Hardcover Live


Ross and Laura from Hardee's Books share their journey of turning their book-buying obsession into a thriving business. They discuss their passion for fantasy and sci-fi, their commitment to donating 20% of their profits to charity, and their dream of opening a physical bookshop. They also talk about their YouTube channel and the challenges and joys of being book influencers. The conversation touches on the future of book platforms and the influence of algorithms. In this conversation, Ross and Laura of Hardy's Books discuss their strong opinions on book platforms and social networks. They criticize the lack of innovation in popular book apps like Goodreads and emphasize the importance of human curation and sharing. They also discuss the potential backlash to AI and the need for ethical use and development. Ross recommends books like 'Piranesi' by Susanna Clarke and 'The Blade Itself' by Joe Abercrombie, while Laura enjoys reading in the bath and watching birds in her garden. They give shoutouts to other content creators and share their online platforms.


Turning a book-buying obsession into a business requires finding a model that works, such as selling secondhand books or focusing on independent new books.
Bookshops have a unique appeal in the experience-based high street economy, offering a physical space with a vibe and a smell that online platforms can't replicate.
Book influencers play a role in recommending upcoming books and creating buzz, but the influence of algorithms and the potential for misinformation is a concern.
Authors and readers may have different expectations from book platforms, with readers seeking recommendations from influencers and authors desiring a platform that fosters a productive relationship with their audience.
The future of book platforms may involve a combination of influencers, collaborative reviews, and personalized recommendations, but the challenge lies in maintaining authenticity and avoiding algorithmic manipulation. Popular book apps like Goodreads lack innovation and prioritize pleasing shareholders over improving the user experience.
Human curation and sharing are important in book platforms, and there may be a backlash to AI in favor of more personalized recommendations.
Books like 'Piranesi' and 'The Blade Itself' are highly recommended by Ross and Laura.
Reading in a cozy environment, such as a shepherd's hut or in the bath, enhances the reading experience.
Supporting and promoting other content creators in the book community is important.


00:00 Introduction and Background
05:10 Starting Hardee's Books and the Dream of a Physical Bookshop
09:03 The Role of Book Influencers and the Future of Book Platforms
43:01 The Backlash to AI and the Importance of Human Curation
46:27 Recommended Books: 'Piranesi' and 'The Blade Itself'
48:34 Creating a Cozy Reading Environment
52:37 Supporting and Promoting Content Creators in the Book Community

What is Hardcover Live?

Each week Adam & Ste focus on a specific feature, idea or prototype in Hardcover and iterate on it together or with guests.

Adam (00:01.362)
Hey, hey, stay, how's it going?

Ste (00:03.79)
Hey Adam, pretty good, stoked to be here at our Hardcover Life number what? Is it 46? I think so. Yeah. Yeah, we have Ross from Hardee's Books and Laura from Hardee's Books and they're the powerhouse behind Hardee's Books and...

Adam (00:11.218)
Yeah, I think so. Yeah, and we have a special guest this week.

Ross of Hardy's Books (00:26.254)
Thank you for welcoming us on today. Laura's just to the side. She's positioned herself to heckle as and when demands.

Ste (00:31.79)
That's perfect.

Here we go. That's great. So Ross and Laura, Ross turned his book buying obsession into a thriving venture and together with Laura, they channel their passion for fantasy and sci -fi into meaningful action. They also donate 20 % of their profits to charity and we'll later touch upon that. And they're here to share stories from the heart of Hardee's books.

So I guess we can go ahead and dive in.

Ross of Hardy's Books (01:10.574)
I want to thank you both again for inviting us on. And I mean, honestly, it's been a wild couple of weeks considering, I mean, I wanted to talk about hardcover on the channel for a while. And it was such a surprise when our video, which for context for people who are joining this and don't know, there's a, we released a video a few weeks ago that hit the algorithm, which is always good feeling. I always call it being firehosed.

you know, it's like, okay, right. So, okay, that number is going up. Does that number stop at any point? It's kind of kind of crazy. But it was it was so it was nice for it to happen in a way that benefits someone else, you know, that benefits, you know, like, an initiative that we really like, and, you know, for it to benefit you guys. So,

it's been a crazy couple of weeks, but here we are and, and, yeah, didn't see this coming.

Adam (02:12.69)
Yeah, is this the, like I think I checked on your channel, there was maybe one video that had even more views than this one, but aside from that, has this been like the biggest explosion in sudden popularity?

Ross of Hardy's Books (02:27.15)
So we had one other full length video that did over 10 ,000 views. This one has surpassed it. We got quite lucky with the algorithm quite early on. But that was like a top 10 fantasy books video. And I think it holds up. I mean, it was very early on. Didn't really know what I was doing. But I still like it. But this one is our most viewed full length video. We have one video that has more views, and that's a short. Because.

And if you go on our channel, you'll find it in our old flats. I built one of those hidden bookcase doors and I did a short about it and that people liked that. So people like shiny things. Have you noticed that? I think people are magpies when it comes to come to things on YouTube. They like revolving doors and they like good reason. Alternatives is what I've discovered.

Adam (03:21.042)
It's a lot of people sticking to novelty. Like novelty has a strange attraction.

Ross of Hardy's Books (03:26.798)
But you guys are doing more than novelty, you know? You're building something here to stay. Stay is building something to stay.

Adam (03:28.946)

Ste (03:35.15)
Here we go. Yeah. Well, yeah, hopefully we're going to be here a long while. And, you know, it's been so good. I mean, we woke up in the morning and we were like, what's with all this traffic coming?

to our site and we've been trying to identify the source and when we saw the video we're like, whoa, look at this. And there's been like so good, like seeing the video go so well in the algorithm. We had some theories about why that happened and yeah, probably like it's like people really being, really seeking a good alternative while being angry at, you know, whatever they're using that's making them angry, I guess.

Ross of Hardy's Books (04:15.662)
Mm -hmm. Mm -hmm. Mm -hmm. Yeah.

Adam (04:19.35)

Ross of Hardy's Books (04:23.182)
and Ross is sparkling charisma and personality. Obviously, highest level, you know, they saw my face on the thumbnail, I thought, God, he's hot. I need to click on that. Yeah, yeah. Smolder.

Ste (04:25.998)
of course.

Adam (04:35.507)
I think like sitting down in a chair, like, you know, just like, you look like a millennial Mr. Rogers, like talking about hardcover.

Ste (04:35.726)

Ross of Hardy's Books (04:44.462)
I have never heard a great great Thank you, Adam, I'm gonna put that on my gravestone that's that's lovely Laura's coming in Laura's coming in Hello She couldn't hold off she needed me how many minutes I don't even know

Ste (05:01.07)
here we go. Yeah, the... Hi,

Adam (05:03.25)
Hi, hi.

Ste (05:09.55)
We're five minutes in. F - F -

Ross of Hardy's Books (05:13.262)
Six minutes. Yeah, six minutes. So this is Laura. Haven't who might have watched that video, but then haven't watched anything else. Laura is the other half of Hardee's books. And, well, I mean, what can we what can we say apart from, you know, your, you know, the better half of Hardee's books? That's kind of what I was asking towards.

Adam (05:40.754)
And yeah, and speaking of Hardy's books and Millennial Mr. Rogers, like Hardy's book kind of feels like a millennial dream, like taking a passion that you were doing on your own, like that is books and like turning that into a business. Could you tell us a little bit more about how you all got started with that?

Ste (05:42.03)
That's perfect.

Ross of Hardy's Books (06:01.838)
Basically, he kept buying books to the point where we couldn't move in our flat. We had to move house because there were so many books. And I said, this is ridiculous. We need a one in one out policy. So we started selling them. Yeah. And that's basically how the book business came to me. I mean, I was doing it already. So I was doing it on vintage for folks in Europe.

probably be more familiar with vintage. It's like a just a, you know, reselling platform. Like, what do you got in the States? I'm trying to think now. You know, it's a flipping thing like Depop or like, yeah, things like that. So, you know, I was buying books on there. And in order to buy books, I was, you know, selling books for, you know, and using the credit and all that. And kind of there's just a bit of turnover, end up owning quite a lot of books. And then, yeah, I kind of realized like, hold on.

