Being both a booklover and a binder I search for books that are good looking, well printed and affordable. Books that are great to have but at the same time lend themselves for a good binding. And I’ve realized that’s a hard combo. Penguin books for example (don’t shoot me Penguin fans!) are neat looking and affordable, but the paper quality, the absence of folios and pocket size are not ideal characteristics for a long lasting book, let alone a quality binding.
From time to time I discover commercially available editions that get my binder/reader seal of approval. Today I recommend you my most cherished finding;
I have been drooling over Folio Society’s editions for a long time, almost 3 years. In July I realized I had some money to spare and so I decided to order 6 books before everyday trivialities unavoidably claim those savings. I knew Folio books are wonderful. Upon their arrival my opinion was changed, wonderful was simply too small of a word for them…
My order included books I intend to bind and others I want to keep. They are superb editions in every aspect. The books are bound in -what else!- folios instead of the commercial “perfect binding”. The paper is heavy and of good quality. The illustrations accompanying most of their titles are marvelous and -most important- excellently printed. The typography is great. The cover concepts are inventive and artistic, frugal when they must and exuberant when they can. They are mostly bound in Buckram which is known for its resilience as a covering material, and each book comes in its own hard case.
For what’s more Folio society offers an amazing variety. From treasured classics, be it romantic novels or sci-fi, to less known but carefully picked works of older and newer authors. From historical writings to scientific ones. From Shakespeare to Confucius.
Sure, Folio’s books are somewhat expensive and yes, there are thousands of (even more) luxurious editions out there. But as far as value for money goes Folio’s books are the best I’ve seen so far. A treasure to have and ideal material for binding purposes.