About the Size of It is a serious, but seriously funny book about measuring things.


Readers will find out why an old Wellington boot is as important an instrument of spacial awareness as was ever invented; why the size of a space shuttle’s fuel tanks has more to do with the proportions of a horse’s rump than rocket science; and why how tired your ox gets, how much water it takes to drown you, and how much you can hold in one hand while doing something else are all essential principles that explain how man has balanced and judged his world since the dawn of time.


In part a case for the continued use of traditional British measures, this book also celebrates the richness and commonality of systems from around the world, and how they were formed by the one guiding principle of measurement no one ever mentions: that most of us have better things to think about.



Read the first 15 pages in online

ebook format here



About the Size of It

Fun and fascinating – the secrets and tricks of how we measure the world around us. It answered a lot of questions for someone born in the seventies, I can tell you.                                   

Conn Iggulden


A full and convincing account of why our well-tried and trusted traditional measures make human sense.

Alexander McCall Smith


Absolutely masterly. Lucid and wise and touching and absolutely right.      Jilly Cooper


Warwick Cairns' superb work makes a seemingly complex subject simple to understand. His direct, engaging conversational prose is a delight to read.                                          Andrew Roberts

I think this is a very important book. To say it is timely is an understatement!                         Sandy Gall

“Deliciously ironic”

New Scientist


What a lot of sensible fun.

The Daily Sport

See the press advert from The SpectatorSpectator_Ad.html

A decent-sized chunk of About the Size of It comes free with every Sony Reader

See a BBC video and read an article here