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Thursday 3 March 2011

Persephone Books, London

As today is World Book Day, I actually want to spend the day curling up with a good book (currently the very excellent The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood). Or just spend some time browsing a really really good bookshop. The kind of shop that makes you want to snap up everything and rush back home to sit in your comfy chair.

That bookshop is Persephone Books. They're based in Lambs Conduit Street in London (opposite the very wonderful Something) which is one of my favourite streets. You won't find the latest Atwood here though. Instead of publishing Booker Prize winners and promoting 3-for-2 offers, they reprint neglected and forgotten classics, usually written by women. You'll find the most unique literature in here, but each text is 'designed to be neither too literary nor too commercial'.

It's not just the text that's worth the attention. The books themselves are beautiful. Bound in plain grey jackets, the detail is on the inside. The endjackets in each book are all different, depending on the date and style of the book. Often inspired by vintage fabrics, they're the kind of books you'll leave on your coffee table just so everyone can marvel at your stylishness.

How all of this amazingness can add up to a book price of £10 I'll never know, but I think I'll go and choose me a new book. Now go away, I'm reading.


  1. I heart Persphone Books. Did you know they do a subscription service where you can get a book a month delivered? My other half bought it for me for Xmas a couple of years ago, and a new Persphone book every month for a year was just wonderful.

  2. I had no idea! Oh that would be such a nice present. I ordered a new book the minute this post went live, seemed only right. Next week I'll be reading 'The Mystery of Mrs Blencarrow'.

  3. Not read that one, must give it a go. Would also suggest anything by Dorothy Whipple, 'The Shuttle' and of course, 'Miss Pettigrew lives for a day'. They are such gorgeous items. I have a whole shelf of lovely grey spines and am continually trying to get people to read them so they stay afloat.

  4. I nearly bought Miss Pettigrew lives for a day! But the description they used said that she was 'very very sweet' so I thought she's annoy me...

  5. Ah Miss Pettigrew is such a lovely book, you must read it! I've also got a Dorothy Whipple on order so glad that comes recommended. This post reminds me that I should pay a visit to Lambs Conduit Street very soon...

  6. My mum actually collects these - she has every one they've published, in order on a special bookshelf just for them. They were lovely to her when my brother was in Great Ormond St (round the corner), and she is now a total addict.

    Which rocks, because that's my inheritance ;)

    My mother also has a lovely reading blog:



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