books with its floor to ceiling terraced bookshelves.

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George Peabody Library: Baltimore, USA

Often described as the ‘cathedral of books’ this 19th Century library holds over 300,000 books. With beautifully designed cast-iron balconies, black and white marble floor and a grand latticed skylight, this library is a very popular wedding venue, and you can see why. The library and collections are open to the public in keeping with George Peabody’s goal to create a library “for the free use of all persons who desire to consult it.”

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Stuttgart City Library: Stuttgart, Germany

This perfectly white cubed building is Stuttgart’s public library. From the outside, it doesn’t look like much, but when you enter you are met by a simple but yet a very attractive library set up. The library glows at night in a luminescent blue and is cleverly placed to face direct compass points. Each face of the cube is labelled with the countries language it is directing to; English on the West wall, German on the North, Korean on the East and Arabic on the South.

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Richelieu Library: Paris, France

Located in Paris on the banks of the river Seine, this French library holds an extensive collection of historical and cultural titles dating from the 17th Century. The famous Oval Reading Room which accommodates an impressive large oval skylight partnered with beautifully designed circled ceiling windows and arches.

BNF Richelieu (Paris)

State Library of South Australia: Adelaide, Australia

The Mortlock Wing now an exhibition space for the history and culture of South Australia opened its doors in December 1884. The library is home to two galleries beautifully decorated with gold iron balconies and a glass-domed roof. It also holds a number of collections from Rare books to Children’s Literature Research.

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Bibliotheca Alexandrina: Alexandria, Egypt

Located off the shore of the Mediterranean sea this library sits alongside the ancient harbour of the historic city of Alexandria. The library has space for up to 8 million books and is home to many other libraries & museums within, including a library dedicated to Maps and an Antiquities Museum. The outside is just as impressive with carvings of characters from 120 different human scripts. This is a pretty amazing library and probably our most favourite.

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Jose Vasconcelos Library: Mexico City, Mexico

The library is integrated with a botanical garden surrounded by greenery and water, a complete comparison to the environment of the city. It is home to several sculptures by Mexican artists including Gabriel Orozco’s Ballena (whale) which is located in the centre of the library.

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Liyuan Library, Beijing, China

This library is part of the small village of Huairou just a few hours away from Beijing. Surrounded by mountains and forest the library is built from screen clad, ordinary sticks and timber fitting perfectly within its surroundings. Only 175 square meters, it has been cleverly designed to become a bright, quiet and unique reading area.

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Sir Duncan Rice Library: Aberdeen, United Kingdom

Named after a previous Principal of the University this library is the main academic library for the University of Aberdeen. Opening in 2011 this library contains over 300,000 items across a wide range of subjects. The building is said to be designed in a way to represent/mark the ice and light of the north.

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Let us know if you have visited any cool libraries we haven’t listed. Or if you have visited one of these, let us know what it was like.

Choosing the right book size


Cork board highlighting 'Tip No. 598' The book printing tip is 'Choose the right size'

Picking the size of your book is one of the most important choices you will have to make before you send your book off to print. When choosing what size book to go for there are many elements to take into account such as; the type of book it is, the content and the target audience.

Below are our five book size printing categories. We have covered; the range of sizes you could have your book, the type/genre of book that best suits that size and some other useful information such as space, portability, and popularity.

Book Size Categories

B-Format; This is the smallest book size range we do at Imprint Digital. Books of this size can range from A6 (148mm x 105mm) to 210mm x 135mm. The standard size for a B-Format book is 198mm x 129mm. This size book seems to best suit the fiction style books such as poetry or novels. They are also a good choice for those who are looking for a book that is easy to carry around.


A5/Demi; This is a book size which we are pretty sure most of you have come across or heard of. Books of this size can range from 210mm x 136mm to 220mm x 148mm, the standard size is 210mm x 148mm. We produce many books within the A5/Demi size from novels to guidebooks, to children books. You can’t go wrong with books of this size, which is probably why they are a very popular choice within the book industry.


