If the content of a book is the only thing of importance to you this publisher have little to offer. Almost all it publishes is readily available elsewhere and for less cost. It is also a rather conservative publisher, focused primarily on well-known classics and somewhat more modern books with a strong following, so not a great place to start if you want to expand your reading. However, outside of the exclusive private presses, few publishers care more about books as physical objects than Folio Society do. With interesting designs, great illustrations, sewn binding, quality papers and carefully selected fonts, their books are a treat to handle and read. I probably rate any book I read in a Folio edition slightly higher than I otherwise would, just because they are so pleasant to handle.
I first found Folio Society a few years ago when I was looking for a good replacement of a favourite book of mine, Fermat’s Last Theorem, which was falling apart. Since then I have gotten myself a bit of a collection, mostly of titles I expect to read again and again. With book illustration otherwise mostly kept for children’s books and many publishers cutting corners on binding and paper quality, I do appreciate that there are some who take quality seriously. I must admit that I have almost stopped buying normal hardcover books as they are still rather expensive but without the quality to match. If I really want a nice edition of a book I will rather pay for one that will last. (Fortunately for my book budget I still happily buy normal softcover books and tattered second hand volumes, as for them the lack of physical quality is properly reflected in the price).
Pros: Beautiful design, usually illustrated (thus supporting interesting book illustrators), high quality. A pleasure to read.
Cons: Usually (much) more expensive and space demanding (thicker paper, larger fonts, slipcases…) than alternative editions. Can be addictive and highly damaging to book budgets.
Recent reviews of books published by Folio Society
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