The inspirational book club and information service, Cygnus books, began life in a garden shed in Surrey 18 years ago with Ann and Geoff Napier at the helm. Within two years, the enterprising couple were drawn to the peace and tranquillity of Mid Wales where they continued to run their spiritual mail order business. Martyn Lowther joined them as a student and has been with them ever since. He has noticed a huge increased interest, and sales, in books on environmental issues, gardening and self sufficiency.
“I joined Cygnus as a student in my summer holidays,” he explains. “I was going to do a degree in accountancy and was glad of some extra money. I wasn’t at all familiar with the mind, body and soul stuff, and like most other people thought it was all quite ‘hippy-ish.’ But I soon realised that it was the quality of life that I wanted; to live and work in the beautiful countryside, not the rat race of a city and 16 years later I’m still here,” he laughs.
“People’s awareness of their environment and responsibility toward it has grown hugely over the last ten years. There has been a massive growth in sales of books covering green issues. One of our best sellers is the Transition Handbook and of course Llandeilo (where Cygnus has recently relocated) is an example of a Transition Town. People want to shop locally and have fresh home grown produce wherever possible.”
“Gardening books have also become more and more popular as people are growing their own and have more awareness in outdoor space and nature. It’s also a great way to entertain the kids. My partner Becky and I foster children and we spend a huge amount of time outdoors with them simply enjoying the garden. I have been shocked by the way some of the kids almost suffer withdrawal symptoms when they are away from computers, TV’s, play stations and mobile phones. We encourage them to get involved with the garden and create their own entertainment whether it’s building dens, playing cowboys and Indians or helping us plant things. They amuse themselves with water and balls and real basic props. A stick becomes a sword – it’s great.”
“I remember an author who spoke at the Cygnus Club, reminding us how Sundays used to be spent at home with family and friends, relaxing. It’s a ‘seventh’ of the week – that’s enough to recharge the batteries after 6 busy days. People constantly want to be entertained these days and it’s exhausting and expensive. We need to remember that Mother Nature provides the best entertainment there is and it’s all free.”
Discover the many green titles available from Cygnus for yourself at www.cygnus-books.com . You can also support the inspirational work they do by becoming a Cygnus supporter Tel: 01558 825500.