Bio of a Webmaster

Or: Who to Blame

Hi. If you're looking for someone to blame for the content, design and/or ghastly colour scheme(s) of this website, that's me, Phil Groom. Sleepless nights are one of the main culprits, giving me plenty of time to play on the trusty old Mac and teach myself HTML. Most of the site was handcoded, though some of the donkeywork was initially done with Netscape Composer.

Personally, I think it's pretty cool around here, but I would say that, wouldn't I? As you explore the site, you'll see that I've gone for variety rather than ubiquity in page layout: I think it makes the place much more interesting. But you may disagree: why not sign the Visitors' Book and let me know?

And I've tried to avoid over-cluttering the pages. Seems to me that some sites have their pages so overloaded that it's difficult to make sense of them... and there's not exactly a shortage of web space out here, is there?

A Bit of History

By trade I'm a boatman turned bookseller. Hobbies are boating, reading and... you've guessed it: writing for the web. If you'd like your own web page put together at a bargain price, check out my Portfolio and make me an offer. Something like a £25.00 Amazon Gift Certifcate is guaranteed to get my interest.

If the boating side of my life interests you, visit the Dry Dock Gallery, otherwise read on for a brief intro to bookselling. For the latest news & job opportunities, visit the Bookseller. Picture the scene: you're standing behind the counter in your bookshop. Customers are milling around the place like lost sheep, but every few seconds one of them picks up the latest John Grisham novel and brings it to the desk...

Yes, you've just been introduced to airport bookselling. It really is like that: every other sale is a Grisham. Scarey: what does he lace them with?

I started bookselling in the late 1990's as 'Saturday Boy' at Books Etc, T4, Heathrow (the size of a shoebox, it's the biggest little bookshop in the world!), then worked my way up to Airport Units Manager, looking after branches at both T2 and T4 (with a Coffee Bar thrown in to keep me on my toes, though in the end it proved to be the straw that broke the camel's back... ask me about it if you're curious).

Into the Present

But there's only so much you can take of working in airports: in September '99 I moved on to spend a year as Manager of The Book Shop, Ruislip (part of The Book Shop Home Counties group, now ceased trading due to the owner's retirement), in Middlesex before moving on again in October 2000 to my present post, managing the Bookshop at London School of Theology (now there's an example of web design the way it should be — check it out today).

If you're looking for any theological reading material email the details to me - ; I'll do my best to track it down for you. And, of course, any time you're passing through Northwood, please call in — introduce yourself as a refugee from cyberspace and I'll give you a free bookmark (always assuming I have any left — they always go fast).

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