Thursday, 9 April 2009
I have a new Persephone book! And I was lucky enough to be given Miss Buncle's Book by Nicola Beauman as we had a brief chat last night after she gave a talk at Suffolk Book League.
Several months ago I found out that Nicola Beauman, founder of Persephone books was to be a guest speaker. I have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of April 8th ever since. And when it finally arrived I was lucky enough to be suffering a migraine and vertigo. For a split second I considered staying at home. But I went. And i'm jolly glad I did.
Her talk was very interesting. She discussed what made her want to start Persephone, her love for women writers, the shops and the books and how their unique style came about. She was charming, spoke so wonderfully, was funny and frank. She answered questions from the audience ranging from how she chooses the books they publish to the financing of the publishing house and cost of the books compared to your usual paperback you buy on the high street.
The books are often found through recommendations from customers or friends, Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day was the favourite book of a customers' mother. Part of the charm of the shops is how cosy they seem and how it appears to be a small business with a personal touch. Nicola proved last night that that is exactly how it is. There is only a small workforce (they currently have a work experience girl with them named Persephone!) and the mail orders are sent out from the shops with a punctual postman at 3:30 everyday.
Nicola herself is also charming and friendly. I spoke to her briefly about how I discovered Persephone and she asked what I do. I talked about how I planned to read Miss Buncle's Book next but hadn't finished Marianna or Miss Pettigrew so must finish them first. She was kind enough to give me the copy of Miss Buncle that she had brought with her. Asked me to let her know what I think of the book and asked my name. A lovely evening. Even with a splitting head!!