Adam (06:42.418)
like eBay.

Ste (06:43.502)
yeah, here we go.

Ross of Hardy's Books (07:00.526)
You know, I'm doing this a lot. I could probably make something out of this. And there's a dream behind it as well. Like there's, there's been the, the dream is one day to actually own and run a physical bookshop. Yeah. So I ran a half marathon. and while I was running the half marathon, Ross went bookshopping. So I finished and was like completely spent. And he then dragged me around this little tiny bookshop, that he'd found and was like,

We need to start a shop, Laura. Look at it. Look at it. This is the dream. I was just there like, I am so tired. I need to go home immediately. Like if I agree, can we go home? Yeah. Yeah. It was a really... It had a tree. It had a tree in the bookshop. I mean, that was pretty cool. Yeah.

Adam (07:42.418)
You're like barely able to stand at this point and you're like leaning against the shelves.

Adam (07:52.53)
That is cool.

Ste (07:52.558)
Okay, well now I'm curious, is it in London? Is it like, really? Really? wow.

Ross of Hardy's Books (07:55.822)
Yeah, it's in Q. It's by Q Gardens. Yeah, Lloyds of Q, I think it's called. I did the Q Gardens half. Yeah, shout out to him. And then I finished and was like basically crawling. And he's like, we need to go to this amazing bookshop. I mean, you like it. Adam, just to answer your original question there, I just think the real millennial dream is an end to back pain. So,

Ste (08:09.486)
Ha ha!

Ste (08:17.262)
yeah, tell me about it.

Ross of Hardy's Books (08:18.19)
In answering to like, are we living the dream yet? I would say, you know, it's still scale wise, it's still very much a supplemental income. You know, it's not something that we, I mean, in terms of time it takes up, you know, it's, it's not, it doesn't take up too much time, but it does take up a lot of space. So, you know, we are kind of restricted by what we can fit inside our new house, which we bought for this. And which is already full. It's already full.

Ste (08:23.086)

Ross of Hardy's Books (08:46.735)
So the dream is, is, you know, on the horizon out there somewhere, you know, making making bricks and mortar cool again. With the Harley's Books physical store. Yeah, as a waffling long answer to your question. Yeah.

Adam (09:03.57)

Ste (09:04.238)
Nah, that's a great one. It's good, I started like, yeah, you go ahead then. I was gonna say it's great that, you go. See?

Adam (09:06.066)
It seems like it's either the... go ahead, stay. All right, I was gonna say...

Ross of Hardy's Books (09:14.478)
It's so great you guys can finish each other sentences, you know, you've been hanging around. They're so cute. my gosh.

Adam (09:16.53)

Ste (09:23.982)
You can go.

Ross of Hardy's Books (09:24.046)
You know that it's been a few seconds, right?

Adam (09:24.602)
This is what happens when we spend too much time on these calls. We just like bounce off each other, but you can go ahead and stay.

Ross of Hardy's Books (09:31.406)
Can you go in alphabetical order please? Adam, go! Seriously.

Ste (09:31.758)

Adam (09:36.338)
I was just going to say it's like, it's either the Stardew Valley dream or like the bookshop, like, legends and lattes kind of.

Ross of Hardy's Books (09:45.102)
yeah. yeah. And I have played that game and I've read that book and absolutely both those things highly appeal. I haven't read the sequel to Legend of the... I haven't read Bookshops and Bone Dust yet. I do need to get on that. Something from the shelf behind me, somewhere up there. But Legend of the Lattes was like, isn't that so amazing? It's just so... I don't want to say it. I don't want to say the words. Rhymes with Rosie. But it was comfortable and delightful. And it really is. That's the millennial dream right there.

Adam (10:09.49)

Ross of Hardy's Books (10:12.75)
building something with your friends and with your loved ones.

Ste (10:15.534)
yeah, here we go, shout out to that. Yeah. Do you think that's gonna, like, what's your feeling? Are bookshops, physical brick and mortar bookshops, are they gonna make a comeback at some point?

Adam (10:16.626)
That's a good one.

Ross of Hardy's Books (10:18.766)
Right then.

Ross of Hardy's Books (10:27.534)
Well, they're not financially. Financially, they are hard work. Yeah, that's that's the thing. So in order to make it work, you need a model that that would make it work. And I think people who can do the secondhand thing really well, I bow to them, because I don't really know how you could do a full physical secondhand shop, because you'd have to sell like, you know, two or three really high value books every single day.

I don't know how you do that. Whereas if you're doing, we're selling like three moderately high value books a month. Maybe. Yeah. Yeah. So, but the other aspect of that is buying books to sell. Do you need real time sync? Yeah. Like you need to find someone who's selling books at a good value or people coming to you to sell their books to you. Cause there's also the risk that you're going to end up with a load of stale stock that you're just sitting on.

So these are the challenges. I think the best model is actually just to go down the independent new book shop model and to try to set yourself out as a competitor to in the UK, Waterstones or in the US Barnes and Noble or something like that, where you are, people have an appetite to shop indie. And if you're doing that, but very well, then - There are some hybrid stores that are sort of hybrid, indie new books, hybrid second -hand. Yeah.

And they do reasonably well that or, you know, secondhand booksellers that have a really strong online presence. One thing that I think that people don't appreciate about the difference between a bookshop and another bricks and mortar store. That's just selling something, you know, like paint as an example, it's like buying paint isn't really much of an experience unless you'll, you know, have some kind of artisanal, you know, paint mixer man who does it in front of you, you know, but buying books is an experience and in the kind of.

experience -based high street economy. Bookshops have a place. They have a smell. They have a vibe. I would argue that paint also has a smell. Paint does have a smell. Unless you buy posh fancy clay paint. Well. And then the laughing smell is part of its charm.

Ste (12:31.598)

Ste (12:39.182)
Mm -hmm. What?

Adam (12:43.186)
One of the trends we've seen here, some in Utah are like book shops opening with like a cafe, like pastries. And then.

Ross of Hardy's Books (12:50.99)
Mm hmm. Yeah, that's been that's been my dream since I was, you know, little. You just need a ratkin in the background, making the apple danishes or whatever. Sorry, that that's legends and latte. So that's there you go. Yeah, I haven't read it. For context, I've not read legends and latte. So in seven hours, you should read it. Great.

Ste (13:05.198)
There we go.

Adam (13:10.45)
You just walk in and you're hit by cinnamon bun odor everywhere.

Ross of Hardy's Books (13:15.734)
See, yeah, that's it. That is actually probably the nearest really successful indie bookshop to us. Does do that. Seven Oaks Bookshop for a little shout out to them because they're great. They do exactly that. Yeah, we love Seven Oaks Bookshop. If you are watching and you're local to the Seven Oaks area. Buy a book from them. Yeah. Yeah, do it.

Ste (13:18.062)

Adam (13:25.426)

Ste (13:35.182)

Ste (13:41.326)
Yeah, I'll go check him out.

Ross of Hardy's Books (13:44.142)
Yes, they should. I mean if you're coming to the seven oaks area and you do not come and visit us I will take it personally. Yeah, come on. It's only just down there down that line, you know down the haystack

Ste (13:50.254)
I'm gonna get, yeah, I'm gonna definitely take you up on that. So yeah, expect a shout. Wow. Just sitting around books. Yeah, that sounds great.

Ross of Hardy's Books (13:55.982)
Yeah, please. We have a spare room now that's only moderately filled with books. Yeah. Like.