Royal; Royal size books also sometimes referred to as ‘Trade Paperbacks’ suits the sort of customer that is looking for just the little bit of extra room. Books of this size can range from 211mm x 136mm to 235mm x 156mm. Royal size books are popular with general non-fiction books for example; memoirs, books on business, histories etc.


B5; This size of book is popular with our journal printing customers as well as non-fiction books. With having a slightly larger book, it allows for more flexibility with font, size, and layout without going to the full A4 size. Books of this size can range from 236mm x 157mm to 250mm x 176mm.


A4; Books within the A4 category seem to best suit customers that are producing an art style book such as; Children and, however, they do also suit the text/reference books. Because of the extra space you will have avaiable it will allow you to show your work on a much larger scale. We think this is the reason why people tend to go for the A4 size. Books of this size range from 251mm x 177mm to 297mm x 210mm.


If you need some more help deciding on what book size to go for, take a look at the images below. Also, we can send you out a sample of your chosen book size, just contact us

You may also want to have a look at our quote calculator which will give you an idea of pricing for certain book sizes.

Keep an eye out for next months tip by following us on social media or subscribing to our newsletter.


Book Size Graph     Range of different size books Difference in the size of books

Our 2017


We can’t believe how quickly these last 12 months have gone; it doesn’t seem that long ago that we were packing up the Christmas decorations of last year. It’s crazy how time flies. While writing out our Christmas cards we started to reflect on the year we have had. We have accomplished so much this year so why not share it with the people that have helped us make it great?


Refurbished Printers

2017 has been hectic yet amazing. At the beginning of the year, we took the opportunity to refurbish our Océ B&W printing machines. Now they’re running like new and we very rarely have any problems.


Launching the new website

In July we launched our new website. We added more images and pages, created a new and improved quote calculator, launched a landing page specifically for our Irish customers, and started up the Imprint Digital blog – have a read! If you have any topic suggestions, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

We also launched our quarterly newsletter this month, which we are hoping will be a huge success. If you are interested in receiving our newsletter, please subscribe

Arrival of the new machines

The months running up to the end of 2017 were definitely at our busiest. In September, we received our new trimmer and one month later our new binder arrived. Since the installation of the new equipment, we have become much more efficient in the production of books and as a result, we have produced a quarter of a million books this year!

Trimmer arriving at Imprint Digital's factory Binder being delivered to Imprint Digital

Looking Forward

2018 is already looking to be a great year with many ideas and plans arising for the near future. We’ve got plans to make further improvements to our website. We are also looking to invest in more equipment to make our hardback book process more streamlined and efficient to improve our turnaround. We are also planning some exciting new events, so keep your eye out.


2017 has been amazing

We are proud to say that this year we have produced more books for more customers than ever before. The whole team at Imprint Digital are very proud of what we have accomplished in 2017 and we aim to make 2018 even better!

And to finish it off here a picture of the Imprint Digital Team! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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Top 10 Christmas Books

The other day we decided to ask our staff members and families what their favourite Christmas books were. We were surprised when most of them couldn’t think of any. We then asked them what their favourite Christmas film was, and as expected, answers came in abundance.

What they didn’t know, however, is that many of their favourite Christmas films have originated from books. We guess nowadays many people spend the Christmas period snuggled up around the TV watching classic Christmas films, not reading a book.  We’re all guilty of it.

We have come up with a list of 10 books you should give a read this Christmas, whether it’s a bedtime story for the children or a storytelling session after Christmas Dinner.

Our Top 10 Christmas Books

A Christmas Carol By Charles Dickens 

Story of an old bitter man who doesn’t like Christmas. After ghosts from the past, present, and future pay him a visit he slowly starts to transition into a loving and kind-hearted man.

The Polar Express By Chris Van Allsburg

A young boy begins to realise that Father Christmas may not be real after all. On Christmas Eve he boards The Polar Express which takes him to the North Pole for his last chance to believe.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas By Dr.Seuss 

The Grinch who hates Christmas decides to ruin the holiday cheer for all in Whoville, but one little girl tries to change the Grinch’s view on Christmas

The Snowman By Raymond Briggs

On a wintry day, a little boy is excited to build a snowman. One night the snowman comes to life and an amazing adventure ensues.

