"The View From Your Window": Not Just For The Holidays!

by Chris Bodenner

Reviews of the book are still trickling in. A reader writes:

I've been a regular reader since sometime in 2002 or 2003. I've written a few times, but nothing that made the blog. I've always really enjoyed the "View From My Window" feature Window-coverand ordered a couple copies of the book for holiday gifts - one for my wife and one for my  mother in law. After receiving my order of the books (but before opening them, since they're gifts), I decided to submit a picture from my window, which I did a couple of days ago. So tonight, I gave my wife the book as a Chanukah present. In the process of explaining what the book was and how it came about, I mentioned that I'd submitted a picture but didn't expect to ever see it on the blog, given how many submissions you folks get. We both looked through the book and loved it.

And then, while I was leafing through it, she's looking at her iphone and exclaims, "Look, West Chester, Pennsylvania - that's us, that's you!". And sure enough, at the very moment we were having this discussion, just a few minutes after opening her gift, she looks at the blog for probably the first time and our picture is at the top of the page.  A small magical moment enabled by the Daily Dish!  Thank you for that.

Thanks to you! Another writes:

I've been having a more interesting experience with the VFYW book than I expected.  Normally when I see the views on the website, I use it as a moment to breathe deeply and feel some contentment.  I suppose, in theory, seeing all the views at once could lead me to hyperventillation or pure zen, but mostly I've been entertained by the choices.

Chris B. did a bang up job of editing the window views.  I check each set of facing views for what they have in common - whether it's framing, an element of the view like electrical wires or a lake, or the first letter of the country name.  Some are more opposites, but even with the constraint of time of day order, I've found a little something to tie together almost every set of pictures I've pondered.  Just an amazing job.  Thanks!

I bought several copies - one for myself and the most important for my grandmother.  Grandma is in a long term care facility and spends a lot of her day looking out a window on a Amesiowa110pm2 cornfield in the midwest, not unlike the Ames, IA view.  I figured a few more windows to look out of at her own pace might be something she'd appreciate.  I really hope so; she has all her faculties, she just doesn't spend much time thinking about new things during each day so is out of practice with quick processing.  Maybe she will be able to enjoy it just a few pages a day when the view out her window isn't as entertaining.

But it also occurred to me that it would be a great children's book as well - and the older the children the more they could do with it.  Younger kids could find things they know and things they don't know, name colors, etc. Older kids could mapquest or google search the locations and plot them on a larger map, or read a wikipedia or chamber of commerce blurb about the town.  Not that you're having problems selling the book, but if someone needs more motivation, there are my ideas for how to sell it.

Again, thanks to Andrew for the feature, the readers for sending in views, and youse guys in the background for doing the dirty work to make it all pretty for us viewers.

Another writes:

I received my first three copies of The View From Your Window.  They have been wrapped as gifts.  The book is perfect for that "hard to buy for" person.  Alas!  I realized I did not have a copy of my own.  I immediately ordered three more copies.  One is mine and the others are future gifts. The books are superb.  The whole ordering process was brilliant.  The price was a delight.  The delivery was quick.  "Bravo" to Blurb for a job done exceedingly well.

Despite the higher price (which we still do not make any profit on), we are selling about a dozen a day. Preview the entire book here. Buy it here. Unfortunately it's too late to arrive for Christmas, but, in my opinion, gifts are best when they are received unexpectedly!

In regards to the reader who mentioned photo placement, I just want to say how enjoyable and challenging a process that was.  Although the photos were largely predetermined within the dawn-to-dusk chronology, there were several ways to inject our own creative influence. First of all, we started with a large pool of preselected photos - about 350 - and parred them down to 200 based on how certain photos juxtaposed with others.  And because there were multiple photos taken at specific times of the day - chiefly 12 pm - we could manipulate the order of photos with the same time stamp. The whole process was a fascinating interplay between creative control and pure luck (such as the lining up of the bleak Baghdad shot and the patriotic suburban shot from San Gabriel, taken just minutes apart). Even the subtle cropping of photos - a necessary way to standardize size and shape - allowed for a great deal of connection and flow between the adjacent images.

Update: Blurb just informed me that they have extended their Next Day Air deadline (for Continental U.S. addresses only) to this Sunday. So, if you place an order by Sunday, 12:00pm PST, you can still receive your order by December 24th.