Ste (14:09.614)
I was going to ask about your charity giving because I know you donate 20 % to charities and you have a very nice selection of them. How did you come to this selection? How did you choose it?

Ross of Hardy's Books (14:13.678)

Ross of Hardy's Books (14:24.622)
So St. Raphael's Hospice cared for my late mother when she was terminally ill. And that was one that I was very committed to. I've always been committed to fundraising for St. Raphael's Hospice. And it's something that my family have always fundraised for. She passed in 2013. So what's that? 11? 11 years ago. Goodness me, time flies.

my dad's run again, talking marathons again, my dad's run marathons for them and now we donate a proportion of our profits to set rafts. So that was an easy one. It's also - I think our particular areas of interest is outside of ones that are personally affected us, so things that are personally affected our friends as well. Yeah. So we wanted to choose charities that, I mean, we have so many -

wonderful LGBTQ friends. Yeah, we wanted, you know, to support them as best we can. Yeah. And, you know, we also have the abortion support network. Yeah. So personally affected us and yeah, we know. Yeah. So it was charities that are supporting the LGBTQ plus communities providing health care for that for for the communities providing support. And yeah.

I think the hardest thing when you're picking charities to support is picking ones which ones not to support or like, you know, choose choosing out of a long list. But to be honest, because it's not we never we haven't designed Hardee's books at this stage to be paying our livelihood. No, we don't pay ourselves a salary. Yeah, we literally don't know it just it just goes back into the bank account. Yeah, it just pays.

everything either goes back into hardies or it goes to the tax man or it goes to charities. Yeah. So we wanted to kind of build it in from the start, you know, almost is almost using like the social enterprise slash kind of charity shop kind of model, you know, if, if it turns into a business that is, you know, makes us enough to pay the mortgage and to feed the cat, and we can give everything else to charity, like, honestly, that would, that would be nothing that give me more joy if we can do that. That would be the dream. Yeah.

Ross of Hardy's Books (16:44.558)
I don't think we're at any point expecting it to become our main livelihoods. We both have day jobs. Yeah. and I think it's always going to be that way. Yeah.

Ste (16:54.382)
Well, you never know. Plus, like, feeding the cat is a very noble goal, I know, because I'm a cat owner as well. Ooooo!

Ross of Hardy's Books (16:59.086)
He eats, that boy can eat. He's on like the most expensive cat food that I can find. Our boy is a five kilogram shonky, he's not chunky but he's he's he's just large. He's a large boy. He's a big tomcat. Yeah yeah yeah yeah.

Ste (17:05.294)
Yeah, same, they eat a lot, don't they?

Ste (17:17.678)
yeah, I've seen the picture of Fang on the About page and yeah, he does seem like a moderate, not a chonker, but what's under chonk. Eh, fit, yeah.

Ross of Hardy's Books (17:21.486)

Ross of Hardy's Books (17:26.51)
No, he's he's he's in proportion, you know, he's felt. Yeah, he's just large. He's like a tall, a tall human. Yeah, like Ross is a large man. He's tall. He's over six foot. He's like a cat with a bit of caracal, you know, it's a little bit large. Yeah. Yeah.

Adam (17:44.722)
Always there to investigate the new books, make sure they're safe before they come into the house.

Ross of Hardy's Books (17:47.598)
Yeah, and he does. He really does. Yeah. In fact, yeah, he will literally like you be trying to read something in front of you. I mean, every cat does this. Come on, you know, you're trying to read things and he'll just go here. Yeah. What's reading?

Ste (17:57.678)

Ste (18:02.286)
Hmm, yeah. I don't know. Mine doesn't. But I'm really glad Fang is one of those cats. Because they're great.

Ross of Hardy's Books (18:09.262)
Can't yourself lucky stay because earlier today he drooled down the side of my face. So what can you say? For context, he doesn't have any teeth. He's got one tooth. So he was found by Cats Protection, which is one of the charities that we support. Yeah. Living on a farm out in a village on the outskirts of the town that we live in. And he'd been beaten up by all the other cats and he had like all his teeth broken and he was covered in scabs and cuts and abscesses. So they had to remove all but one of his teeth.

Ste (18:16.43)

Ste (18:22.478)
Ross of Hardy's Books (18:39.374)
So now there's nothing holding his tongue in. So he's just always memming. He's always memming. There's just drool, so much drool. It is cute. It's cute in a really disgusting way.

Adam (18:44.242)

Ste (18:54.318)
That does sound cute, I mean.

Adam (18:56.818)
Sounds like a character.

Adam (19:02.098)
Well, for your, we learned about you from your video, of course. And so what could have led you to start the Hardee's Books YouTube channel after having the physical presence?

Ross of Hardy's Books (19:18.19)
Yeah. So it was my crazy idea because I was watching a lot of BookTube back in what September, I think last year. And there are a couple of motivators for doing it. First of all, you know, I have an ego and wanted to... We're both in Courage Will Show us. Basically. I'm one of those creatives who really likes to create things to then show them off.

get people's validation. And so basically any excuse to get out on the internet. But no, I tried actually making YouTube channel before and didn't get much success with it. But this, it was it was nothing to do with books, you know, it's a while ago. And this kind of, I my expectation was fairly low around this one, I kind of figured it would be like a fun thing to do to promote the

business to promote the bookshop. And you know, at the end of each video kind of go like, you know, check us out on, you know, on Hardee's books and go and buy a book or something. And to be honest, that's been like the least important thing of what we've done. Like I don't, I'm not really sure how many people have actually watched our videos and then gone and bought a book from our from our website, which we're kind of discovering like

People who buy books and people who, sorry, people who buy Rare and Antiquarian slash signed modern first editions or whatever, are kind of not exactly the same people who watch a lot of BookTube, which is fine. Literally, you know, discovering that is absolutely fine because - We're still having fun. We're still having fun. I would say the other motivator that I had, and this kind of is built into the verse motivator, was I'm also a writer. I'm working on the second draft of my first novel.

And it's really good. thank you, Laura. That's very kind. You would have to say that though, if you didn't say that, you know, we'd have words. But the I say also, I know for a fact, my dad is not watching this because he's trying to call me right now. We can say whatever we want. Brilliant. Rageous. Anyway. Yeah.

Ste (21:28.062)
That sounds fun, I mean you can convo with your dad on live stream. Why not?

Ross of Hardy's Books (21:38.382)
So my plan was to self publish. And I've now been peer pressured into pursuing traditional for that. I have nothing against self published authors, right? I just feel that you should at least try and be traditionally published. Yeah, there you go. So so I thought my original plan was I need if you're going to self publish something is worth building an audience first. And, and I thought that people might be interested in.

my thoughts about writing as well, as well as reading, and thought I could kind of do, kind of build that into the channel. And I have done a few videos on writing. They've probably been the least watched videos of all of them. But for the people that they that have watched them and enjoyed them, you know, they're there. We never really expected to get algorithmic success with anything. We were kind of in for the long haul. Yeah.

We're making content that we are enjoying making rather than what we think people will enjoy watching. And making friends as well. Which is probably the wrong approach to have. Yeah. But we're having fun and we're making lots of great friends and I know some of them are watching. Yeah. Hi guys. Yeah.

Ste (22:43.854)
That's perfect.

Ste (22:52.974)
Hi friends. Yeah. And speaking of algorithmic success, like how did it feel when your video about the hardcover reached 70 ,000 views?

Ross of Hardy's Books (23:04.078)
Well, we were actually that was absolutely terrifying I'm not gonna lie we were like, yeah, we were at a This is one of the few times we actually have gone done anything in fact the first time we did anything in person We were actually selling at a book fair. It was the first time we tried it So obviously every time we checked the stats it was just going up and up and up and up and up I was I was like, I think I think our analytics are broken It says that we've got 10 ,000 views and that cannot possibly be right. I

Ste (23:08.654)
Really? Okay.

