Wednesday, March 02, 2011

New Edition of the Letterboxer's Companion!

It only took eight years, but the second edition of The Letterboxer's Companion is finally out! =) I was going to write a book review of it--I got my grubby little hands on it several weeks ago, and I've never officially written a "book review" before. But now that the book is officially out, I find myself mired with other more important things to work on. *grumble grumble* Stupid bugs.... Seems like I've been hit with a number of difficult-to-fix issues recently, and I'm still working through the problems. (Fortunately, for the most part, the problems aren't that obvious, so most of you surfing Atlas Quest probably don't even know about them! But they're there, and they do need to get fixed.)

But I will say, I like this edition better than the first one. It's smaller, lighter, and a little more portable. Cheaper too--it's paperback! =) (There's even a Kindle version this time!) I read the book, from cover to cover, and it's certainly been updated with a lot of information about Atlas Quest that wasn't there before--mostly because Atlas Quest didn't exist when the first edition came out. There's a bit more detail about how to work the LbNA website as well.

Amanda had a copy of the first edition hidden away and I flipped through them both looking for anything that was different, and they were actually more alike than I remembered. Reading the second edition, it seemed like it had a lot more information about carving stamps than I remembered, but as it turned out--not really. Just my imagination playing tricks on me. *shrug*

There are a couple of places where new material was added. In the chapter of Advanced Techniques, Mapsurfer (a.k.a. Randy Hall) added a bit about book codes, which had me hunting through the book to solve an example one provided where the book code used his own book--a teasing message, but I'll let you solve that yourself. ;o) Then he describes "Other Codes and Ciphers," explaining what cryptograms are and an example of the Freemason's cipher (or "pig-pen cipher"). He describes what these codes are, but he doesn't actually explain how one would go about solving them--instead suggesting to the reader to research the ciphers on the Internet. Well, I suppose one could make a case for "teaching a man to fish" rather than "giving a man a fish," but still, it seems lazy to show these codes then not explain how to solve them. There are still plenty of other codes and ciphers to research on the Internet. Revealing the secrets of some of the most commonly used ones or a short section of letter frequencies would have been convenient.

There's a whole chapter on "Internet Resources" that been expanded greatly. The original book had a section called "Internet Resources," but I guess there wasn't enough material then to actually call it a chapter in its own right. It's now been upgraded to a full chapter in the second edition. Considering how much of our hobby is Internet based, it's a well-deserved upgrade.

Anyhow, the book was officially released March 1st. I looked on's website and they say that only 7 are left in stock (but more are on the way). Looks like it's already become a best seller! =)

For any serious letterboxer, you probably won't learn anything new from this book. But I still like it. It's small, compact, and light. And if you know someone who might be interested in letterboxing, this book could be the perfect gift. And who knows.... if a lot of people start using this edition as a code book for their clues, you might need the book just to find some letterboxes! ;o)


Ryan said...

Argh! I practically wrote a book review! I didn't mean to do that! I don't have time for that! I just wanted to announce that the book was out for anyone who was interested! I'm such a dork....

-- Ryan

ASL Girl said...

Even though you didn't intend to write a book review, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it! I just put in a request for this book at Barnes & Noble last night and can't wait to get my very own copy of it!

ASL Girl

Okie Dog said...

Looks like a speed reader thumbed through a book, "Best Price" 9.08, or you can buy a new one. ha, just came out yesterday!

Matt said...

My book is in transit in Hazelwood, MO! I'm excited though I don't think there will be a lot of new info for me -- I am still interested in reading it.

Anonymous said...

I don't care if you did write a review or not, it was just good to see your blog since the "daily" issues have now concluded and like many others, having withdrawal symptons.... now does this mean I'm addicted to blogs besides being addicted to letterboxing?!!!!!


Teresa said...

Ask your local library to stock. Ours is really good about acquiring books people have requested.

Unknown said...

Thanks some of us would never have heard of it except for your "book review"

Jess Haberman said...

Great review! I love your ideas and hope we can implement some of them on the next edition. I hope it spurs others to buy it--the first edition barely sold enough to warrant a new edition. But I have high hopes for this one. Also, the Boy Scouts have bought it and are selling it in their online store, so that should help!

Jess (editor of Letterboxer's Companion, 2nd edition)