The Nightmare Before Christmas By Frank T.Thompson & Tim Burton 

Written and illustrated by Tim Burton, The Nightmare Before Christmas is a story about the head of Halloween Town, Jack Skellington, not feeling quite right about Halloween Town. He stumbles across a place called Christmas Town and that’s when Jack decides to bring Christmas to Halloween.

The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe By C.S.Lewis 

Four siblings happen to come across a magical wardrobe that leads them to the mystical land of Narnia. Frozen in winter and enslaved by the White Witch, the presence of Peter, Susan, Edmund, Lucy, and the return of the Great Lion, Aslan  changes it all.

Letters From Father Christmas By J.R.R Tolkien 

This books holds the collection of the captivating letters and pictures that Tolkien’s children received from Father Christmas between the years of 1920-1940. The letters tell tales of the wonderful life of living at the North Pole.

The Night Before Christmas By Clement C.Moore

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.’ This well-known verse is brought to life in the illustrated story of a magical night where children await the arrival of their presents.

The Twelve Days of Christmas By Jan Brett 

This beautiful picture book brings to life the classic holiday favourite, The Twelve Days of Christmas. “On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me…”

The Nutcracker & The Mouse King By E.T.A Hoffmann 

This story begins on Christmas Eve, when a little girl’s favourite toy, The Nutcracker comes to life. The two have wonderful adventures together including the defeat against the Mouse King and a visit to a magical kingdom.


Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed this list and will consider it come Christmas time when you find yourself kicking dirt. Reading a book is a truly fulfilling experience! We couldn’t recommend it more! We hope you have a very a merry Christmas.


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Are We Losing Our Libraries?

Did you know that during last year (2016) 121 libraries closed and that a further 340 library closures are due in the next 5 years? Also, did you know there have been over 8,000 redundancies made in the library industry in recent years?

Library closures were brought to the public attention in 2010 when council budgets were cut.  Although it may not be in the news as much as it was a few years ago, the library community is still dying.

Well-known ex-politician, author, and Strictly Come Dancing star, Ann Widdecombe recently visited the small devon village of Uffculme, to speak at an event organised by the Uffculme Library Friends group. Ann’s visit was brought to our attention by our local newspapers who covered the event. During her visit Ann urged people to use their local library;

If you do nothing else this week, go and borrow a book. It doesn’t matter if you want it or not, just go and borrow a book.”

“I think they [libraries] play a terrific role in primary schools and they play a big role to people who haven’t got easy access to transport who want to get books.”

Why are we talking about this? 

After reading reports on the event and hearing what Ann was saying about libraries, we decided to do a little research into library closures. What we found out was shocking and actually quite terrifying. Libraries are pretty important to us, not just because we are in the book industry but, also because many of our staffs fondest childhood memories were made in in them. Libraries play a huge part in communities around the UK; they provide many things to many people, but yet they are still closing down year after year.

Ann isn’t the only one that is passionate about keeping our libraries alive, lots of people around the UK including authors such as Philip Pullman and Mark Haddon have taken part in protests and petitions against library closures over the years.

Since 1964 the local authorities have had the duty of maintaining libraries under the Public Libraries and Museums act, but since councils all over the UK threatened libraries with closures and cuts in 2010 it has led to volunteers being relied on to keep their library open. With an estimated cost of 1bn a year to run libraries nationally, there is no surprise that volunteer ran libraries are struggling to pay for big expenses such as maintenance and upholding their library status.  

The Stats 

The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) shows spending on local libraries has fallen by £25 million. Between 2014-2015 there was a cut of £50 million with 106 library closures. A stat in October 2016 showed that in the past 6 years there has been 342 closures and 8,000 redundancies. Last year alone we lost 121 libraries and only recently Plymouth, a local city to us, lost 5 of their libraries and 1 will be shutting next year. Also, there are rumours that a further 340 closures will happen in the next 5 years.

