Greetings from Hoxton Square, where we’ve been busy stacking the shelves with the forthcoming issue and books, moving the piles of Cubs from one corner to another, and generally readying ourselves for the turn of the new quarter on 1 June. And then, after the usual happy flurry of communication with readers and orders that follow the release, we’ll finally be in that magical time of the foxing year known as ‘in the summer, when it’s quiet’. A time when we each like to leave our desks as much as possible: to the London Library, to literary festivals and bookshops, to antique fairs in search of props for photographs for the catalogue, and to meet up with like-minded folk to discuss events, collaborations, and other pleasing matters. While out and about in the literary world, we’re frequently asked by business-like people what our job titles are, to which the answer is always: we don’t really have them! We each do much of one thing, some of another, a dash of this and a spot of that and, come November, we all become Hattie’s willing (but inexpert) packing and gift-wrapping assistants until the year is out. This month we’re delighted to welcome a new part-time fox to the office, Jess, who does have an official title of ‘Dispatch Assistant’ and, as such, will be helping Hattie to wrap things beautifully, write gift-messages, wrestle with postbags and the like.
There’s a similar set-up at Smith Settle, for Tracey not only manages the business side of things, she also sits down each quarter to hand-write the limited-edition number inside each new Slightly Foxed Edition, while the rest of the printing team downs tools for several days to stick on address labels and pack the new issue into our new smart brown envelopes, ready to be sent out to readers all around the world. Four times a year – and sometimes more – Paul turns delivery driver to bring stock of the new issue and books, and this time he even stopped off at the 900-year-old Delapré Abbey in Northampton to drop off some Slightly Foxed goody bags for their upcoming Festival of Books on his way back up to Yorkshire. What service!
Once we’ve recovered from our quarterly tramp across the square and then up and down the stairs of No. 53 bearing armfuls of binders parcels, we have the joy of oohing at the forthcoming issue and ahhing at the new book. For those of you who’d like a sneak preview, you’ll find the forthcoming issue on our website here. And for those of you who’d prefer to wait until the real thing drops on to your doormat, fear not, for we’ll be in touch again towards the end of the month with a round-up of the summer quarter’s offerings, and expected delivery dates.
Meantime, inspired by our contributor Sarah Perry and our fellow booklovers Lucy Mangan and Damian Barr (see further down the page to enter the draw for tickets to a special Literary Salon event at The Savoy featuring Sarah and Lucy next month) and by Lucy’s recent memoir Bookworm, we’re revisiting some favourite childhood reading with Daisy Hay, in her piece from Slightly Foxed Issue 32. Happy reading.
With best wishes, as ever
Jennie, Anna, Olivia, Hattie and Jess
The SF Office Staff