We’re serious about series

A couple of weeks ago we received a pallet of hundreds of brand new copies of the latest title in the New Naturalist series, (Volume 116: Plant Pests), and in our latest Monthly Catalogue we are announcing new volumes in the popular Flora of China Illustrations and Flora of Tropical East Africa, amongst many others. All of these volumes made it straight into our top ten bestseller list.

This serious series activity prompted me to delve into our databases and find out some illuminating statistics concerning book series and volumes.

Fungi of SwitzerlandHow many monographic series are there in the NHBS catalogue?

In 26 years of cataloguing, we have accumulated information on well over 6000 series and multi-volume sets. They range across many subject areas, from botany to birding, from conservation to climate.

Some of the series have sub-series, i.e. a series within a series. I have never really understood why this happens – presumably due to a given volume turning out to be more voluminous than planned? Sub-series certainly add to cataloguer’s stress levels!

At least half of all series are no longer active, i.e. no further volumes are expected to be published. Others have only one or two volumes in our subject range.

In 2010, we added 62 new series to our catalogue, including the Witt Catalogue, the Flora of Nepal, Bats in Captivity, and the Synopses of Conservation Evidence.

How many series do we check for new volumes?

We have developed a system for making sure that we don’t miss any volumes in important monographic series. 300 of our series have standing orders, so we check these regularly as a priority to make sure our standing order customers don’t miss out on any new volumes. We also check series by publisher, by subject matter, and by popularity.

In 2010, including the 62 new series, 341 series have had new volumes added, at an average rate of 2.5 volumes per series.

In all, for every series that had one or more new volumes added to our catalogue in 2010, we checked one more that proved to have no new additions.

Why do we spend so much time cataloguing series?

We want to continue to have the most comprehensive range of Natural History titles on the planet, and we are always on the look-out for new publications, regardless of whether they are part of a series or not.

But, just as importantly, if you, as our customer, have a standing order for a series with NHBS, we have a responsibility to keep the series updated. If we manage to find out about a new volume before publication, we save everybody a lot of time! And, as many new volumes are published with pre-publication special offers, it saves money, too.

Find out more about setting up a standing order with NHBS


NHBS will be opening shop at the annual ICES Annual Science Conference for the first time next week. We are looking forward to meeting the marine science community and are bringing a few hundred books to browse and buy. Do drop by if you are there, we’ll be at Stand 5 at the La Cite Events Center in Nantes, 20 – 24 September.

“ICES was established in 1902 as an intergovernmental organization[…]ICES grew from a small body of likeminded researchers to an organization involving about 1600 scientists, with 20 Member Countries as well as several Observer Countries and non-governmental organizations. ICES fulfils its functions through an Annual Science Conference, about a dozen committees, close to one hundred working and study groups, several annual symposia, and a wide range of publications” From the ICES Strategic Plan – A Vision Worth Sharing(pdf)

Click on any of the images below to see a selection of recent and forthcoming books on marine science:

Coastal Phytoplankton jacket imageMarine Mammal Ecology and Conservation jacket imageWorld Atlas of Mangroves jacket imageAtlantic Salmon Ecology jacket imageDiscoveries of the Census of Marine Life: Making Ocean Life Count jacket image

NHBS at Birdfair 2010

We’ll be out and about next weekend selling books and wildlife equipment in the heart of rural England at the British Birdfair at Rutland Water. If you’re going we look forward to seeing you on the NHBS stand in Marquee 2.

As usual we will be hosting some authors at the NHBS stand – here’s a list of who will be signing copies of their books with us this year:

Friday 20th
11am Dominic Couzens Atlas of Rare Birds

Saturday 21st
11am Nils Van Duivendijk Advanced Bird ID Guide: The Western Palearctic
3pm Alan Davies and Ruth Miller The Biggest Twitch: Around the World in 4,000 Birds

Sunday 22nd
2pm Adrian Thomas RSPB Gardening for Wildlife: A Complete Guide to Nature-friendly Gardening

Atals of Rare Birds jacket imageAdvanced Bird ID Guide: The Western Palearctic jacket imageThe Biggest Twitch: Around the World in 4,000 Birds jacket imageRSPB Gardening for Wildlife jacket image

NHBS Website Temporarily Offline on 6th Jan 2009

All NHBS Environment Bookstore webpages were offline on the 6th of January 2009 for almost 10 hours due to a technical failure with our Internet Service Provider. We are very sorry for any inconvenience caused – if you placed an order on the 6th before our site went offline it should have been processed as usual but please do check with Customer Services if you are concerned.

We are very sorry if you were unable to place an order or lost search results while our site was down. We will be finding a solution with our Internet Service Provider to avoid this happening again in the future. Please don’t hesitate to get in contact if you feel you have been badly affected by this problem.

Again, we’re sorry for this interruption to the service you receive from NHBS.