Thursday, May 6, 2010
Discovering Persephone Books
I've read a lot of posts this week about how readers discovered Persephone Books so I thought I'd share my own experience. I think this was back in 2005 or 2006 when we were living in Hong Kong and I wasn't aware book blogs or Library Thing existed. My next book read would always come from browsing through Amazon. I loved the feature of List Manias or "So you'd like to..." and that's how I came across Persephone books. Somehow readers who enjoyed many of my favourite novels would also list Persephone books on their book lists. I was intrigued by the beautiful grey covers and the fact that they were rediscovered novels from the first half of the twentieth century, an era I've always been interested in.
Persephone Books are not available in Hong Kong nor in any other part of Asia (correct me if I'm wrong) so I decided to order one from Amazon. I was hard pressed to choose which one as they all sounded interesting. I finally settled on Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, probably the obvious choice for a first-timer. I confess though that it languished on my shelves till late 2008 which is when I finally read it. Though it isn't one of my favourite Persephones, I enjoyed it enough to make a new order for three more books: Mariana, The Shuttle and The Far Cry. All of them were wonderful...in fact, much, much more than Miss Pettigrew, and since then I just haven't stopped. I sometimes feel like I'm the only Persephone reader in Asia and I wonder if Nicola has plans to distribute them here. I've enjoyed introducing Persephones to friends, some of whom have searched in vain for them in major bookstores in major Asian cities. It would certainly be wonderful to go to my favourite local bookshop one day and see a Persephone there.
How did you discover Persephone Books and which ones are your favourites so far?