Ross of Hardy's Books (23:33.869)
But it was like it was just it was absolutely bananas. It's a it's a fickle thing. The algorithm. I mean, you can you can do all the right things and it can still, you know, not, you know, it you're never quite sure whether something's going to be a hit. This one, I wasn't sure, but I made a really good thumbnail. And it's amazing how much of a difference a really good thumbnail can make.

Ste (24:00.366)
it is.

Adam (24:00.818)
And it was like in a mysterious title.

Ross of Hardy's Books (24:03.855)
yeah kind of mysterious that's it yeah the curiosity quotients you know it's all about clickbait really in it gotta be a little bit like what's this the the best alternative to goodries that i've never heard of so i was i was thinking like if it you know if it performs well we might get a thousand views like that's kind of my a really good video by us probably does about a thousand views

Ste (24:18.51)
I'm home.

Ross of Hardy's Books (24:31.278)
We're now actually approaching 18 ,000. my God. 17 .9. And I wasn't wearing makeup. That was so not a big deal. That was so not a big deal.

Ste (24:38.542)

Ross of Hardy's Books (24:45.774)
Yeah, so wild but cool. Cool.

Adam (24:46.962)
Well, for a...

And so for like other videos that you post on your channel, do you have like a theme or like what is, what tends to make for a Hardee's Books video?

Ste (24:51.15)

Ross of Hardy's Books (25:02.798)
So we have a monthly book club where we pick a book once a month that we both read and then we do an extended discussion video on the first Friday of every month. If we like the book, they're usually quite good videos. If we don't like the book, it just evolves into like, you know, we're talking Lord of the Flies, kind of, you know, throwing.

Adam (25:28.178)
I just hope the author isn't listening.

Ross of Hardy's Books (25:29.678)
Yeah, I know pretty much. Sorry, Pierce Brown. yeah Mark Lawrence, so that's a regular rhythm. We do that one. Yeah, one of the questions is if you could ask the order author of this book one question What would it be? And on the last one, which was a mark laurence book ross's ross was just like would you consider an editor? Okay, but I do want to say okay it doesn't

Ste (25:50.35)

Ross of Hardy's Books (25:57.23)
writing a book is a really as I know I'm a writer, it's a thing that takes a lot of time and a lot of energy and a lot of emotions, you pour everything into it, you know, and so we do try to be, you know, to incorporate that to understand that and to not be, you know, really negative on something. It's only when I feel like a book has really wasted my time that I get angry, like if a book is overly long, and doesn't go anywhere or like, or does

So, so that's basically the book club videos is because we both committed to what to reading it and doing the video. And we've told our viewers in advance that we're going to do it. We can't DNF it. Yeah, we have to fit. Absolutely. I think another principle regarding reviews, because we also do spoiler free reviews too. I think generally on that mindset of not wanting to get really.

Adam (26:39.73)

Ross of Hardy's Books (26:56.718)
negative about things. I try to when I because usually it's me doing some of the spoiler free reviews. I think you've done one or two. I did one. We is more that's more to highlight books that we really like. Yeah. Ross is a much faster reader than I am for one. And I am a prolific DNFer. Like, I've DNF books because I didn't like the font. Yeah.

Adam (27:19.922)

Ste (27:20.27)
Well, valid reason.

Ross of Hardy's Books (27:22.618)
So that kind of gives you a nice year of our spirit.

Adam (27:25.074)
Well, I admire that. I stick things out even when I'm like, I'm going to rate this one star, but I'm just going to finish it.

Ross of Hardy's Books (27:34.83)
no, if it's less than four stars, I'm not finishing it. Life is too short to read books that you're not enjoying. Yeah, you have my permission. I'm freeing you from this. Adam, you can let it go. Take this. Put it down. You no longer have to read books you're not enjoying. I think that's it. That's so there are a few principles there until what makes a good Harley's book video to a Harley's books video to ask the question.

Adam (27:50.706)
Okay, next time.

Ross of Hardy's Books (28:04.398)
Yeah, what was the question again? Highlight books we really like. Bring some chaotic energy. Hopefully make something that people will enjoy. Yeah, something make the thing that you'd want that you'd watch kind of thing. Yeah. And fundamentally, we just want to make the thing that we are enjoying. But we make videos that we enjoy making. Yeah. And hopefully, that is also what people would enjoy watching. We'll never put anything out.

Ste (28:07.054)
Ross of Hardy's Books (28:34.254)
that we're not happy with. Yeah. Yeah.

Ste (28:37.39)
That sounds great. Yeah. And what would you say like, because you're an author, you're book influencers in a non -TikTokish way, or in a TikTokish way, I guess, you're also readers, what would you say like is the difference that an author or a book influencer or a reader would want from a book platform? What are the different things? Because you mentioned, you know, you know, the one...

Adam (28:38.93)

Ross of Hardy's Books (29:00.558)
Mm. Yeah, I was, I was definitely thinking about this. Because I, I think that

Readers are happy to rely on influencers more to tell them what they should read. And they might not necessarily go to a book platform for their next recommendation. They might look at what the buzz is, but influencers are usually trying to get slightly ahead of the buzz. So what they're looking for is - What's coming up. What's coming out soon. That's it. You know,

that those early kind of first kind of words coming in from from ARC readers, you know, they're looking for that kind of buzz. And that buzz is by the time it's hit Daniel Green's YouTube channel, it's kind of too late. Yeah, you're kind of you're you can might be able to crest that wave, but the kind of the wave is already gone. Whereas, you know, if you can get ahead of that, and being able to find those things on on the

on the book platform is, you know, gonna make a lot of difference. I think for writers as well, this is I think something that...

that I don't think, for example, Goodreads has managed very well is I think writers are looking for a platform that allows them to have a really fruitful and productive relationship with their audience. You listen to writers go like, you know, talk about their Goodreads profiles or like Goodreads profiles for their books.

Ross of Hardy's Books (30:49.742)
And they don't want to look at them. They don't want to read the reviews. I wouldn't my God. I would not want to read reviews in my book. It feels for them like a like a heavily like a, you know, bad for mental health, essentially, a lot of the platforms that are out there. I don't know what the answer is there. But I do what I do know is that Goodreads is currently not the answer. You know, you could get a book, your book might end up being rated 3 .5 stars and it ruins your career.

Adam (30:56.146)

Ross of Hardy's Books (31:19.022)
you know, or something stupid like that. That would ruin my mental health more than anything. You know what I mean? Like you poured your light, like your heart and soul into this creative endeavor and someone's like, one star. And I'm like, And to be honest, I think that is perhaps more a problem with Goodreads size and its inability to innovate rather than the concept of rating and the

Adam (31:24.466)

Ross of Hardy's Books (31:45.678)
and the general concept of a book platform where you know, you are rating and reviewing. Once you get once your audience becomes that big, it stops being personal. So to retain the personality, personability, I think is really important. So those are just I don't know, there's probably more thoughts there. But just those the first things come to mind.

Adam (32:06.45)

Adam (32:12.146)
There is a really neat study that Yelp did. Is Yelp big in the UK? Okay. Yeah.

Ross of Hardy's Books (32:18.094)
I know I know what you're talking about. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, we use what like TripAdvisor or like, you know,

Ste (32:23.15)
Yeah, I think that's all. Yeah, but... Yeah.

Adam (32:25.458)
they did this analysis of different age groups to see how are you making your choice of what restaurants you eat at. And it differed so much by age, for people that were boomer age, they were getting most of the recommendations from a combination of advertising and authority. And then GenX was getting theirs mostly from collaborative, like,

Ross of Hardy's Books (32:27.342)
basic principle.

Adam (32:52.53)
collective review, like summations of reviews, like here are the top restaurants. And then for millennials, it was more like influencers and people that like had taste that they aspired to. And I don't, I don't think it like Gen Z was even using Yelp when this, when this was a thing. So that was as young as it went. But I'm really curious to understand like what the difference is going to be between people seeking out like,

Ross of Hardy's Books (33:07.021)
Mm -hmm. Yeah.

