Persephone Books

On the whole, particularly now I read mostly ebooks, I don’t notice the publisher of the books I read, but there is one that stands out for me, both from the quality of their catalogue and the aesthetic of their paperbacks – Persephone Books.

Persephone specialise in rediscovering novels and non-fiction from twentieth century (mostly) women writers, that are either written about women or for women. The striking simplicity of the covers that adorn their books make them stand out from the crowd; a simple dove grey cover with a cream label containing the tile and author, opens up to display beautiful end papers which are prints of fabrics or wallpapers which were contemporary at the time the book was originally published.

In addition to these editions, 10 of their bestselling books are published in their Classics section, and have been given covers showing a work of art, again with early twentieth century pieces, and the fabric print end papers.

Their catalogue so far is made up of 96 books of which I’ve read five so far. I’ve bought most of my copies from independent bookshops, but Persephone have their own bookshop in London, and also provide a mail order service through their website. They have recently started making some of their books available in ebook format, although even I, who dotes on my Kindle, won’t be buying these, as these paperbacks are pieces to treasure and I want to own the whole catalogue eventually. Having had a break from reading them for a while, coming back to their books reminded me of how beautiful their editions are, both the simplicity of the covers and the clear typeface and layout, and I thought I’d post something about them.

I know I haven’t read that many of the books yet, but I have yet to find one I haven’t enjoyed, and I’m planning on a starting a challenge to read the entire collection in the future.

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