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My confession : I really like Folio books

posted on 31 Jul 2015

My confession :  I really like Folio books

That shouldn't be such a remarkable thing to say, should it? Just take a look at them. Great production values, fabulous titles whether you're into classic fiction, history, science, politics, natural history and original illustration commissioned from some of todays leading illustrators. What's not to like or admire? Well, for me, not much.

However, it's undoubtedly the case that quite a lot of book collectors and bibliophiles are pretty sniffy about them. Somehow they are tarnished with a kind of purist elitism - they aren't the real thing. Worse than that is the unspoken suspicion that they are aimed at and appeal to middle-brow suburbanites who don't really like books but want to decorate their rooms. It's almost as if a pair of slippers and a cardigan come free with every Folio edition.

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A number of really stunning editions produced by Folio - the very limited editions - do seem to be desirable and retain their value but if you want to buy the bog-basic editions they can be picked up for well under a £10 note - cheaper than the most recent paperback reprints of the same titles. Quite often they are lumped together with the dreaded book club editions - mass distributed copies of popular fiction and non-fiction which have been produced with little attention to quality - or they are associated with Reader's Digest condensed books or runs of classics bound in glorious Skivertex and sold in instalments through the Sunday colour supplements.

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I'd like to see the Folio editions reclaimed for what they are - books reissued and illustrated by a company genuinely committed to the books they produce. Take a look at them without prejudice and I'm sure you'll find something you really like. When you do grab it, love it and don't be ashamed to say that you love your Folio edition.

Terry Potter 2015