Adam (33:22.098)
influencers and people that you maybe aspire to or like their taste and what like the next step is going to be after that. But I don't know if anyone has any thoughts on what that could be.

Ross of Hardy's Books (33:33.902)
Let me just go and get my crystal ball. I dare to say maybe, it might still be influences, but, I'm going to sound like such a crotchety old grandpa now. I used to be with it. Now what it is, isn't it? if you look at some of, I think if you look at some of the Tik TOK trends,

Adam (33:35.474)

Ste (33:51.598)
Go for it.

Adam (33:52.21)

Ross of Hardy's Books (34:02.382)
There is something that concerns me there, which is that a lot of TikTok influences are.

there's a big kind of like conspiracy community, I think, on TikTok. yeah. Like people kind of watch, like people who don't necessarily know what they're talking about doing videos that get horrendously popular. And so I think perhaps the future is still influence, influences, but not necessarily decided by their content, but by their algorithmic.

Adam (34:40.37)

Ross of Hardy's Books (34:43.694)
you know, this is actually being picked up by the algorithm. I don't just terrifying. It is terrifying. I don't want as much as we want to hijack the algorithm and become wildly popular. Yeah, I kind of I don't necessarily want a machine deciding that people well maybe I maybe I don't care that much. But maybe I don't want I kind of don't want like

Adam (34:46.322)
Megaphone. Yeah.

Ross of Hardy's Books (35:14.318)
I don't want people finding us because an AI has decided that we're the best video for them, maybe. I don't know. We are the best video for them though. We are. They should know that. They don't need an AI to tell them that. Also, there is a possibility that my dad is now watching. Yeah. Hey, Trevor. Yeah. Dad, if you're there. Yeah, dad, if you are there, sorry. Yeah.

Ste (35:33.39)
hiya. Good to have you here.

Ross of Hardy's Books (35:42.478)
I will just say that that I don't think that that's I don't want to that's that's not that I think that millennials are superior to Gen Z and that we don't get you know, fooled or you know, bought into you know, with everyone is just as susceptible to the algorithm. I don't think that's necessarily a generational divide. It's just that's kind of where the audience is right now like the Gen Z audience.

would be on TikTok more than they'd be on YouTube, more than they'd be on Instagram. And I think, you know, did you know actually our most successful video actually was on TikTok, but it wasn't something we made. It was randomly we were. This was the weirdest thing. We were walking around New York on holiday a few years ago and. This random bloke walks up to us. We were crossing by NYU by on one of the little squares.

Adam (36:25.65)

Ross of Hardy's Books (36:38.894)
And this guy runs up to us and shoves this microphone in our face and is like, what's the best song of all time? Best love song of all time. No, he said, what's the best song of all time? And we were like, what? We were like typical Londoners. We were like, who are you? Get that out of my face. And he was like, what's the best love song of all time? That's right. And we just panicked. And Ross went, island's in the stream. And he was like.

Who's that by? And Ross went, really? Anyway, anyway, this video that we thought was just by some random college kid turns out to have been by a really popular TikToker and it got over 600 ,000 views. So, and then we both started singing Islands in the stream. And he's never heard of them. So that's, that's on Tik Tok. That's on Tik Tok somewhere. Somewhere. You can put it in the description. Next goes on.

Adam (37:22.418)

Ste (37:30.03)
I have got to look that up.

Adam (37:32.498)
Yeah, I cannot wait to watch this.

Ross of Hardy's Books (37:37.422)
Yeah. We were both just like islands in the stream. That is what we love. And as a music student, as a former music student, yeah, I, I did my, I clicked on one and three and I absolutely hate that I clicked on one and three. I had to add my degree back in.

Ste (37:37.742)

Ste (37:41.87)

Ross of Hardy's Books (37:56.59)
Sorry. Anyway, what are we talking about? Talking about what's the next generation? There was an itinerary when we started this video. Who knows? I have no idea if we stuck to it. Yeah. Okay. The way at the beginning, when we before we started for the benefit of the viewers, Adam was like, we're going to try and stick to the script. Like at this point, we'll start talking about this and pretty clear timings. Yeah. Yeah. We're just like, that's a bell. No, hi Jack.

Ste (37:56.686)
That's great.

Ste (38:01.23)

Ste (38:05.646)
now we're on track, we're on track, this is exactly what we should be talking about. Yeah.

Adam (38:08.658)

That, that.

Ste (38:21.006)
Ross of Hardy's Books (38:26.414)

Ste (38:27.182)
Don't worry, it's all under control. Yeah Yeah, exactly Okay, that's that's great I want to ask you next After watching your video you could tell you had some strong feelings about the book industry and book social networks and What's

Ross of Hardy's Books (38:29.39)
Okay. Okay.

Adam (38:30.002)
Yeah, nothing you all have to worry about.

Ste (38:55.438)
your experience been with certain book platforms and apps and how would you feel that should improve? I mean, touching on the, you know, what's gonna the next generation gonna read, gonna look like? How do you think that's gonna?

Ross of Hardy's Books (39:04.302)

Ross of Hardy's Books (39:12.338)
Yeah Well, you definitely picked up on the fact that we both have strong opinions That is something that I think characterizes our videos. and and this is one of the things that people come back for Yeah, I i've You know the the the key target of of of most folks are when it comes to books platforms is good reads for good reason and I think that

I've touched on a few things there regarding kind of like ratings and the audience size. I think the main issue with a lot of these apps is the lack of innovation. And that's kind of what happens when you're... Did you realise the cat was under the table this whole time? Is he?

Adam (40:04.37)

Ross of Hardy's Books (40:05.294)
I didn't realise. Sorry. Carry on guys. I was trying to answer that question. I was just getting distracted by Laura going, what's going on? Anyway. Carry on. I'm just going to turn this really like pathetic meow. I'm just going to rescue the cat. You carry on. Okay. So, so, so, right. Good reads.

Adam (40:19.218)
This is great.

Adam (40:24.338)
Ross of Hardy's Books (40:36.078)
I mean, Goodreads is very much kind of like, you know, being bought by Amazon and being owned by another company, the impetus becomes less about building a great app and more about pleasing the shareholders or the, you know, the, the, the investors. Welcome, Fang. He's just running in here. There you go. Licking Laura's arm. Big old tongue. Yeah. he always...

Adam (40:55.73)

Ste (40:56.206)

Ste (41:02.317)
Look at that.

Ross of Hardy's Books (41:05.55)
he's always the star of the show whenever he joins our videos. The last one he literally sat in front of the camera and he'd never done that before. Anyway, so I think that when something grows to a certain scale and when it's taken over by other people, there is the impetus to innovate has been lost. And also likewise, you know, I don't necessarily think this is...

Adam (41:14.706)
He knows where it is.

Ross of Hardy's Books (41:35.79)
I don't want to slam Goodreads for this, but I think it's just a nature of being so big is that you are going to have so many disparate voices asking for different things. You can't please everyone. And so therefore you're going to end up with the safest, most kind of generic possible, you know, thing. And it's to be honest, I think it's an absolute miracle they redesigned. I am honestly.

Shocked that happened because there was no Impetus for them to do that So I think that's probably looking at you know, the key target out there. I think that's that's something that's Yeah, a fault in in the current in the current biggest offering Yeah, I don't know that one thing that's

I've noticed in trends and you might, I know I noticed it in the comments of our video actually and, and, and, and on other things online is that, so we have, I mean, AI is, what's he doing? What the hell is he doing? Stop distracting. I'm making serious point cat. So obviously now we have, it's a really powerful tool called AI.

and, AI is both a tool for good and a tool that can be used for, you know, in, in, in, you know, unethical ways. And I think that we're seeing a bit of perhaps an initial backlash to AI and in its place, a reemphasis on human curation.