Making you aware 

Libraries are in serious danger and we want to make you aware of what is going on. Someone once described libraries as ‘a lifeline to the world and all the information in it.’ We understand that we now have the internet and e-books, but it’s not quite the same as what libraries can offer.

Why Libraries Are Important

  • They are a free educational resource
  • They are great for communities
  • Gives people things they may not have/afford at home (books, internet)
  • They are full of history
  • Provides a huge amount of information


Want to find out how you can save your library or how many have closed in your area? See the links below: 

What’s Happening to your Library?

Voices for the Library 

38 Degrees 

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Christmas Gifts for Bookies!

Christmas is fast approaching, which means the panic of Christmas shopping will soon set in. But worry not, as massive book lovers, we have come up with a weird and wonderful gift list to help you out with those bibliophiles in your life. 



Floating Book Shelf

We love this optical illusion themed shelf. Made of books, for books – what could be better? It’s an awesome product and looks great on the wall. Find it on Not On The High Street for £20.

Floating Book Book Shelf

Doodle & Stitch Pillowcase and Duvet Cover

A clever idea for both kids and adults; draw and write whatever you fancy on your bed covers. Put it in the wash and voila you have a new and clean bed cover set. You can find this on The Present Finder for £39.99.

Doodle Pillowcase & Duvet

Book Rest Lamp

This cute little idea is just perfect for people who love a night time read. Not only is it a funkily shaped light, but it also works as a book stand. You can find this at The Literary Gift Company for £42.

Book Rest Lamp

Book Lover Quote Posters

These posters are great for hanging up on the wall or placing on a desk for a bit of inspiration. Choose from many quotes, sizes and styles. Find these posters on Bookishly from £16.

Book Lovers Quote Poster

Grammar Mug

This one is definitely for all the grammar-police out there. A typical gift, but one we are sure everyone will love. Practical yet humorous.  You can find many more grammar mugs on Etsy from £5.


Quotation Mark Bookends

The quotation mark bookends are great for giving your bookshelf a bit of character. Quote marks around books, what a brilliant idea. Find this at The Literary Gift Company for £58.

Quotation Mark Bookends

Plant Pot Bookends

We think these are amazing. Liven up your bookshelves with living plant bookends. So unique. Find these on Not On The High Street for £19.95.

Plant Pot Bookends

Great Drinker Shot Glasses

These shot glasses are just great. Featuring a well-known literary figure; on one side a memorable quote about drinking and on the other side a portrait of the figures such as; Winston Churchill and Oscar Wilde. Find these at The Literary Gift Company for £14.95.

Book Themed Shot Glasses

Clothing & Fashion


Origami Book Earring

We absolutely adore these origami earrings made out of pages from books. They are so unique and beautiful. Etsy has many of them on their online store from boats (pictured below) to birds and flowers. Prices range from £5 to £20.

Origami Book Boat Earrings

Literary Terms Cufflinks

These cufflinks are classic yet beautiful. Made with random pages from old dictionaries and available in bronze effect or silver plated. You can get these at The Literary Gift Company for £32.

Literary Themed Cufflinks

Library Stamp T-shirt

We love this T-Shirt. For anyone who loves books or has a love for libraries, this has to be the best gift you could give them. Available in 4 sizes. Find these at The Literary Gift Company for £19.95.

Library Stamp T-Shirt

Quotation Mark Earrings

These cute little quotation mark/speech mark earrings would be a great gift for someone who loves dainty book gifts. Comes in silver, rose gold, or gold. Find these exclusively at Book Lovers Gifts for £15.

Quotation Mark Earrings

Book Themed Tote Bags

Everyone needs a bag whether it’s for books or non-books! These Penguin Books themed tote bags are a perfect gift, that we’re sure bookies will love. Find these on Penguin for £14.95.


Book Scarf

Since the cold air has started to creep in, this is a perfect gift for someone who loves books and always feels the cold. Wrap up warm with pages from books like; Jane Eyre, The Great Gatsby, and Les Miserables. Find many more book scarfs on Etsy seller Storiarts from £37.80.

