Article published on July 14, 2016.
We’re currently searching for new subscribers to newbooks by asking existing subscribers to nominate a friend to receive a free copy of the magazine and include their thoughts on why they like nb so much and think their friend will, too. Here’s what Haydon Spenceley had to say for his friend David Bevan.
(This isn’t the testimonial but you can use it as such if it reads better than what I write further down!) One of the main things I’ve liked about nb is the fact that it’s a very human operation. I can tell as the one who receives magazines and books that you and the contributors love the books you’re writing about. That means that if little mishaps occur, it’s much easier to be understanding and not make a fuss [Ed: we had a mis-delivery to Haydon and then managed to get it wrong a second time! Ouch!]. Added to which the quality of the product is so high that it’d be churlish to complain anyway!
I have wondered recently whether it’s just me, or whether quite a high proportion of the nb Recommends books are written by women? I’ve had my eyes opened to all kinds of great books by authors I’ve not often heard of, so it’s great. Just wondered if it is a deliberate choice on your part, or if it just happens, or if I’m just plain wrong? (my wife usually tells me it’s that one). [Ed, no, you’re right this time, Haydon, there are more female authors – not deliberately but since more than 95% of our readership is female we think it’s no bad thing.]
Right, so here we go then:
I’m relatively recently of nb myself, but I have found it a fascinating rabbit hole to fall into over the last year or so. The passion that the publisher and writers have for the books they’re writing about is obvious and, while opinions on art are primarily objective, the level of quality control is astonishingly high in terms of what gets featured. The nb Recommends offer on nudge is a wonderful thing and has led me to read all kinds of books I would never have thought to try (or have heard of), to the extent that I now take a recommendation from nb as a seal of approval.
The quality of the magazine itself puts many more widely-distributed periodicals to shame. It is accessible, but never dumbs down and [is] critical in the right sense, never losing the constructive element. The focus on reading group materials and support it gives actually makes me want to belong to a group myself.
All in all, it’s a fantastic independent publication and should be supported by anyone who claims to love books and reading.
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