One of the things I like so much about hardcover is although you do have the AI and the algorithmic options, you also have made the human options for discovering books really, you prioritize them. You know, like I mentioned it in the video, I love the prompts. I know Goodreads has this, which is a bit similar, but to get to this, you have to go through like four menu items to find, you know, and to my, you know, in my experience, no one ever seems to use them.

Ross of Hardy's Books (43:58.03)
Whereas, you know, you've built it straight into the platform. You made them really easy to use, really easy to kind of highlight and put them on your profile, easy to post online, get feedback. So I think that the emphasis on human curation, on human kind of sharing, we're going to see probably more of that in the, or as a backlash to AI, we might see that in the short term. Long term, AI is here to stay.

It's going to be in everything. I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. you know, I, I like what you've started with Ask Jules. I think that's, that's a, an exciting offering. like over time, we're going to work out how best to use AI and how to use it ethically and how to, you know, develop, you know, the best ways of making it, making it intelligent and insightful.

but I suggest that the best way is not going to be by having scarlett johansson, voice your ai helper. So, please don't give scarlett johansson his voice to jules. you know, that would be, yeah, there we go. There we go.

Adam (45:18.13)
I mean, I'm hoping Stake can voice it, so.

Ross of Hardy's Books (45:24.046)
I've really I've just put a timestamp on this video in terms of historical context. So if Anyone's watching this on catch up and has missed that but then use Then then then go the cup the current controversy regarding GPT 4 .0 4 or whatever it is. Yeah. Anyway, sorry high horse opinions get down

Adam (45:44.434)
Yeah. no. That's awesome. Yeah, like the...

Like even us, like I was a user on Goodreads for years, but only on the reader side. So I really haven't explored any of the author side, the publisher side, any of the creator side, or even like the influencer side, which is potentially a whole other set of needs that's gonna be very different from just a reader looking for books. One of the things that we've been trying to do more of is like figure out like what is the...

Ross of Hardy's Books (46:03.566)

Ross of Hardy's Books (46:09.71)

Adam (46:22.418)
What are the book social network features and things that influencers could benefit from? And it's such an open -ended question, but I'm curious if anything comes to mind for you for that, things that you even personally could benefit from.

Ross of Hardy's Books (46:27.63)

Ross of Hardy's Books (46:36.014)

Ross of Hardy's Books (46:40.046)
I mean, on the influencer side, I think that having the essentially the, it's almost like having the physical copy of a video. Like say that I made it, well, let's look at our most recent video. We did top 10 fiction books, you know, to be able to turn that into, I mean, for all intents and purposes, it almost becomes a blog post. Like, you know, a top 10, like basically using lists to be able to kind of,

compile something, a hard link to the context of this video. And I know, I think in your feature roadmap about having kind of comments to go alongside prompts or lists or things like that, I think that's a feature which I would love to see and love to use more. Basically like to turn every video we've done into a...

list of some kind. That would be fun. Yeah, exactly. You know, I think that's that's brilliant and having that in in the in the links in the description and also inviting people to to comment or contribute, you know, maybe there's maybe it's actually on the front end of making a video. So rather than, you know, making something that goes with the video, you're actually asking for audience input before you even make the video and going right, so audience, what are the, you know, best?

Adam (47:37.906)

Ross of Hardy's Books (48:04.302)
space opera has ever made just to steal one of your prompts. Like, I think that's that's exciting influence influences for sure like those features. And really building that in on a personal level. And this is something that I don't think is on your roadmap, but I would kind of be excited to see is one of the things that actually made me and I sort of mentioned another app on your stream, but story graph, which, you know, a lot of people are commenting about story graph in the comments of

of our video asking, you know, why don't you use Storygraph? And I feel like I explained my reasons pretty clearly in the video. But one thing that they do have, which, you know, I think is, is quite, quite nice is to be able to using your current, so your, your TBR list essentially, in a more of a planning way. So what are you, what are you doing? Okay, I'm picking you up.

Ste (49:02.958)

Ross of Hardy's Books (49:04.07)
So here he is. So they have the up next section. So you can basically say like, okay, from your TBR, which ones are you actually planning to read once you finish the book you're currently reading? And I like that feature from them. I don't know if that's, you know, something that you'd ever consider, but it's maybe there's even another way of doing that. There's more hardcover in their story graph, but you know, is literally this is his tail. This is his tail in front of the camera.

Adam (49:29.618)
Yeah, that's a good one.

Ste (49:32.462)
Here we go, he's flaunting it. Well done, Fang. That's perfect.

Ross of Hardy's Books (49:33.554)
Did you see on the latest video we had to like I had to do some clever motion tracking on DaVinci resolved put a little emoji in front of his butthole as he is moving around on the screen. Yeah. DaVinci resolves pretty good. I'm enjoying it quite a lot. Yes, I know you're talking about your butthole on the live stream. Nobody

Adam (49:45.522)
I saw that. It was really following it directly.

Ste (50:00.746)

Ross of Hardy's Books (50:01.39)
He's proud of that butthole. He thinks all the time. He keeps that clean.

Ste (50:06.318)

Adam (50:06.738)
We had a concept of something similar to that for a little while. We might bring it back, but it was the idea of starred books. So in the book button, where it has the little icon for your status, we had an option to star the book there. And then any list you could filter by starred. So you could say, what's my want to read starred list? Or what's my read starred list? But then people started asking for that. Yeah.

Ross of Hardy's Books (50:16.11)
Mm -hmm.

Ross of Hardy's Books (50:24.206)
Right, yeah.

Ross of Hardy's Books (50:32.334)
That's cool Maybe we'll see it again. Yeah

Adam (50:36.85)
people started asking for that plus liked books and so they kind of got confused between starred and liked so we kind of went back to the drawing board.

Ross of Hardy's Books (50:44.314)
If you can explain the use case and kind of make that signpost really clearly what that's, you know, one helpful way you can use that. then, then, you know, that I think there's still a case for it. There's, but the, the, the issue, I guess, is like building something that people don't really know how to use. And then it just becomes bloat. how about just having like an up next? Well, yeah, I mean, that's what, that's what exactly what story graph does. It's kind of, it's just a different way of doing it.

Ste (50:46.062)

Ste (51:14.062)

Ross of Hardy's Books (51:14.222)
yeah, but I, yeah. Yeah.

Ste (51:18.702)
That's, we briefly talked about this because yeah, it's a hard problem and you know, a book is, people always compare us to letterbox, we're the letterbox for books, but reading a book seems to me like a way, way bigger investment than watching a show, which is two hours long. You know, you really have to get invested in books, so you kind of like have to plan your time and you know, during your lifetime, you're gonna read like a certain limited number of books.

I mean, if you think about it, maybe it's a thousand, two thousand, three thousand, twenty thousand, but compared... Yeah.

Ross of Hardy's Books (51:53.294)
Maybe Adam, maybe Adam might get that number. You know, I'll be happy with a thousand. Which of you wasn't saying that you'd already read 53 books this year? Was that you Adam? That was okay.

Adam (52:01.554)
That was Jeff. I might have read 52 books, but half of them are comics, so.

Ste (52:02.114)
Jeff is in a whole other league, yeah.


Ross of Hardy's Books (52:09.822)
that doesn't count. I'm on 21 right now. But that's that's I'm trying to do a book a year book a week this year. So that's that's not how many I'd normally read. I'm on nine. That's good. That's all right. Which is way higher than it usually is at this time of the year. Since we started doing the YouTube channel, I've really picked it up to read all of it. Hello. Yeah.

Adam (52:24.754)
Yeah? Yeah?

Ste (52:36.654)
Yeah, it really makes sense to have that, you know, planning, I guess, in that case.