Book Themed Scarf

Book Umbrellas

We absolutely love these book-themed umbrellas from Penguin. Great for brightening up the grey and drizzly days. You can find more book-themed umbrellas on the Penguin site for £14.99.

Penguin Book Umbrella

Book Accessories


Finger Pointer Bookmark

Most bookmarks are wonderful things, but this one’s even better! Perfect for that someone that is always losing their place in a book. This simple idea keeps you on track. Find these for £5.75 on Not On The High Street.

Finger Pointer Bookmark

Thumb Thing Page Holder

This clever little gadget is great for people who read a lot. There is nothing more annoying than trying to hold open the pages or getting thumb cramp. But with the Thumb Thing, it keeps the pages open for you to make reading a lot easier. Find these on The Gadget Flow for $4.99 (£3.80).

Thumb Thing Page Holder

Book Light

Reading in the dark? Don’t want to distract others? Click this book light on, to illuminate your book. Find on The Literary Gift Company for £6.99.

Really Tiny Clip On Book Light

Reading Rest

Perfect for when your hands are just a little too busy. Plastic so easy to wipe clean, if using in the kitchen, it also folds completely flat so easy to store away when not using. Find this on The Literary Gift Company for £19.99 with many colours to choose from.

Coloured Wooden Book Rest

The Random


100 Books Scratch Off Bucket List Poster

A great gift for someone who is looking to broaden their reading list. Featuring a range of fiction and non-fiction books, every time you read a book on the poster, you scratch off the panel to reveal a hidden image. Show everyone how well-read you are with this poster. Available on The Literary Gift Company for £12.99.

Book Scratch Off Bucket List

Book Lunch Box

A lunch box for those book lovers. Practical yet fun. Find a range of coloured book lunch boxes on The Literary Gift Company for £14.95.

book themed lunch box

Book Scented Candle

This one is for the people that secretly love to smell old books. Instead of sitting there with your nose in a book, you can now surround yourself with the smell with this old book scented candle from frostbeard for £14.21. If the smell of old books doesn’t do it for you, you can find loads more book-themed scented candle on their site.

Book Scented Candle

Personal Library Kit

Always lending out books to people? Can never remember who’s got what? You need this Personal Library Kit. Equipped with a stamp pad, date stamp, pencil, pockets, and check out cards. Find this in Waterstones or on their website for £11.95.

personal library kit

Book Cover Match Boxes

This perfect little novelty gift is great. Maybe not one for the kids, but these matches are useful yet characteristic. There’s a large range of choice on book covers on Etsy from £2.39.

Book Themed Matches

Hampers & Crates

These book themed hampers and crates from Bookishly are great for something a little more special. You can choose a theme so that they are perfect for the person who is receiving it. Hampers and crates include posters, treats (sweets & chocolates) and books. Find these on Bookishly for around £40.


Pocket Folio

We think this is such a clever idea for a gift; we’re pretty sure even the non-book lovers will love it. There are loads of pocket folio products out there from first aid kits (as below) to puncture kits for your bikes to a sewing kit. We think these are pretty awesome. You can find a range of pocket folios on The Literary Gift Company for £12.99.

Pocket Folio First Aid Book Kit

Recommend Sites


The Literary Gift Company

A site that was made for book lovers.  Gifts for readers, writers and literature fans.

Not On The High Street

A site that is full of unique gifts.


A site with many different sellers selling their handmade goods.

Book Lover Gifts

A site with a range of unique book gifts.


Full of bookishly gifts, from hampers to posters to jewellery.




Today is Get To Know Your Customers Day; with many businesses taking part in celebrating this day, we thought we would jump on the bandwagon too!

For us, a somewhat small online business, it can be difficult for us to get to know our customers as well as we would like to. Due to the fact we’re primarily online, there’s rarely any face to face communication with the customer. Which something we strongly dislike, as we love the customers we get to talk to!

Long gone are the days where you would look up someone’s contact details in the yellow pages or search every shop in town for that one item you so desperately need. Nowadays, everything you need is either a click or phone call away.

This is obviously mostly great news. However, did you know that when communicating, only 7% of what we intend to communicate is done through actual words? The rest: 38% through the way the words are spoken and 55% through our facial expressions.

