In September of 2013 I met our Rick Steves’ tour guide daughter-in-law Sarah Murdoch (check out her blog at adventureswithsarah.net) and our grandson Lucca in London. Sarah had taken Lucca with her for a couple weeks before her Italy tours started, and we met up in London so that I could take him home for school. (Somebody has to do it.) I had found a great flat in Earl’s Court, interestingly in the same street where I stayed in 1984! On my first day there, after quite an adventure to get the key out of a hiding place in a stone wall behind a big ivy plant many blocks away, I was looking through the usual accumulation of brochures and so on that get left in rented flats. One caught my eye right away – a leaflet for something called Slightly Foxed. On the front was a quote from Alexander McCall Smith, the famous writer of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series. He wrote, “Slightly Foxed is the only magazine I receive that I read cover to cover the moment it arrives.” Well, I thought. That’s pretty high praise. It turned out that there was a bookstore by that name, and belonging to that organization, just at the end of the street on the Gloucester Road. So I checked it out. And I ended up being a subscriber.
This is a truly wonderful little reader that comes to your mailbox once a quarter. Their authors write about old books, about books they loved (or hated) when they were younger, or about books that we may have forgotten about or never knew about. And reading it cover to cover each time is a pleasure and a joy. I admit to setting it down from time to time, but I always get back to it and enter again into a world of reading about which I had no idea.
The title Slightly Foxed gives a hint to the content. The phrase in England means just a little used and frayed. Perfect for old books. They do write about newer ones as well. It is a brilliantly well-chosen collection every quarter, all about books and reading. They had to give up the shop due to lease matters, but they merrily go along with Slightly Foxed and a terrific online store. They also republish out-of-print things that really should be in print again. You can read more about them at https://foxedquarterly.com/products/the-slightly-foxed-online-shop/ The magazine is available digitally as well. And the cover art each time is delightful.