Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Persephone Reading Week Challenge


As previously mentioned by both myself and Verity of The B Files, we are planning to indulge in a Persephone Books reading week commencing August 24th. After an enthusiastic response we decided to formalise our intent into a Persephone Reading Challenge. We would love for you to join us for a week of reading, blogging, and celebrating the wonderful, grey books. The challenge rules are relaxed and informal: on the week we have chosen enjoy Persephone Books, one Persephone or ten, I don't think it matters as long as you enjoy yourself and the independent publishing house who publish forgotten or neglected books (mainly by women). If you are only able to manage to read one of their books that week then that's great and if you don't have any Persephone books, or perhaps have never heard of them, then come read our blogs that week and discover some truly lovely books or, better yet, indulge in a copy now so you fully experience the challenge. We will be making a number of Persephone-orientated posts, not just reviews, and will host prize draws for books and related items to add to your Persephone collection or to start it off!

We have been in contact with Nicola Beauman, founder of Persephone, who is "touched and flattered" by our show of support and has kindly offered to provide us with some (slightly damaged) Persephone books for prizes. Please participate and help us raise the profile of an exquisite, distinctive, and extraordinary imprint.

Are you looking forward to Persephone Reading Week? Do you have any plans for it or are you going to select from your Persephones at random? Is there anything particular you would like us to feature on our blogs that week or do you have an idea for your own post that will coincide?

Feel free to use the banner I created using one of my own books for any posts in relation to this challenge (no Persephones were harmed in the making).


62 comments:

verity said...

I love your banner, and will put it on my post too, which I've just linked to yours :)

farmlanebooks said...

Great idea! I'm in!

Paperback Reader said...

Glad to hear it, Jackie!

Darlene said...

This is a challenge to get excited about! I am going to have to spend some time sitting in front of my not-nearly-large-enough collection of Persephone titles and plan carefully. The best part will be reading everyone's reviews of the titles they chose, therefore, inspiring my next order. Love the banner!

Paperback Reader said...

Darlene, the planning is such an exciting part of it, isn't it? I keep changing my mind about what to read! I am equally looking forward to reading everyone's reviews and impression and, yes, making that next Persephone order...

I am delighted with the banner :).

Elaine said...

As a Perephone lover may I put a recommendation in here?? My all time favourite is The Homemaker by Dorothy Canfield Fisher which I have read and reread a dozen times and simply love.

Paperback Reader said...

Thank you, Elaine! I'm looking forward to purchasing a copy of The Homemaker at some point.

JoAnn said...

What a great idea! I've only got one unread Persephone, but even if I don't read it that week I'll still be following along.

Paperback Reader said...

We'd love to have you, JoAnn, reading or following or both.

kimbofo said...

A-ha, so now I know why you thought I might be interested in this post! It's a great idea for a "challenge". I've read three Persephones, which I can recommend -- see here:

http://kimbofo.typepad.com/readingmatters/publisher-persephone/

I've got five others in the pile, so perhaps it's time for me to dig one or two out.

claire said...

Okay I'm in. Just ordered my very first Persephone! I'll read just one for now. Maybe another for the next event you'll be hosting in the future? :D

Gill said...

After enjoying Miss Pettigrew and Miss Ranskill, this is the perfect spur to read Miss Buncle's Book and finish the "set"!

Paperback Reader said...

Hi Kim, I enjoyed reading your reviews; I've only read one of those three. I hope you do dig one or two out next month.

Claire, yay! which Persephone did you order? I'm sure there will be other Persephone events in the future and that you and a lot of fun will be had. I hope you enjoy your first one.

Hi Gill, thanks for commenting! Miss Buncle is one I really want to read so I look forward to hearing your thoughts. I am glad we helped to spur you on.

StuckInABook said...

I'm definitely in, if I remember! I'm sure you'll be reminding people. I did have a Persephone Week in March, devoted to their 10th anniversary - but you can never have too much of a good thing, can you? I'll use the week to read (or try to read) five of the shorter ones which I haven't read yet.

Paperback Reader said...

Simon, I'll definitely be reminding people so that they don't miss out of the fun. There is never too much of a good thing and glad you're joining us. Most of the ones I will be reading will be their shorter ones, I think (I haven't fully decided!)

claire said...