With only 7% of communication shown through strictly words, it comes to no surprise that having a proper customer relationship is difficult when the only communication you have with them is email and phone.

So what are we, Imprint Digital going to do about it?

With being a book printing business we can figure out some things about our customers by their books, which I guess you could say is an advantage, but very rarely do we actually meet or even hear the voice of our customer. But for now, as we now know that words only count for 7% of communication, we want to change this.

We know that many of our customers come from far and wide. We understand that maybe meeting all our customers face to face is going to be a challenge, but we want to get to know you. Even though face-to-face communication is shown to be one of the best forms of communication out there, there are many others.

We welcome you.

We would love for you guys to get in touch with us. Getting to know our customers is important. It helps us massively to know what kind of book printing service you are looking for.

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How You Can Benefit From The Weak Pound


The Great British pound is at its lowest exchange rate in eight years. Although there are many glaring negatives associated with this poor exchange rate, countless people haven’t put much thought into the benefits. Here at Imprint Digital we’re taking some time to discuss potential advantages associated with having a weak pound when looking to print your book.

Since Britain voted to leave the European Union, the value of the pound has continuously dropped with a fall of over 15%. Last time the pound was this weak, the UK had recently come out of one of its deepest recessions in history. However, politicians are saying this could be a chance to reshape the economy. And we tend to agree.

Print your book – take advantage


Are you reading this in Ireland, Spain, France, or somewhere other than the UK? If so, then why not take advantage of the weak pound? With a low exchange rate, it means that getting your books printed with us in the UK will save you a magnitude of money due to said exchange rate.


We won’t change what we do


Our product quality and service won’t differ just because you’re getting our book printing service cheaper. We already have many customers outside of the UK that have been loyal to us for many years – with the pound falling, we feel that customer base is about to grow. We’re looking to welcome you with open arms..


Check out our brand new dedicated Irish page, or get an idea on prices by clicking on the link.


Come visit us


Not only is printing your book cheaper now, the UK is also lot cheaper to visit, so why not take a holiday to the glorious Devonshire countryside. It will give you a chance to see how we produce and print your books. Oh, before you make the trip take a look at our Devon blog for some invaluable tips.

The Best of Devon

The Best of Devon

There is no doubt that Devon is one of the most beautiful places in the UK with the never-ending rolling hills of Dartmoor combined with its sandy shores. Devon is also known for being popular for a break away among authors and writers such as J.K Rowling and Agatha Christie – both  drawn to Devon for inspiration.  

In this article we delve into the wonderful book world of Devon, exploring the best bookshops, writer retreats, and festivals; giving you, the book lovers of the world, an insight in what Devon can offer you.  

Best Bookshops

Archway Bookshop, Axminster

In the heart of Axminster you find Archway Bookshop – known for its stone arch and spiral staircase. Although a bookshop, Archway doesn’t just sell books, they also have a range of greetings cards on offer and hold many book signings. Open from 9am-5:30pm Monday to Saturday, it’s knowledgeable staff are always there to help.

Bookstop, Tavistock

This grade II listed three-floor Tudor building has two floors dedicated to books, with the third floor is dedicated to music with a vinyl record section. Book signings and live music events are held here regularly. Bookstop has been awarded one of The Independent’s top 50 British Book Shops. So a visit is a must! You will find the Bookstop open 9am-5:30pm Monday to Saturday.

Book-Cycle, Exeter

Book-Cycle is one bookshop that is packed full of character and inspiration with its low ceilings and vintage furniture. This tudor looking building is a UK based volunteer run charity – meaning each customer that visits can borrow or keep up to 3 books per day. They choose on how much they pay for them. Then with the donations, Book-Cycle furnishes school libraries abroad and plant trees. The Book-Cycle bookshop is open 11:30am-6pm Monday to Saturday and 12:30pm-5:30pm on Sundays.

Winstone’s, Sidmouth

Enjoy a coffee while you gaze around Winstones; from science books to cards and gifts, Winstone’s has it all. This bookshop is open 9am-5:30pm Monday to Saturday.

