Thursday 24 September 2015

Beautiful Beautiful Books: Folio Society

Lately I've been watching a lot of videos on Booktube (I feel like it always needs capitals, I'm not sure why...) with vloggers talking about the beautiful books that they love, and it got me thinking that I've never really talked about the love that I have for beautiful books.

It's harder to do a post like this on a less visual medium and with the mediocre photography skills that I have but I shall do my best because I really do love books that have beautiful art or something a little bit special about them.

My biggest bookish love are the Folio Society editions. They are just so beautiful. I love the boxes and the gold writing and the beautiful illustrations a lot of them have and the colours and just everything about them pretty much.

I originally planned to do this as one huge post with all the beautiful books that I love but then I looked through my Folios and realised it would be way too big with the amount of pictures I'd need, so I'm doing it like this instead.

beautiful books tag, andrew lang, folio society

My favourite Folios are the Andrew Lang Fairy Books. Every now and again Rhys buys one for me for a birthday, Christmas or anniversary. I have three so far but I'm aiming to collect the entire set. Currently I'm reading through the Blue Fairy Book for Fairytale Fridays (which I forgot this week but never mind!). The Pink one is actually my favourite, despite being the one I have which is unboxed. I just love the lady on the front cover! I also have the Green Fairy Book which I haven't got pictures of right now, but all of them have a plain box in their colour and then the front cover and spine are highly decorated in gold as you can see. The endpapers for each fairy book have a different beautiful illustration in gold or silver against paper the colour of the book, and they all have beautifully drawn colour illustrations throughout, as you can see below. The quality of the paper is really high as well as they really feel like something beautiful and long lasting when you're reading them. 

andrew lang pink fairy book folio society

Next we have the first Folio edition I ever acquired which was bought for me by a friend from the charity shop she worked in at the time just because she thought it looked cool. It is definitely the coolest one I own and I love the way that the colours continue throughout the book. Edward Lear's Complete Nonsense is entirely zany in design and execution and I adore it. The box matches the cover which continues onto the spine and the back and the entire book is illustrated. 

Edward Lear Folio Society

And two more from the myths and legends category. My most recent addition to the collection is Arabian Nights which Rhys got me for our fourth wedding anniversary this month. It's pretty simple in design but I love the gold detailing against the white cover. There was speculation that the box has been replaced with a random other box as it's the only Folio I have where the box is a different colour to the cover but honestly I think that's just because a white box would be weird. the pictures are gorgeous too - very glossy and beautiful. Possibly my favourite of the collection so far is British Myths and Legends. As you can see the box is very plain but then you take it out and the cover is just stunning. The Lady of the Lake holding Excalibur? Yes! Inside the illustrations are all done in blacks, greys and reds which is also really nice and unusual. 

British Myths and Legends Folio Society

The final two I'd like to mention in this post are duplicate copies that Rhys bought me as Folios because of my great love for the books. First up, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. This book is one of the most beautiful books I've ever read for so many reasons, and now it physically is as well. It's one of the few where the cover detailing actually continues onto the spine and then the back. Inside is pretty plain but the outside is just phenomenal. 

To Kill a Mockingbird Folio Society

And the last book to talk about is up there with British Myths and TKAM for favourite Folio covers. This just captures the absolute essence of the book for me and I really adore it, particularly since this copy is extremely second hand so the box is very faded and plain green as is the spine and then you take out the book and there's this: 

Anne of Green Gables Folio Society

Of course it's Anne. Who else would it be? OK, if you guessed Little Women I'll let you off but actually I don't have a Folio edition of that yet. Someday!

On my lust list (a real thing) of Folio's aaaaare: the rest of the Lang Fairy Books (of course), The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S Lewis (some of the most beautiful books I've ever seen), His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman (seriously), The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R Tolkien (just look at them), Perrault's Fairy Tales (to go with the Lang, obviously, and because I don't have a decent collection of his), The Railway Children by E. Nesbit, The Silver Sword by Ian Serrailer (didn't know this was a thing til just now when I was on their website. I thought I was the only person in the world to love this book), The Bloody Chamber & Other Stories by Angela Carter (how do I not already have this in my life??), Chinese Fairy Tales and Fantasies (might be the perfect book for someone obsessed with Chinese history, mythology and beautiful books), and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. I could go on but I will spare you. 

Please, those of you who think your addiction to the Penguin Clothbounds is expensive, spare me a thought next time you give in. These books are £30 - £50 a go! (to make myself feel better I will say that only the Lang's have been bought for anywhere near that amount. Anne was £3 in a charity shop). 

What's your beautiful book downfall? 

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