Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Publishing foibles and Building works

We had plenty of postal shenanigans over Christmas, with some of our parcels getting delayed to the UK and some things people had sent to us getting delayed coming here. One parcel got so delayed that even the supplier thought it had been lost. So my Dad sent another copy of the book from an American supplier. Of course, the original parcel eventually turned up! So we temporarily have two copies of this very nice book, before I send one back.

All this gives me a chance to compare British and American publishing. I've noticed it before with science fiction books, in that American covers tend to show people on them whereas European covers are more abstract. I read an article a while back (it seems to have vanished or I'd link it) that said Americans like to be shown what the characters look like while British people prefer to visualise things for themselves. How true this is I don't know, but for sure it seems to extend way beyond science fiction.

Here are the two books. The UK one is at the top. The cover photo is the same as you can see, although they've recoloured it, but the typefaces are quite different on each. The rear cover is photographic on the British one, showing Concorde taking off into the distance, and the American one is solid black with a text description of the book's contents.

I look forward to reading the insides, I assume they at least are the same!

Meanwhile, we have continued building works in the land area next to our apartment block. They are constructing a multi storey parking garage out of large lumps of concrete. These arrive by numerous trucks every morning and are craned into position. They've been knocking this together pretty quickly, although we can't figure out how they join the concrete blocks together. I assume they manage it somehow.

Here it is on the 19th December:

They took some time off during the holidays but still made progress. These next two are on the 2nd January. See how the single section above has turned into three now:

Trucks queuing up to deliver their blocks:

This morning, just when you thought they'd finished, it looks like they are extending the structure out some more.

While this might not be the most exciting thing going on, it's quite fascinating to watch day to day. We are hoping they will finish this quick and get on with building the new bar that is meant to be coming. No doubt they will finish it just when we move out of here next year...

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