Thanks to Heywood Hill, the Mayfair bookshop owned by the Duke of Devonshire, you can travel across China, tour First World War battlefields and experience the life of a spy, all without leaving home. The bookshop’s new ‘Reading Journeys’, described by chairman Nicky Dunne as ‘an original way of becoming well-read on some fascinating subjects’, are four 10-volume collections put together by experts.

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Subscribers will receive a book per month plus bookplates, event invitations and other surprises. Jung Chang, author of Wild Swans, has curated ‘Understanding Modern China’, and COUNTRY LIFE’s Editor-at-Large Clive Aslet ‘The American Saviours of British Heritage’.

Bond aficionados willenjoy William Boyd’s ‘A Century of Espionage Fiction’ and Max Hastings’s ‘Discovering the First World War’ will be timely. ‘Anyone who reads the books should end up with a broad picture of what the war was,’ hopes Sir Max. Prices start at £225 (020-7629 0647; www.heywoodhill.com).

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