Wednesday, 14 December 2011

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Ten shopping days to Christmas and you can't be bothered to leave the comfort of your home ever again? Lower back pain from lugging heavy shopping bags? Panic rising as you remember you've forgotten to get your dad anything? I know that feeling. Instead of stuffing cash in an envelope, why not go for classy gifts that don't require you getting rained on?

A book subscription! Translated fiction sent to your loved ones' door at regular intervals - reminding them all through the year of what a wonderful person you are and what sophisticated taste you have. At least three fantastic options are open to you:

An And Other Stories subscription offers four books a year for 35 pounds in Europe or 45 in the rest of the world (including one crazy Swiss title, Zbinden's Progress by Christoph Simon, trans. Donal McLaughlin). Top choice.

A Peirene Press subscription offers six books a year for 45 pounds or three for 24. This one includes another Swiss title, Richard Weihe's illustrated novella Sea of Ink, trans. Jamie Bulloch, which I don't know at all yet.

Or if you're stuck in the States go for an Open Letter Books subscription, which is terribly confusing but I think buys you twelve books for 100 dollars or six for 60. I believe that would include Benjamin Stein's excellent The Canvas, trans. Brian Zumhagen.

As well as making an excellent present for any sentient being - or indeed yourself - a subscription helps support small publishers who are championing translated fiction. And you know you want to do that.


Gina Choe said...

God, I want all of them. Also: NYRB, Sylph Editions, the Cahier Series, Persephone Books, etc.
I'm in the US so Open Letter & NYRB are my only wallet-friendly options.

X.Trapnel said...

Is there any chance any of these ventures will start offering ebooks anytime soon? I know that the various DRM systems (e.g. Adobe's) are expensive for publishers, but they don't actually prevent copying and annoy customers besides--and if the publisher doesn't insist on using DRM, producing an ebook file from a typical typesetting file is trivial and basically costless. I'm about to buy a AOS sub for my sister in Austria regardless, but I'd certainly be more inclined to get out for myself if I could read the books on various screens...

kjd said...

Hi X.,

I know that Peirene does e-books now and I kind of have it in the back of my mind that Open Letter do too.

Yay to the AOS sub for your sister!