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Customer Reviews

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on 12 October 2007
This is the new 'guide book' version of How to Read a Church. It is designed to be taken out and about and has a soft cover. It is actually a bit heavier than the 'red cover' hardback version (around 500g) but it is looks and feels like many of the usual travel guides and guidebooks. It has an abridged text but there's plenty to read and there are lots of pictures (many the same as in the 'white cover' larger glossy version but there are some new ones too). I tried not to rate it because I know the author (hence the detailed knowledge of the different versions) - but the site won't let me do that so I've given it five stars because I do really like it! I've posted a picture showing the three versions next to each other for relative size.
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on 2 January 2009
This is a great little book, one to stick into a backpack and go off for a hike with... Obviously, it loses some of the gloss and appeal of the photos as it has been condensed and the small size of the book hinders it hanging around the coffee table. However - if you want a small guide book to take our with you - it serves its purpose perfectly!! Love it!!
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on 26 February 2008
A beautiful book with beautiful pictures, but the small size of this book does not allow the pictures to be viewed to their best advantage. I would recommend the hard back version for the pure pleasure of sitting in an armchair and enjoying the pictures and script. If you want a book to put into the glove compartment of the car though; a book with a more comprehensive knowledge of the churches then choose 'The Church Explorers Handbook' by Clive Fewins.
The best choice of course is to buy both of them, I did.
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on 18 October 2010
You have to have a fairly large pocket to contain this book! More a knapsack guide I think. However, there is no doubt that this book is an authority on the often puzzling symbols that are to be found in our churches. I find myself dipping into Richard Taylor's book time and time again. As a Cathedral guide I have found that this book has saved me from an embarrassing moment more than once and I suspect will do so again. Whatever your level of interest in churches this book will add an extra dimension to what you see. Add the book to Taylor's recent BBC4 TV guide and you are one step closer to heaven!
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on 10 January 2011
I bought this book to help me understand the meaning of things found in English churches.
I was expecting more information relating to the structure of the building works and not so much about the windows and other mention of all the Saints and other pictures.
That said it is a very comprehensive little book which can be taken with us on trips in the Car.
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This is a pocket (large pocket admittedly) 280 page guide with a strong cover and a straightforward arrangement, starting with the exterior, then going inside and progressively examining the detail. I'm an architecture buff, so would have welcomed much much more on the succeeding styles of English church building from pre-Norman times onward, but there is very little, and more than half the book devoted to the religious aspects (durr, I hear you say), with a sixty page guide to well-depicted saints. Highly recommended if that's what you need when visiting our wonderful churches, but look elsewhere for the craftsmanship.
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on 15 November 2010
If you link this book to a TV programe of the same name, then you may be disapppointed.

The book is quite thoeretical and rather heavy/intense for a realtively casual visitors of churches like my wife and I. We were hoping for a guide of churches (to see examples of various features) rather than the reverse; a shame. But the TV programme, which was excellent, was seeminly based on the book not the reverse as is more usual these days!

A good book though albeit not an easy read to the uninitiated.
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on 30 December 2011
I have been watching the re-runs of the BBC 4 programmes on 'how to read a church' and found Richard Taylor a delight; his enthusiasm, and the sheer delight in what he clearly loves was quite contagious. I have bought the pocket version of his book and have already been visiting some of the churches he cites in Norfolk and Suffolk. It is fascinating to look with 'different eyes'and to have gained a greater appreciation of the artefacts, structures and works of art that I might otherwise not have noticed or indeed not understood. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the richness of our inheritance, of magnificent architecture, story, myth, and art and perhaps like me seeing it with 'new eyes'.
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on 14 April 2011
Though of course not comprehensive, there are lots of churches not mentioned and even some featuring in the TV series, it is a good guide to have in the pocket on a church "crawl"!
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on 28 June 2014
The pocket guide does it what it says; it explains church ornaments, history and architecture in simple , straightforward language. The guide is convenient as I can carry it around with me. Good illustrations. Non academic.
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