The Piccadilly branch of the UK bookseller Waterstones spoofed E. L. James and Fifty Shades of Grey, creating an eye-catching display of titles from Persephone Books–the sleek covers all decorated with the same “One Shade of Grey.”
We’ve embedded a photograph of the display above, it reads: “Oh the bliss of Persephone Books! Beautiful editions of titles by neglected female writers.” Persephone Books is a UK publisher that releases both fiction and nonfiction. You can explore their catalog at this link.
Here’s more from the publisher: “Waterstones in Piccadilly has become our new favourite shop ever – totally without telling us they have done this fantastic display – very many thanks to cathyreadsbooks for taking the photograph. For weeks we have resisted making comments about really good grey books as opposed to really not good – ‘One Shade of Grey’ is a far wittier way of doing it.”
[AS: My wife is a keen reader and collector of vintage Virago and Persephone titles, and whilst they may look stunning from the front, they're just horrendous to look at side-on.
Aside from the wide variance in pantone in the dust jackets themselves (nothing to do with tanning, all purchased new), the alignment of the text on the spines is... just hideous.
Like a row of crooked teeth staring back at your.
Persephone's lamentable lack of quality control is an insult to their readership, particularly bearing in mind the premium price tag they carry.]