Persephone Books that is. I discovered via Simon that Persephone Books published their first three titles ten years ago this month. I thought I would join Simon, Cornflower, Elaine and Darlene (have I missed anyone?) in expressing my appreciation for such a fine press, which reprints really exemplary titles. If you've ever had an opportunity to handle the books you'll know they are truly mouthwatering--sturdy covers, dove grey in color with only their logo and the book's title, inside endpapers are gorgeous reprints of textiles that match the theme of the book, heavy paper for the inside pages and they all come with a bookmark of the same design as the endpapers. The books are a pleasure to read both literally and figuratively--they fit so nicely in the hand. Persephones are so gorgeously designed, very dignified and tasteful and eventually I would love to own them all (last count--81 titles). And the top two books on the right pile are the new Persephone Classics, this time with classy illustrated jackets but otherwise the same distinctive Persephone style.
I first came across a link to the Persephone Books website at Bookgirl's Nightstand. I was intrigued but didn't really know anything about this publisher, so I put off giving them a try until later. I'm not entirely sure what prompted me to finally order one (or three--as I usually opt for the special deal), but once I did was well and truly hooked. I don't have as many Persephones as other readers, but I'm slowly acquiring their backlist. The pile on the left are those books that I've already read, and the books on the right are the ones I'm looking forward to reading. If you're curious which titles I own, click here. I'll be adding to the stacks in April when Persephone releases three new titles (including Nicola Beauman's biography of Elizabeth Taylor). At the moment I'm reading Denis Mackail's Greenery Street, which is an utterly charming novel. As for my favorite? That's a little hard to say as I tend to fall for each new book I read, but Richmal Crompton's Family Roundabout seems to have stood out from the rest in my mind. Be sure and check out Simon's week of festivities.