Brooklands College
Facebook Twitter Instagram Call
Call us 01932 797 700
Accessibility & Translation

A computer does not smell… if a book is new, it smells great!

Monday 15th March 2021

Having previously discussed how readily available e-books and audiobooks are, it would be remiss not to reinforce the value of the printed word. As much as we like to embrace the modern world and technological advancements, there is no way really that we can compare the clicking of an icon on a homepage and the tap, tap tap of a finger to the sheer pleasure of opening the front cover of a book, and then feeling the texture of every single page between your fingers as you turn them, listening to them as they rustle. Books also have their own smells. Reading does encompass nearly all of the senses.

Journalist and author Caitlin Moran was a guest on the Graham Norton Sunday morning radio show recently talking with him on this very subject. Norton said “Technology has tried so hard to kill the old technology of ye olde covers and paper – and it seems they can’t…books are bigger than ever”. 

It’s probably no coincidence that during a year where many people are anchored to their PC and a screen during the course of their working day that they need the break from the modern, and time to relax and reconnect with the old. Looking at book sales figures for 2020 (a rise of 8.2%) more than reinforces this idea.

(Click this link to find out How to listen to The Graham Norton Podcast – this particular podcast is dated Monday 8th March)

Moran was invited to the show in part to promote her new book, More Than A Woman, but she was also there to talk about the book subscription service for which she is the guest curator for the monthly box for March (Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman is the regular curator for the children’s box). March obviously includes both International Women’s Day and Mother’s Day so it’s no surprise that the chosen curator will be such a prolific writer who exemplifies modern feminism. And no, she hasn’t chosen one of her own books to include. Instead, she has selected 6 of her favourite books, all written by women, that have been “a roadmap in her life”. 

The titles include Luster by Raven Leilani, Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding, Love, Nina by Nina Stibbbe, The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford, Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and, the book that women didn’t realise they needed, the rather wonderful Invisible Women by Caroline Criado- Perez – a whole book devoted to how the modern world is designed by men for men to live in, and how this actually impacts on the health and well-being of women. 

That aside, Moran did make the point about how wonderful it is to receive books as gifts. As she commented, one of the best ways to find a good book to read is always to get someone else to choose one for you – whether as a gift, a bookseller/librarian making a recommendation having discussed your likes and dislikes, or simply reading someone else’s review.

Last week Digifest – a four day virtual conference organised by JISC with the focus of reimagining education and the student experience – where FE and HE professionals discussed the extraordinary events of 2020 and looked at the challenges, opportunities and solutions that lie ahead. Not unreasonably, the majority of the discussion topics looked at the use of different facets of technology with respect to teaching, learning and the provision of information. 

One library focused talk on the first day, however, did mention that, despite many aspects of this technology being around for the best part of 30 years, a functioning, well-regarded library still needs books, and that a blended approach is still very much a good model to work by.

Yay for books!

Shakespeare week 15th-21st March
An event that’s aimed at primary schools, Shakespeare Week is a national celebration of the Bard. Resources are made available via the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and although they are aimed at primary school children, they are freely available at the moment for anyone who has an interest. The website for the event states “Shakespeare’s language can cast a light on the complexity of human emotions and is a wonderful way to explore and understand our own and others’ feelings.”

Shakespeare will be the staple ingredient of English Literature in secondary schools for many years to come, and introducing some understanding in such an enjoyable way to a younger  audience is no bad thing.

St Patrick’s Day 17th March
“May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light, may good luck pursue you each morning and night” 

Happy St Patrick’s Day to all our staff and students with Irish ancestry.

Book Review 
Quite by Claudia Winkleman 
Rating: 4/5

I have always loved Claudia for her humour, her look and her honesty. So when I saw she had written a book (her first believe it or not), I popped it on my Christmas list.

I’m not sure what I was expecting but I was pleased that it was not an autobiography or about her time on ‘Strictly’. Instead, it is a stream of life lessons. A collection of unrelated opinions and advice about seemingly random things like napping, relationships, parenting and shopping. Things or thoughts that are important to her. In this way you learn more about what she is like rather than an account of her life. She writes how she talks (using lots of brackets for cheeky asides) and you really get the feeling that she is chatting to you as you turn the pages.

There are many laugh out loud moments, some stay-with-you nuggets of wisdom and a flurry of frivolous details. Some would argue too frivolous. But then there are chapters about art and the NHS which I found really moving and heartfelt. Overall I felt that this was a fresh, light and entertaining read not to be taken too seriously. Claudia comes across as genuine, caring and down-to-earth but also (and I would think she would agree), a lucky, privileged woman. After reading the book she feels like she could be your friend, your cool aunt or someone you’d want on speed dial.

– Sarah 


Book Loans
Worried about fines as we enter another lockdown? No problem. All loans have been renewed and fines waived while the LRC is closed. Book returns can wait until the College has safely reopened.

E-Book of the Week

Our e-book of the week is for our Applied Science students.

Simply click the Brooklands College Login link here and access the book using your College student ID and password.

Tip of the Week

Access our virtual library online
You can search for e-books on the library catalogue or directly through our e-book providers.. Click on the Shibboleth login if requested and select Brooklands College. If you have any problems please do not hesitate to contact us at

Heritage Online | Proquest | VleBooks

Contact us with an area you are interested in or your assignment title and we can suggest some resources for you.

LRC website 
The LRC website contains links to our resources, our online catalogue and is full of information about LRC use, plus there are book reviews, links to our displays and other items of interest. It is only available to College members (sorry) and can be found through links on the LRC Google Classroom, and on the staff and student intranets.

LRC Google Classroom page
Tutors have been invited to join the Classroom and will be passing the joining code on to their students. It’s full of links to resources, and helpful advice and tips.

Please contact us at if you need support with e-books, e-resources or anything else.

Contact Us

Brooklands College Weybridge Campus

Heath Road, Weybridge, Surrey KT13 8TT

Brooklands College Ashford Campus

Stanwell Road, Ashford TW15 3DU