Persephone Books first appeared on my bookish radar years ago when I started watching Booktube. I remember watching London-based booktubers visit this gorgeous shop, jealous that they had so many local independent bookshops to choose from. Back in high school I never imagined I would someday spend a year studying abroad in England, much less that I would be going on bookshop crawls with my friends in London. It never occurred to me that I would ever peruse those shelves of gray covers or admire those beautiful endpapers in person.
Until I actually did.
Visiting Persephone Books was such a surreal experience. I can honestly say it’s one of the loveliest bookshops I’ve ever been in. Not only is it absolutely gorgeous, but the people there were just so sweet.
I think Persephone Books describe what they do best themselves:
Persephone Books reprints neglected fiction and non-fiction by mid-twentieth century (mostly) women writers. All of our 132 books are intelligent, thought-provoking and beautifully written and are chosen to appeal to busy people wanting titles that are neither too literary nor too commercial. We publish novels, short stories, diaries, memoirs and cookery books; each has an elegant grey jacket, a ‘fabric’ endpaper with matching bookmark, and a preface by writers such as Jilly Cooper, David Kynaston and Elaine Showalter.
We definitely need more bookshops dedicated selling the kinds of texts that Persephone Books carries. This small, carefully curated collection emphasizes the importance of listening to voices that have not been heard in quite some time.
This bookshop sits on a cute little street lined with brick buildings and strewn with adorable pink and green flags. I love the simplicity of this shop’s design, its colorful clutter that is somehow still organized. The first thing you notice when you walk in is that all the books have the same gray cover design. Unless you happen to know the author or title of a text already, all you really have to go by while shopping is the short blurb provided on the cards shown in the photograph below. There’s something refreshing about walking into a bookshop without any idea of what you’re going to buy or what you might find. Since I started book blogging, it’s rare that I walk into a bookshop and know nothing about any of the books on the shelves. I had so much fun reading all of these little cards and stumbling upon texts and writers that I had never heard of before.
All in all, my trip to Persephone Books was everything I had hoped for and more. I still can’t believe I actually went there in person–you have no idea how excited I was to go! Also, whoever chose the decor for this bookshop deserves some sort of award. Look how adorable everything is! That calendar is the most aesthetically pleasing calendar ever!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little trip down memory lane! Have you ever been to Persephone Books? Do you have any of their books? What’s your favorite bookshop in London? Let me know in the comments section below!