Sunday, December 6, 2009

Slightly Foxed

I may previously have mentioned (several times) how much I love ‘Slightly Foxed’, but as my latest issue has just arrived I feel the time is ripe to mention it again. I put off subscribing to “The real readers quarterly” for a couple of years which is now a genuine regret as it’s bought such satisfaction through the letter box for the past two years. Tight finances were making me wonder how I would find next year’s subscription but happily the same post bought a generous birthday donation from my father which has now been ear marked for this very purpose (he may have mentioned something about intending the funds to go towards a new hoover, but I have priorities).

So dad, if you read this let me count the ways in which ‘Slightly Foxed’ deserves more support than the vacuum cleaner industry does. First impressions count and the name is a piece of genius and wit that promises to entertain me indefinitely, but just in case that’s not enough I would also like to mention it’s a delight to handle and fits neatly into my (admittedly oversized, but handy) pocket, and the cover illustration would be worth the subscription alone. This quarter features a Quentin Blake drawing which is making me smile even now as I look at it.

Still not convinced the money wouldn’t be better spent on eradicating dust bunnies from under the sofa? Well I’m not saying that it’s a job that doesn’t need doing but I expect I could manage the it with a broom and some sort of improvised face mask, and there is absolutely nothing under the sofa to inspire me whereas ‘Slightly Foxed’ is packed full of things I want to follow up. I’m feeling just a little bit smug about it this time as I’m already familiar with three of the authors mentioned and one of the contributors (I am a real reader, I think this makes it official); normally it’s all new to me. I’ve also found a couple of things to add to my wish list – James Lees-Milne’s entire output is beginning to sound like a necessity, and I’m definitely coveting the ‘Slightly Foxed’ printing of ‘Another Self’.

I’m going to the library to try and get hold of something by Eric Ambler after a very intriguing review, and will be dropping broad pre Christmas hints regarding Michael Burn’s autobiography ‘Turned Towards The Sun’. I could go on. Oh and okay, I will go on as far as to mention that there is now a book shop that I hope to make a pilgrimage to sometime in the New Year.

It occurs to me as I sit writing this in the manner of a slightly besotted school girl that one of the things which makes ‘Slightly Foxed’ so wonderful in my eyes is its relative uniqueness. I know of no other publication that combines this sort of quality of production and content (though it’s more than likely that there are dozens I haven’t heard of). These days I get the majority of my reading inspiration from other bloggers and from a really excellent online book group (Dove Grey Books) but I still don’t have an internet connection at home so my online time tends to be brief and hurried.

A quarterly journal is a great thing to have turn up; I can take my time over it and properly consider things I would often otherwise ignore simply because I’m pressed for time. It’s also reassuring to know that enough people share the same interest in reading over a broad spectrum of slightly obscure and often out of print books to make ‘Slightly Foxed’ a going concern. Even paperbacks, when new, are outside my budget at the moment (And why do I work exactly?) so the more tempting a review of a new release the more frustrating I find it, old books however are going to be either affordable or laughably out of range. Either option is preferable to just out of reach. The end result is that I’m more determined than ever to keep on blogging and looking for other readers with similar tastes, and similar circumstances – finding likeminded people will give me far more satisfaction than even a dust free floor would. So hopefully dad will forgive the slight misappropriation of funds and be pleased to know how much appreciated his present will be...


  1. I've been hearing about Slightly Foxed for a few years now, and the more I hear, the more I'm convinced that there's a huge market out there for the kind of creative content and book love to which it caters. Anyway, dust bunnies always come back. Far more relaxing to curl up with a good quarterly chock-full of interesting book lore.

  2. I burnt my toast reading this.

    The dust bunnies and I have become friends. It would be rude to hoover them.

  3. I've been a subscriber since the first issue. I remember seeing the introductory ad for this in The London Review of Books in early 2004 (or was it late 2003?) and deciding right away that this new publication was for me. Even the paper smells fantastic!
    Barry, NYC

  4. I just sent for a trial issue - I'm beyond excited to get it! I've been reading your blog for awhile now. I like it a lot. :)

  5. The dust bunnies are rather friendly, as well as sociable, so it probably would be rude to hoover them.

    Barry, I wish I'd had your forsight, your right everything about it is a joy.

    Tuulenhaiven, thank you, and I'm sure you'll enjoy Slightly Foxed...