Cornerstone Books, Plymouth

Cornerstone Books is part of the old store houses near the Barbican in Plymouth. Dating back to the 1700s, you can access the bookshop on the ground floor through the café, but as there are many other quaint shops based on New Street – Cornerstone’s location – it’s worth taking a look around and soaking in the history. The bookshop is open 10am-5pm Monday to Saturday.

Writers Retreats

Retreats For You, Sheepwash

Based in the heart of Devon, Retreats For You is a 1600s thatched house in the small village of Sheepwash. Once a public house throughout the 1800s it became a writers retreat in 2009. Prices for you to stay at Retreat For You are from £90 per night Monday to Friday.

Urban Writers Retreat, Newton Abbot

Most use Urban Writers Retreat to have a both fun and relaxing experience. Based in the countryside about 20 minutes outside the town of Newton Abbot, you’ll find off the grid owner, Charlie. You can stay at Urban Writers Retreat for either 3 or 6 nights in one of Charlie’s ensuite rooms with food included.

Arvon Foundation, Beaworthy

Arvon Foundation have 3 different writer retreat locations based around the UK. Luckily for us,  one’s in Devon. Totleigh Barton is a 16th Century manor house that has 12 single rooms and 2 shared rooms. This retreat also has a renovated barn which is perfect for reading. Situated just 2 miles from the village of Sheepwash, you can stay at Totleigh Barton for £560 (starting price).

Best Book Festivals

Appledore Book Festival

Since 2006, people have flocked to the fishing village of Appledore annually to attend one of the UK’s most highly regarded literary festival: Appledore Book Festival Running over several days at the end of September/ beginning of October, you will find well-known authors, newcomers, and local authors. This year (2017) the festival saw guests such as; Peter Snow, Sian Williams and Jeremy Vine as part of the lineup.

Sidmouth Literary Festival

Sun, Sea, and Books; that’ll be Sidmouth Literary Festival. This weekend event that is held in the beautiful seaside town of Sidmouth started in 2015 and since has hosted well-known authors such as Terry Waite and Helen Lederer.

Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival

Budleigh Salterton, a small coastal town on East Devon’s Jurassic coast is where this five day event is held. This book festival started in 2008, and has since had many big named authors grace the lineup. This year’s lineup including Jeremy Vine, Alan Johnson, and Dame Hilary Mantel.


So Why Visit Devon?

You don’t have to be a book lover to enjoy Devon, there are plenty more reasons to come visit Devon; great food, beautiful beaches, countryside, charming villages, towns, and of course, great cider. Oh and us too! So if ever you’re down this neck of the woods, pop in and see us.

Confused By Industry Terms?

book printing jargon buster

When it comes to book printing, there are many words and phrases used by our team that you may not have come across before. From bleed to paper types; there is a whole load of terminology out there for you to understand. Thus, we introduce Imprint Digital’s very own jargon buster.

So let’s get started:


Made with an ISBN: it is a code made up of lines and number that is used mainly for stock take. When scanned people can find out information about the book; price, author, publisher etc.


Joining paper (pages/leafs) together with some form of binding material. For example glue, wire or staples. With Imprint, we join our papers with glue.


A sector within a printing company. With Imprint it is the process of the printing where books are trimmed, bound and packaged up for delivery.


A 3mm area which is added to the trimmed size to ensure that the print runs completely off the edge of the paper.


This refers to the text/insides of your book, the actual pages.

Book Block

Collated pages of a book that has been trimmed to size and is waiting to be bound and covered.

Case Bind

A book in the style of a hardback. Instead of being bound with a paper cover they are bound using a thick card with is normally covered in a cloth-like material or printed paper.


This stands for the four colour process which is Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black.

Coated Paper

Paper that has a coating applied to it. At Imprint, our coated paper stock has a gloss or matte coating.


Can either be a thick paper or card that wraps around the pages of a book. The cover protects the internals and is also used to show details of the book (title, image, blurb etc)

Crop Marks

These are small marks that are normally on the corners of your artwork to show the trim size and/or where the bleed starts.


