People, it is a fait accompli.
I have joined The Folio Society.
What is The Folio Society? Call it the book club to end all book clubs. The bibliothèque for bibliophiles. Or, a scam to suck cash from book lovers.
Scam or not, I wanted to be part of it. And now I am.
Here’s how The Folio Society describe themselves. This is marketing copy, admittedly:
Folio offers a complete experience for the book-lover … [We believe that] our pleasure in reading is enhanced by the book itself, in which typography, illustration, paper, printing and binding all play a part in creating a harmonious whole.
In a world of declining publishing standards, where most books are cheaply printed and bound using low-grade materials, The Folio Society resolutely sets store by traditional values of excellence; for our designers and production personnel the term “quite good” means “no good”: only the best is good enough.
In other words, they pick unique titles, print them on gorgeous paper, and bind them in beautiful, one-of-a-kind cloth covers.
For a price.
But the titles … oh, the titles.
For a lover of the eclectic, of fantasy, mystery, crime, and spy novels, they’re a paradise.
For example: The Collected Short Stories of Agatha Christie. The Realm of the Unreal, a collection of gothic tales by Ambrose Bierce. The Spy’s Bedside Book, fiction and nonfiction compiled by Graham Greene and brother Hugh Greene. The Ripley series, by Patricia Highsmith. Rebecca, the wrenching classic by Daphne du Maurier. Brat Farrar and the Franchise Affair, two of Josephine Tey’s painfully few eight mysteries. The Mask of Dimitrios by Eric Ambler — not my favorite, but arguably his best.
And it goes on and on and on.
I get short of breath reading the titles. I want them all, right now.
But I can’t do that. Instead, I’ll do what suckers have done for decades. Sign on the dotted line. Join the book club. Buy my books lovingly, but quarterly.
And look forward to every delicious, delightful new edition.