Category Scores
Pieces 8/10
Fit 7/10
Confusion 5/10
Picture 6/10
Bibliophile Book Club Darlings box front
Bibliophile Book Club Darlings box front
Shape Square
Brand Galison

Bibliophile Book Club Darlings

by Galison

Bibliophile Book Club Darlings - work in progress
Bibliophile Book Club Darlings - work in progress

I spent most of the time working on this puzzle trying to work out if the books were real, or if they had just been invented to sound plausible. I mean, The Kite Runner was a film so I guess that came from a book? And the same for The Time Traveler's Wife but I've no idea about their authors and none of the others felt familiar.

Don't get me wrong, I adore books (although these days I tend to stick to the electronic form, because my library shelves are already overfilled) but the whole Book Club genre leaves me rather cold; the only shelves I'm likely to see these books on are at the local charity shop.

Still, this is about puzzling, not reading!

Pieces - 8/10

The individual pieces are of reasonable quality; thick and stiff, without being overly solid. I did notice that quite a few of them had the paper picture layer lifting - especially on the lugs.

Now this to be expected, especially on a second hand puzzle that has, presumably, been put together and taken apart a few times. But the number of them felt quite high, which makes me wonder about the quality of construction.

Fit - 7/10

The fit between the pieces just about hits the right level; they solidly connect, but without attaching so well that it's a challenge to disassemble.

However, it becomes clear why so many pieces have lifting top layers; there is definitely more of a tendancy for that layer to 'snag' on other pieces when taking it apart (or even in the box), so you have to be more careful than I'd expect to be to avoid further damage.

Confusion - 5/10

This is a tricky one to mark; initially I was feeling very positive about this aspect. Despite some terrible differentiation (more of which, later), the piece fit gave me confidence that I was making the right guesses on what went where.

That was before I had to disassemble half of one long side, and a third of the other, to re-order everything to make it work. So while most pieces are good, there's definitely a minority that will happily sit in lots of different places.

Indeed, there were some pieces that fit so perfectly, only a slight misalignment on one side gave me any clue I was going wrong.

Differentiation - 5/10

Another tale of two halves here. The books themselves are brilliant for this; a solid, distinctive colour with close enough matches to give you a challenge, and a wide variety of fonts and designs to help you make the right choice.

Precisely what you want from a puzzle, and you'd be forgiven for looking at the box cover and assuming that was all you got.

But no, once you get inside you find that the full picture has vast tracks of pure white. No texture, no ink at all, just complete blank pieces along half the length of both long sides, and 2 or 3 pieces in.

It was painful, and ended up being a lot of tedious trial and error to fill in the lingering blank areas. If I wanted to do a blank jigsaw, I'd have bought one.

Picture - 6/10

It's bright, it's colourful and has plenty of detail to look at. I'm not sure I'd put it on my wall, but it's perfectly pleasant to look at while it sits on the table taunting you with it's confusing blank spaces.

Bibliophile Book Club Darlings - the completed puzzle
Bibliophile Book Club Darlings - the completed puzzle