Some years my husband and I have given each other Christmas gifts that we've put a lot of time and thought into. But after almost 30 years of being married we don't feel unloved if there's no gift from our partner under the tree. That's because it's likely that we've already found the perfect personal treat. Just before the holidays Mark got himself a new lightweight, portable tripod while I splurged on six books from Persephone Press in the U.K.
I found a copy of The Persephone Biannually for Autumn/Winter 2016-17 in the magazine swap cart at my local library. I took it home and devoured it. In the center of the booklet was a list of the entire 120 titles Persephone has published along with brief descriptions. That's the kind of information that I find much easier to peruse in person than on-line. I spent a good two weeks debating what sounded good enough to plunk down the price of the book plus shipping from Europe.
I decided since it was Christmas and the political news was awful I might as well splurge and spend January with my nose buried in books. I sent for 6 books: a mystery, a memoir, two WWII era titles and two from the years of the Great War. If you are not familiar with Persephone Books, the company was founded in 1999 by feminist historian and biographer Nicola Beauman. They publish books, mainly by women, that are reprints of "neglected" novels, diaries, short stories, cookbooks and poetry from the early to mid-20th century.
They are paperback books with a substantial gray cover and a number on the back which indicates where it falls in the list of titles published by Persephone. Some books are available with more colorful covers decorated with artwork. But I love the simplicity and style of the gray versions. The endpapers are decorated with textile designs from the era the original book was published. A bookmark with that design is also included.
If you click on Persephone Books in my blog's categories list, it will take you to all my posts on this publisher.