LETTER FROM THE EDITOR – ON BEING BOOKISH
Let’s be honest here (this is a safe space). Being bookish isn’t always considered the coolest thing in the world. Being super well read – on subjects as diverse as Chaucer’s depiction of chivalry or Proust’s fascination with the elusive madeleine of his youth – doesn’t always play so well as witty party banter. But being bookish isn’t bad. In fact, we’re here to argue that it should be celebrated.
First things first. Being a nerdy lady with a passion for literature means you’re in excellent company. Just think of bookish gals from days long past. Like Virginia Woolf (will someone give her a damn room of her own already?). Or Jane Austen (lesser known for her brilliant fireside book readings). Perhaps an imaginary bookish lady is more your thing? Totally fine. In fact, there’s a whole gaggle to chose from: Lisa Simpson. Daria. Matilda. Scout Finch. The list goes on and on. If you need any more proof (we can’t imagine why), contemporary Ladies of Letters are also championing the bookish vibe (you’ll find a particularly sweet collection of them over at Girls at Library).
All this is to say, ladies, go ahead. Put on your kookiest reading glasses. You look fabulous. Anyone who says otherwise isn’t worth the ink on your quill. We figure that the best way to change the tides in favour of bookishness is to lead by example. That’s why for this Bookish edition of The Culture Edit, we’re bringing you the very best of literary style and substance.
We suggest you start your journey with some coffee and books. We’re serving up a novel to accompany each of your favourite coffee orders, hot off the presses. Once you’ve had your morning coffee kick, you might want to head to work with a beautiful selection of poetry for your commute. A bit of poetic meditation on public transport might be just the ticket. Speaking of tickets, pack your bags, because after work you’re off to Mexico! Travel blogger Yasmine Awwad is taking you to Mexico City, giving you an insider’s tour of its best libraries and bookshops.
You might just feel inspired to write your own travel diary along the way! Writer Kelly L McKenzie is here to help, sharing her own travel adventures in Chiang Mai, Thailand. She hit the road with her own mother, and then set to work years later writing about their escapades for a brand new book. But as everyone knows, traveling with family can sometimes be a tough pill to swallow. That’s why we have an article about our favourite new book, The Novel Cure. In it you’ll find literary suggestions to remedy just about any ailment. Just read it. You’ll thank us.
But reading isn’t all fun and games, it’s also a serious business. That’s why we’re diving into the business of books, with articles about our favourite London Presses. We’ve got one on the Hoxton Mini Press (because little books are a whole lot of fun) and another on Persephone Books, which reprints neglected, out-of-print books by mid-twentieth century (mostly) female writers. How cool is that? Bookish charm has also made its way into the fashion world, with Bex & Julz reimagining some of our favourite novels as fashion videos that are a magical world unto themselves.
But before you go, we suggest you take a peek at the collection that our imaginary curator – none other than a Bookworm – put together to celebrate Bookish charm. She’s curated everything from quirky book stamps to T-shirts we’re pretty sure the Brontë sisters would fight over. We’ve also got a real life bookworm to lend us her expertise, recommending her favourite reads from her own feminist bookshelf. Think of it as essential girl power reading. And let’s face it, as the legendary Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie teaches us, we should all be feminists. Hear, hear!
Until next time, chic geeks.