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A red warning triangle with the words "Boring adult info" on this site's home page sets just the tone its eight to 11-year-old target audience will appreciate.

It isn't really too boring - the stuff about how children's librarians in Birmingham, Bristol, and Leeds have built the site as part of a project to explore the possibilities of a "virtual" library is, in fact, quite interesting.

But I'm itching to get back to the stories - lots of them, all from established authors.

There are illustrations, audio clips, mini-interviews, and, crucially, a prominent link to "activities" with every item. Finish off a story by Ad le Geras, or write one of your own, criticise, react. Even in its infancy, this is an irresistible site - long may it outlive the literacy hour.


Internet shopping is fast becoming a top leisure pursuit, with everything from yo-yos to Greenwich Village loft apartments changing hands over the Net. Bibliofind is at the corduroy jacket and elbow patches end of the virtual high street.

This is the world's biggest and probably busiest online second-hand bookshop.

It has thousands of participating bookshops - most in North America. You can search their stock-lists in seconds. From mint first edition rarities to dog-eared bonkbusters, you'll find them here, often at surprisingly good prices. But for the true bookhound it will never replace the endless round of musty bookshops and their eccentric owners.

Bill Hicks -

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