Claire, I ordered Miss Pettigrew. For next time I want to get Little Boy Lost and The Wise Virgins. Have you read them?

verity said...

Claire, I'm planning to read Little boy lost at the end of Aug.

Paperback Reader said...

Claire, I love Misss Pettigrew! It was my first Perephone.

I haven't read the other two yet but, like Verity, I may read Little Boy Lost during Persephone week.

Anonymous said...

What an excellent idea! I have a couple of shelves of Persephone Books, including a few unread ones, and will share them all around my book group. I read 'Miss Buncle's Book' last week, and loved it - I passed it straight on to a friend who is thoroughly enjoying it too!

Paperback Reader said...

Anonymous, Miss Buncle's Book is the Persephone I most want to read!

Nymeth said...

Though I didn't have the time to comment then, I saw this post the other day. After arguing with myself in my head all day ("No!" "But..." "I said no!" "One more can't hurt"), I caved and ordered Saplings and The Victorian Chaise-Lounge. So I'm in. The things you make me do :P

Paperback Reader said...

Ana, I am so glad! I really hope you enjoy The Victorian Chaise, it's a weird little read. I will be reading Saplings too. I also meant to add in my email that I am immensely sorry that my wish-list was such a bad influence!

Rachel said...

I'm definitely in. At the moment I have three 'real' Persephones sitting unread on my shelves - and countless other Persephone titles that I have in other editions that are also yet to be opened. I have been meaning to read my copy of Dorothy Whipple's 'The Closed Door and other stories' for ages so I think I will aim to read that during the week. I'm looking forward to it already! Fantastic idea!

Paperback Reader said...

Rachel, thanks for commenting and joining the challenge! I am really excited, very much looking forward to it, and agree that The Closed Door and Other Stories would be a perfect choice!

Samantha said...

Looks like you and Verity are well and truly underway with the Persephone Reading Week plans - glad to see that the bookshop is supporting it!

Miss Buncle's Book here I come!

Paperback Reader said...

Samantha, I am envious - Miss Buncle's Book is top of my Persephone wish-list!

Swati said...

I'm a little late off the mark but I'd like to join. I have just been given a gift voucher for Persephone, but it is so hard to choose just two books to buy.

Paperback Reader said...

We'd love to have you, Swati!
I agree that it is so difficult to choose which Persephone books to buy; I usually go on whim and add to the basket whatever appeals to me then & there, without giving it too much thought. Did you know that there is an offer on the third book? Instead of 3 books for £30, it's 3 for £27.

Nan said...

I'm in! I own two I haven't read yet - Cheerful Weather for the Wedding and The Fortnight in September. I'll do a little blog entry about this probably tomorrow.

Paperback Reader said...

Hi Nan, thanks for commenting! Glad to hear you are joining us.
I read Cheerful Weather for the Wedding earlier this year and liked it although it is quite short and had a different tone, I thought, to other Persephones.
I look forward to your post.

Bloomsbury Bell said...

This is such a fantastic idea! I am very excited about burying myself in a myriad of Persephone's. I am looking forward to seeing everyone's reviews and recommendations - there are still so many for me to read!
I have written a post about your week on my blog with a link to yours.
Thank you for giving me the perfect excuse to go and spend more money in the Lambs Conduit st shop.

Nan said...

I just put up my little post about it:
http://lettersfromahillfarm.blogspot.com/2009/07/persephone-reading-week-challenge.html

Paperback Reader said...

Hi Bloomsbury Bell and thanks for your comment. I am so glad you are participating in the challenge and I hope you thoroughly enjoy it. Thank you for the link and I don't think any of us needs an excuse to visit the Persephone shop! Happy reading.

Nan, thank you for your post! I look forward to reading about A Fortnight in September and your views on Cheerful Weather for the Wedding.

Danielle said...

Thanks for the heads up--what a wonderful idea!! Of course I shall be joining in. Now I must decide which one (or two) I will read. I've bookmarked this and am looking forward to it. :)

Paperback Reader said...

Hi Danielle, thanks for commenting. Glad to hear you are joining us! None of us needs an excuse to read Persephones but the added incentive and guilt-free indulgence of an entire week will be lovely.

verity said...

