Oh well, Thanksgiving is around the corner, isn’t it? So I declare it publically: I am so thankful for small press. They make you discover books and writers you’d never consider otherwise (see here my latest discovery of an Italian novel by Pushkin Press), and buying from them feel a lot less anonymous than when you just get another paperback next to the candies at a railway station. It’s all about relationships and about supporting a delicate art. This endangered species needs our money to survive!
This comes as the perfect justification for my next confession: I completely failed to resist the latest temptations by Persephone Books.
Here’s how the fall occurred:
First, I heard from Danielle that the kind folks over there in London were sending Persephone Biannually, a small catalogue with bits of news and short stories or book extracts. Yummy, said I, and I instantly sent a mail inquiring whether I could join this great mailing list even though I was overseas.
Second, I got a friendly e-mail of confirmation and a few weeks later, the said Biannually came sliding under my doormat. See? The plot thickens. The clock is ticking.
The crucial event took place on our sofa, during an episode of a series which I completely missed. I tried to multi-task and have a look at their catalogue while watching tv. Tsk, big mistake. The Biannually won. I even took a pen and began to circle some alluring titles.
But I was still resisting. My plan was to let the catalogue lay around, opened with these obvious checked titles, for Mr. Smithereens to see, in order to influence him for Christmas. But who was I fooling? The holidays seem so far away…
The tipping point occurred a few days later, when I discovered while checking my stats (yes, I confess as much) that the Persephone Forum was linking to my review of Virginia Graham’s WWII poetry, Consider the years. As a token of gratitude, shouldn’t I reciprocate in some ways?
That was it. The credit card was already out, my fate sealed.
I’m away for the rest of the week, but when I return, I have strong hopes that not only one, but two volumes of Persephone will be waiting for me. And I don’t feel the least guilty about it! It’s all for the good cause.