I was beside myself with excitement to discover Bloomsbury Reader, a new initiative of Bloomsbury Publishing to resurrect some fantastic authors in print on demand & e-book editions. Simon at Stuck in a Book posted about this last week & I couldn’t wait to whiz through their list here. I’d read some months ago about Bloomsbury reprinting Monica Dickens who has enjoyed a little mini revival with Persephone reprinting Mariana & The Winds of Heaven in recent years. Then, when I saw the list & realised that I could download my choices onto my e-reader instantly, I was even more excited.
There are a few downsides to the Bloomsbury Reader website. There’s no rhyme or reason to the listing. It’s not alphabetical or any other order I can make out. There’s no way to limit your search just to e-books so the same titles pop up twice in both formats but not together. There’s no subject listing, not even fiction & non-fiction. You can search by author but you need to know who’s there to do a usable search. There are no blurbs – well, there were no blurbs on any of the titles I looked at. With 57 pages to go through, it’s a bit frustrating.
However, all is not lost. I pasted the ISBN into the search engine at The Book Depository & there are blurbs for most of the titles I was interested in. AND, the e-books are around 40% cheaper than the RRP so that makes them around $6.60AU. Much more reasonable than the print on demand physical books which I think are expensive at around $18 & I’d have to wait for them to arrive in the post. I can buy the Virago edition of Rose Macaulay’s Told by an Idiot for $18 so why would I choose a POD edition instead?
So, I’ve had a little splurge & bought 9 titles. Personal Pleasures & Letters to a Friend by Rose Macaulay, Faster! Faster! & Late & Soon by E M Delafield, The Queens & the Hive by Edith Sitwell, Company Parade & The Road from the Monument by Storm Jameson, Kate & Emma by Monica Dickens & A Lighthearted Quest by Ann Bridge (because I read Fleur Fisher’s review here & it sounds wonderful & if I enjoy it, the whole series is available from Bloomsbury Reader. So, quibbles about the website aside, I’m thrilled with this new venture & hope it’s a success & that Bloomsbury keep adding authors to the list (in some sort of order & with blurbs please).
I’ll leave you with a question. Margaret Irwin is one of the authors on the list & I loved her historical novels which I read many years ago. Does anyone know anything about another of her books called Still She Wished For Company? It looks contemporary rather than historical from the only cover I can find on the internet but I can’t find anything on the plot. I’m also tempted by Phyllis Bentley’s novels. I always remember her from Vera Brittain’s diaries of the 30s. They had a tentative friendship wrecked by Vera’s superiority & Phyllis’s lack of self-esteem & touchiness. She was famous for her historical, regional saga, Inheritance, & there are more of her novels on the list. But, I have enough to be going on with at the moment. At least the tbr shelves on my e-reader are invisible.