An aeon ago, MintFirsts launched its first website. That was in 2004, still the Dark Ages in internet chronological terms. We knew almost nothing about the world wide web back then, the tools at our disposal were meagre, yet somehow we managed to produce an original design that was book-centric, uncluttered and user friendly.
Fast forward to 2017, when discussions started on how to take MintFirsts forward. To my non-geek eyes, the old website still looked the part. But for Konstantine, my business partner and resident technical wiz, it was simply passé. MintFirsts had been dormant for years, and what better way than a new website to signal a dynamic return to centre stage. He ached for it to look fresh and be on the bleeding edge of internet technology.
Our early enthusiasm evolved into slight madness, which consolidated into perfectionism, which in turn inevitably led to snail-paced progress. The more we pushed the boundaries, the more determined we became to carry on doing so, out of a 'masochistic' strain of greed. Ultimately and thankfully, however, we lived long enough to see the new website go online.
As part of the radical upgrade, some 5000 book entries have been thoroughly revised or completely re-written. MintFirsts now utilizes a sophisticated book cataloguing system, allowing me to produce better descriptions and overall presentations. The way book images are displayed has also been adapted to our minimalist design language, offering rich visual information at a glance.
In the coming months, we will be spending most of our time uploading photographs, so that more and more books can show up online. We expect the bulk of our stock to be available on our website by the end of 2023. Looking ahead, we intend to concentrate closely on modernism, our core specialism, while harking back to the novel's nineteenth-century heyday.