Friday, May 13, 2011

Bookhunting in London - Part 2, Persephone Books

As I debated whether or not to spend one of my days in London shopping, I remembered that Chris at Book Hunter's Holiday had highly recommended Persephone Books. I decided that if it were close, I would stop in, and if it weren't, I wouldn't. Come to find out (as we say in the South), it was only a few blocks from my hotel.

I found the shop on a pedestrian-friendly street with several caf├ęs right next to each other.

Persephone Books is not only an independent bookshop, but also a small press. They reprint "neglected classics" by women writers, some as paperbacks, and some in their unique format — sturdy, smooth gray paper with a matching dustjacket and cloth-design endpapers. For each book, they use the cloth design on a matching bookmark, with a description of the story.

I bought Midsummer Night in the Workhouse, a collection of short stories that looked just right for the flight home. The endpapers are based on a sofa the author used to own.

So far my favorite is the title story, about a group of writers staying in a mansion on a sponsored writing retreat.

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