We have so many people involved now - I'm so excited!

Paperback Reader said...

As am I, Verity; it'll be quite the party. Only four weeks to go! I think I may cave when I visit the shop and buy Miss Buncle's Book :s.

Christy said...

I'd love to be in on the book read will add a link from my Book Blog, Lil Bit Brit Lit.

I've read several Persephone books already and have a couple on my pile of books. Now which one to choose?

Christy

Paperback Reader said...

Hi Christy, thanks for commenting and being interested in Persephone Reading Week. It should be a lot of fun but the difficult part is definitely narrowing down which books to read!

Book Psmith said...

I placed an order for two Persephones...so, crossing my fingers nothing hinders their delivery, I would love to participate.

Paperback Reader said...

We would love to have you, Book PSmith! Fingers crossed your books arrive in time. What did you order?

Book Psmith said...

They are going in the post today:) Because of an ordering mix up on my part, I am now receiving four titles: Greenery Street; Miss Buncle's Book; Few Eggs and No Oranges; and, On the Other Side: Letters to my Children from Germany.

Paperback Reader said...

What a fortunate mix up, BookPsmith!
I really want to read Miss Buncle's Book soon.
I am sure all the titles will arrive in time (19 days!) and your only dilemma will be which title to read first!

Book Psmith said...

I am definitely in. I received three of the four books today and expect the fourth soon. Can't wait.

Paperback Reader said...

Book Psmith, I'm so glad that they arrived in time! I want to make a little pile of the ones I am planning to read and just admire them for the next ten days!

leaningtowardthesun said...

This is a fabulous idea, can't wait to get started and see what everyone decides to read. I've linked from my blog here

http://leaningtowardthesun.wordpress.com/2009/08/16/persephone-rea…week-challenge/

Paperback Reader said...

leaningtowardsthesun, I'm so glad that you're joining us! Not long to go now.

Something's Dishy said...

I'm in!!!

I've read 13 Persephones so far (some of them in other editions) and have just acquired 5 new ones this month which I haven't touched.

So far, all the Persephones I've read we're winners. My favourites so far are Mariana and They Were Sisters.

verity said...

Thanks for joining us Something Dishy. I love the fact that their books are winners, even the most obscure sounding ones! I read Hetty Dorval yesterday which didn't sound hugely exciting, but which I very much enjoyed.

Paperback Reader said...

Glad to hear it, Something's Dishy! I love that each of their books offers something special and yet all have a Persephone "feel" to them.
The 5 unread ones will be perfect for next week!
I loved They Were Sisters and greatly looking forward to reading Mariana.

Something's Dishy said...

I don't think I can read 5 in a week though. I'll choose one soon.

Paperback Reader said...

Whatever you can manage! I'm going to try for five books but I'm not sure I'll manage them all.

Jennifer Dee said...

I love your banner too.As a Perephone lover of many years I would love to give this challenge a try.

Paperback Reader said...

Thanks, Jennifer. Welcome to the challenge! It's great to have you join us.

JoAnn said...

Great news! A book I've had on hold forever finally came today - a beautiful Persephone edition of Dorothy Whipple's Someone at a Distance! We're leaving on vacation tomorrow, but it's coming with me.

Paperback Reader said...

Fabulous, JoAnn! You are in for a treat; Someone at a Distance is raw, emotive, and poignant. I am glad that you will be taking part in PRW, even as someone at a distance! We knew you'd be here in spirit ;).

Mardi said...

Am I too late to join in? I love Persephone Books , have a shelf full and would love to comment

Paperback Reader said...

Hi Mardi, not too late at all! Welcome to the challenge; it formally begins tomorrow and runs all week. Comment wherever you can and join in on the reading if you have time. It should be a lot of fun and happy to find another Persephone lover!

Mardi said...

Will try to join in as much as possible although very busy week ahead.

Paperback Reader said...

Whatever you can manage, Mardi, but no pressure.

Tracey said...

Wonderful idea - I'd love to join.
I'm going to try and read one book, The Wise Virgins by Leonard Woolf.

Thanks to you both for hosting 0:)

Paperback Reader said...

Hi Tracey, it's great to have you join us. I'm looking forward to hearing more about The Wise Virgins.