A design that is cut into a certain material, normally metal, which is used to do embellishments such as; embossing, foiling, debossing etc.


A paper cover that is normally wrapped around a cloth-covered hardback, to protect the material. They are removable and usually designed like a book cover.

French Flaps

An extension of a cover that folds into the book. These are also known as gatefolds.


A design that has been applied to a cover to give it a raised effect.


Pages that come right after the front cover and before the back cover. Also known as end sheets.


A hot melt adhesive (glue) that binds a book together. EVA stands for Ethylene Vinyl Acetate. This glue is what we use for most of our paperbacks.

Finished Size

Size of the book after it has completed/made.

Grain Direction

The direction of which the fibers of the paper run. This is important to know when making/binding books because, if the grain direction is wrong it can affect the way the book opens.


Stands for Grams per Square Metre. We use this unit when referring to paperweight/thickness.


A very small line that is missing print. Normally where two elements of a cover don’t quite join together.

Head & Tail Bands

You can find these on the top and bottom of the spine on hardback books. They are thin pieces of material that give a nice neat look and finish to the book.


This refers to the organisation and setup of the PDF file a person sends to a book printer before we pass to print.


It is the 13 digit number that you will usually find on the copyright page of a book. It stands for International Standard Book Number. We also use this to create a barcode.


Applying this very thin sheet of plastic to the cover gives it either a shiny look (gloss) or matte look. Laminate will also give the cover protection against damages that may arise.


This is where the width of the paper is greater than the height (opposite to portrait).


Leaf is one piece of paper. Each side of the leaf is a page.

Long Grain

When the fibers of the paper run lengthways up to the paper. This is the correct direction in which the grain needs to be for a book to open nicely. We also try to make sure our books are bound with long grain.

Loose Leaf Proof

All elements of a book, the cover, and pages, just not bound together.


This is the original form of what a writer/author has written whether that’s handwritten or typed. They will send their manuscript to a publisher or typesetter.

Marker Ribbon

Is a piece of ribbon attached to the top of a book that is used as a bookmark. Generally used just on hardbacks.


Each side of a leaf in a book.

Page Count

How many pages there are in a book.


The numbering/organisation of pages in a book.


A file format usually used when sending text and cover files to a book printer.

Perfect Bind

Leafs/pages that are bound together by glue.

Plate Section

Normally found in memoirs or autobiographies. These are the section of coated paper that generally contain images.


This is where the height of the paper is greater than the width (opposite to landscape).


PPC or Printed Paper Case is a type of hardback, which has a printed cover wrapped and stuck onto the boards.


Is the stage before printing, it is to ensure that files are the correct size and processed correctly to be printed to your specifications.

Print on Demand

Also known as POD. This is a printing process which allows you to print books as a demand arises. You only print the exact quantity you need for distribution/use.


Is a glue used in perfect binding? It is a premium glue and is the most durable glue available. Used mainly on books with coated paper or pages with full bleed.


Another print run of a book.


The sharpness/quality of an image.


A binding method where pages are folded in half and stapled together. Normally used on magazine, brochures, and leaflets. Materials with a small page count.

Short Grain

When the fibers of the paper run width ways across to the paper. At Imprint we tend not to bind books with short grain, as it causes the book not to have a nice opening.

Short-run Printing

Print run of books that is slightly more than is required, which means you have the book in stock in case there is an urgent need for copies.


Elements of your book; paper type, lamination, page count, quantity etc.


Binding edge of a publication. Normally has the name of the book, author and publisher logo on it.

Spine Blocking

Used on cloth hardbacks, it has similar details of a normal paperback spine but instead of print the information is foiled in gold or silver.

Trim Size

The size of the book when it is complete.

Imprint Digital – Devon Book Printing

We’re a book and journal printing outfit with customers across the UK and further afield too. We produce high-quality hardback and paperback books, but not only that; we pride ourselves on our personable and economic approach to business. Whether you’re looking to print a large run or a just a few copies, we’d be glad to accommodate your book printing needs.

Contact one of the team for further information – we’re happy to have a chat (01392 851550).

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