Ross of Hardy's Books (52:42.83)
I'm terrible at planning my TBR though. This is something that I've talked about on videos before. I'm such a mood reader. I'm just like, what do I fancy? One of our friends, I don't know if he's watching Sam Harrison, he like plans his TBR like meticulously. Like a month or two in advance. Yeah. And he like alternates science fiction, fantasy, science fiction, fantasy, science fiction, fantasy. I really envy that he can be that organized about it. Whereas I'm just like,

Adam (52:43.698)

Adam (53:03.09)

Ross of Hardy's Books (53:13.55)
What do I feel like? You know, I'm pretty much the same. I do we do have to plan a little bit with the book club. I like to kind of think one book ahead kind of, you know, once I finish this book so I can look forward to the next one. Yeah. Or once I finish this book, I can start on. Yeah. But also I read multiple books at the same time. So I say I've only read nine books this year, but I am reading four books at the moment. So once I finish these four, it will suddenly jump up. You know. Yeah.

Adam (53:23.698)

Adam (53:42.13)
We've, yeah, we've been, as we've talked to more people, like so, like almost everyone we talk to is like, I read one book in this genre, one book in that genre. I'm listening to one book. I have one physical book. I have one like ebook.

Ross of Hardy's Books (53:56.27)
Yeah, yeah, that's exactly it. So I'm like eyeball reading Promise of Blood for our book club. Brian McClellan. By Brian McClellan. I'm listening to Hunger of the Gods by John Gwynne. I'm also listening to the third Murderbot Diaries. I'm reading a song for the Wild Builds.

Ste (53:56.654)

Ross of Hardy's Books (54:22.798)
by Becky Chambers. So I've got multiple things on the go and they're all gonna sort of finish at roughly the same time. So if my nine is gonna suddenly jump up. Yeah. Seeing your one book ahead of schedule or your six book. At the moment it says I'm three behind and I'm like, it's not fair. It's gonna read more in novellas, hurry up.

Adam (54:33.522)
That's a good feeling.

Adam (54:49.042)
Well, we usually close these down. I say usually, like, you're only our second guest we've had. So we're trying to start a trend of finishing up these with a couple hot seat questions. I was hoping to ask to both of you.

Ross of Hardy's Books (55:03.726)
Sure. Yeah, great. Is this like all star mystery? It's like a, you know, we've got to get the correct answer that the other person would have said.

Adam (55:16.882)
yeah, yeah, not this time, but but that would be a good way to divide you instead of bring you together. So, yeah, what what book got each of you into reading?

Ste (55:17.262)
That's a good idea, but...

Ross of Hardy's Books (55:20.238)
Not this time.

Ross of Hardy's Books (55:26.702)

Ross of Hardy's Books (55:35.086)
for me, it was, horrible histories. The, rotten Romans. I, read all of our history books. like devoured them when I was a kid, stayed up late reading them. I should have. so from that sense, that was, that was it when, adult wise, good question. Come back to me, Laura. What about you? Also horrible histories.

boring, quite boring answer. But also Artemis Fowl, I love Artemis Fowl as a kid. So like as a child, I loved Artemis Fowl. Harry Potter. Although, let's not talk politics on your lovely live stream, but we don't love JK Rowling so much now. But yeah, Harry Potter was very formative for me as like a young teen. Yeah.

But then, you know, after when I graduated and got back into reading, it was Game of Thrones. That's all. Yeah, I can claim that one too. Yeah. The Blade itself by Joe Abercrombie. So like the first first Lord trilogy. my God. Adam, audiobook. Read it. You got Stephen Pacey.

Adam (56:44.338)

Adam (56:49.01)
That one keeps coming up on my list to read.

Ross of Hardy's Books (56:58.03)
He's like the best audiobook narrator you ever heard just it's basically It doesn't feel like reading a book. It kind of feels like cheating like you're listening to a radio play. Bloody hell cat It's not my water bottle is being such a it was sealed. Yeah All right. Sorry. sorry So yes, there you go. There you go. Whole histories Game of Thrones

Adam (57:08.722)

Ste (57:09.518)
Adam (57:20.018)
Those are good ones.

Adam (57:25.394)

Ross of Hardy's Books (57:26.574)
I'm gonna say it, I'm almost ashamed to say this. Twilight. That's fine, that's fine, that's fine. That's an era for a... Yeah.

Adam (57:32.146)
Hey, yeah, I feel like there's so much.

I feel like there was so many people judging people on what they read. I just want people to read and be happy. Yeah.

Ste (57:42.862)

Ross of Hardy's Books (57:44.846)
I was open, come on in. So like 2000 and what 2008 was when the first Twilight film came out. And I was such I was so team Jacob, like so aggressively team Jacob. And I like, I read all the Twilight books. Yeah, I was a proper little Twilight fangirl. In my defense, I was like 16. So yeah.

Adam (58:06.31)
Hey, wait.

Adam (58:13.042)
You know, you can go to the town in Washington state where they filmed it and yeah, it's like up by Seattle.

Ross of Hardy's Books (58:17.166)
I would love to. It looks very cold. It does look cold. Cold and wet. It does. But then we're from... We're English! Yeah, so we should be fine watching this, eh?

Ste (58:28.974)
Yeah, I was about to say.

Adam (58:33.714)
Well, second question here.

Ross of Hardy's Books (58:35.566)
Would you re -read Twilight now? Absolutely not. No. Sorry, Bonnie. Yes. No. I think I would. I'm not going to lie. Occasionally I do watch clips of it on YouTube.

Adam (58:38.29)

Ste (58:41.134)


Ste (58:47.662)

Ross of Hardy's Books (58:49.39)
but I don't think I would reread it now. Adam, you were just about to ask a question there. What was the second? What's the next one?

Adam (58:56.53)
I was gonna ask that question that Bunny asked and then I was gonna move on. So you beat me to it. But yeah, and then kind of a next hot sea question. What's the book you find yourself recommending to people the most often?

Ross of Hardy's Books (58:58.958)

Ross of Hardy's Books (59:10.478)
I'll get it. Mine's this. God. Piranesi, Susanna Clark. I literally, I actually have no joke. I have a second copy here for if ever it comes up at home, like if folks around, I can be like, I can give it to them and be like, just read this. There you go. So I love it. This is why we built these shelves and that we can just be like, station 11.

Adam (59:16.562)

Ste (59:17.422)
I'm gonna go like that.

Ste (59:37.07)
There we go.

Ross of Hardy's Books (59:38.094)
Emily St. John Mandel, that's absolutely incredible. Some of the best speculative fiction slash sci -fi I've ever read in my entire life. However, it is about a plague, a pandemic. So if that's not your vibe post COVID, maybe skip it. Yeah, it's a bit close to home. In fact, it's even close. Like if you, not the sequel, but the next book she wrote, CEO Tranquility, it's amazing how.

Like she incorporated the pandemic into it as well. Also, this is my favorite book series of all time. Bang, please babes, come on. Behave. So the Realm of the Elderlings Assassin's Apprentice Farseer trilogy. That's a book that if you like fantasy and also like being sad. Yeah. I love to sad. Our dear friend Charlie. I love to sad. Yeah.

Ste (01:00:28.558)
There we go.

Adam (01:00:30.866)

Ross of Hardy's Books (01:00:34.094)
Yeah, this is an absolute masterpiece in character driven fantasy. It's quite slow paced, but it is just our dear friend Andrew Watson has just done a spoiler filled review of the second of this trilogy Royal Assassin. So you can if you have read the farseer trilogy, I would recommend you go and check out his videos.

He doesn't need a shout out. He's got like 10 ,000 followers. So I don't know why I'm shouting you out, Andrew, but here I am. He doesn't need it.

Adam (01:01:07.43)
And that book's on the, like MPR did this top 100 science fiction fantasy books of all time. And Assassin's Apprentice is on that list too.

Ross of Hardy's Books (01:01:16.81)
yeah, I'm not surprised. I don't need to shout out Assassin's Apprentice either, but here I am. I was, I hope my dad's not watching. If you are dad, I am sorry. Well, I was at one point tempted to get a Farseer tattoo. I didn't, but I haven't ruled it out. I've got a Susanna Clarke tattoo. I've got the Raven from Jonathan Strange in my arms. So I mean, you know, I'm in. I'm going to do one more.

Adam (01:01:23.314)
It's a good one.

Adam (01:01:44.754)
I love that.

Ross of Hardy's Books (01:01:45.582)
books that I keep recommending to people and just shouting at people to read. Hang on. There she goes. Sorry, I'm in the way. I'm holding the cat because he was being so hey, there you go.

And this one that we mentioned earlier. Yes, drove a combi to play itself. Read it, Adam. I can't believe you haven't read it. I will say again, it's quite dark. It's what they call grim dark fantasy. Grim dark, because it's grim and dark. But it's also really funny. It's just so good. I absolutely love it. Yeah. Love.

Adam (01:02:04.434)
Ste (01:02:06.798)

Adam (01:02:07.282)
Okay, I'll move that one higher in my list.

Adam (01:02:29.714)
Very cool.

Ross of Hardy's Books (01:02:31.95)
Were these questions supposed to be answered fast? Yeah, was this like quickfire round?

Ste (01:02:35.182)
Nah, that was fast enough.

Adam (01:02:37.362)
Yeah, yeah, yeah. And last question. So let's say you have a day off, there's no work, and you've decided you're gonna read. What would you describe as your ideal situation for reading? Describe the environment, where you are, what you have with you, how you're reading. What's that look like?

Ross of Hardy's Books (01:03:02.062)
So I can tell you I can tell you exactly what that would be because I did it a bit last year. Just picture yourself in the far extremes of Western Cornwall. If you don't know what the landscape of Cornwall is like, picture green rolling fields. The sea can be seen both north and south coast from a single point.

You got stone, like walls separating the fields, you know, moss, you got like birds flying, you know, flying low over them kind of undulating low clouds, but there's a little bit of blue just breaking through. Little bit of dew kind of just like beading in cobwebs in the, in the kind of trees and the bushes around you. And you're sitting inside a tin, well, a steel shepherd's hut closed off to the elements.

lying on a camping bed and you're just looking out and seeing the sea in front of you and you pick up a book and read it from cover to cover in a single day. That is my ideal reading day. I did that last year with the player of games. I in banks just like read that entire book and like one day in this beautiful shepherd's hut in in the far extremes of Cornwall and Cornwall is actually the setting of the setting is the fantasy version of Cornwall setting of my book.

And that's the place that's very close to my heart. So that's where I would be and what I'd be doing. Laura, what about you? I like reading in the bath. This is true. Read until the bath water goes cold. Run a new one. Run a new bath. So I've never had a proper garden in my life. My garden where I grew up was just paved. But...

Ste (01:04:46.83)

Ross of Hardy's Books (01:04:57.934)
In our new house, we have a proper garden with beautiful plants and I've got loads of bird feeders and what I've taken to doing recently is sitting on our little patio chairs with my kindle and sit and read for a little bit and then I look at gold finches on my little bird feeder, watch the birds for a bit, read a bit more, watch the birds for a bit, read a bit more. Sorry, I got FaceTime turned on. I needed that.

Adam (01:05:20.018)

Ste (01:05:25.774)
What was that?

Ross of Hardy's Books (01:05:28.43)
the reactions. There you go. I turn that off. wait a second. I can, I can do like a, let's do the, let's celebrate that. There we go. That's what we're talking about. Yeah. So professional. Yeah. We both basically we've hit our thirties really, really hard. Yeah. we like watching birds and sitting in shepherd's huts.

Adam (01:05:32.178)
Let's see.

Ste (01:05:33.646)
Yeah, I here we go. Yeah, that's more like it

Adam (01:05:42.834)
Both of those sound very cozy.

Ste (01:05:45.422)

Ste (01:05:53.902)
Wow, that sounds amazing.

Adam (01:05:56.85)

Well, yeah, thanks so much for being up for coming on the Hardcover Live. Yeah, after you posted the video, I was like, okay, we need to see if they're down for it. So we're very happy you were.

Ross of Hardy's Books (01:06:12.654)
100 % this has been an absolute joy. I really enjoyed chatting to you both. you know, and, and genuinely so thrilled that it's causing good problems for you. We had such success with the video. Like, it's, it's, it's, it's, it makes, yeah, it's, it's really, as I was saying at the start of the video, it's, it's really, really nice to be able to support, you know,

Ste (01:06:27.63)
yeah, thank you.

Ross of Hardy's Books (01:06:40.526)
a team that is doing something that you think is worthwhile and I'm going to going to, yeah. Can we just give some of our friends a little shout out? So our friend, Mare has a really lovely new channel. If you love really sweary book reviews, go and follow Lady Mare Reads on YouTube. Yeah. She is fantastic. And every time I watch one of her videos, I start, I start like laugh snorting within.

Adam (01:06:50.386)
Go for it.

Ste (01:06:50.542)
yeah, definitely. Go ahead. Yeah.

Adam (01:06:53.146)
Thank you.

Ross of Hardy's Books (01:07:10.318)
Five seconds because she's just hysterical sam harrison as well someone who kind of started a bit earlier than us But has kind of been at coming up with us at about the same time. Yeah, he has a ridiculous work rate Yeah, he's so consistent brilliant guy for every one video that we make he's making five He's like the most hard -working youtuber. I know so those folks need follows cams cambell reads cams cambell reads as well. who else? who else is in our content creators chat?

Adam (01:07:25.618)

Ross of Hardy's Books (01:07:40.334)
We can chat about your names Rebecca Nicole. Yeah. my God, Rebecca. Yeah, definitely. What's her handle? I'm trying to remember. Anyway, we can we can give you these links. You can you can show them somewhere. Yeah. Yeah.

Ste (01:07:53.262)
Yeah, I was about to say we can like share them with everyone, you know, have the links up there. It's great, you know, to spread the spread, spread the love around.

Adam (01:07:54.098)

Ross of Hardy's Books (01:08:02.126)
Yeah, I particularly want to shout out Mare though, because she's really, really new. And last time I checked, she only had like 50 subs, which is just criminal. So yeah, go and follow our lovely friend Mare, please.

Adam (01:08:02.514)

Adam (01:08:15.442)
and where can people find you all online?

Ross of Hardy's Books (01:08:18.925)
yeah. So, yeah. Yeah. So just find at Hardee's books everywhere. And I say everywhere, everywhere that we're on. So YouTube, Instagram, we do technically have a TikTok that I literally never update. We've we have abandoned it's kind of sort of sorry. And Hardee's books .co .uk. If you are interested in buying a book, that's the place to go. You can also check out our hardcover profiles. I think I am at Ross Hardy.

I'm at LJ Martin. Yeah. So we'll give you the links for that as well. And you can stick him up there. Yeah, yeah. Find us there and look out for hopefully eventually news on when I might release my book. And when it does come out, it's absolutely hysterical and brilliant and wonderful, much like its writer. Yeah. So look out for Coop de Ta. That's Coop de Ta but spelled Coop like a chicken coop.

Ste (01:09:04.558)

Ste (01:09:11.694)
There we go.

Ross of Hardy's Books (01:09:17.262)
Most because one of the characters is a chicken. Look out for that. Hopefully within the next couple of years.

Adam (01:09:26.578)
Awesome. Well, thank you all for coming on and yeah.

Ross of Hardy's Books (01:09:30.158)
You're so welcome. Thank you for having us. Yeah. Please don't phone my dad back now.

Adam (01:09:36.178)
Cool. Well, bye. Talk to you all later.

Ste (01:09:36.266)
Thanks everyone, thanks for watching, bye bye!

Ross of Hardy's Books (01:09:39.822)