Great Holiday Gifts for Grownups

Why should kids have all the fun this holiday season? It’s easy to forget the grownups during this hectic time of year, and checking off everyone on your list can get pricey. Consider giving the gift of great literature without breaking the bank: The Folio Society recently released a new series called Folio Collectibles, with four classic English-language titles (A Christmas Carol, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Frankenstein) produced especially for the lineup. Why these books? “We wanted to chose popular classics that everyone should have in their library across a range of genres, said Vicky Traino, Folio Society spokeswoman. “We think that they are the perfect gift to yourself or to introduce someone to the joys of books from The Folio Society.” I’m reading Doyle’s chilling crime caper, The Hound of the Baskervilles, complete with linocut reproductions by English artist and printmaker Edward Bawden (1903-1989), who was commissioned by the Folio Society in 1987 to produce six illustrations for the book. Perhaps as exciting about the Collectibles is their price: each soft-covered, flexibound volume retails for $34.95, and perfectly sized to tote around.

Most Folio Society editions are works of art in their own right, and, at least in my house, are handled with kid gloves. The Collectibles series easily lend themselves to cozying up by the fire, book in hand, and reveling in the joys of the season. Interested? Better act fast: Holiday order deadlines are December 9 (today) for regular delivery; December 14 for express.

Happy Birthday William Shakespeare

image

Image used with permission from The Folio Society

Lord Polonius: What do you read, my lord?
Hamlet: Words, words, words.
                                                            Hamlet
(2.2 199-200)

The Folio Society has been preparing for William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday since 2006, when the renowned British fine books publishing house embarked on an ambitious project to print every tragedy, comedy and history in a large format, limited edition collection. The entire canon, including poems and sonnets, is now complete and color-coded by genre in individually numbered volumes. Zerkal deckle press paper, Moroccan leather binding and typeset in letterpress on hand-marbled paper, these books are a sumptuous tactile experience.

The series is a feast for the eyes as well; Shakespeare’s words stand alone, elegant and unobstructed by small margins and notes because the texts and commentaries are now in separate volumes. This affords readers the  delight of reading Shakespeare unencumbered by visual clutter.

Each page meets the Folio Society’s rigorous standards for quality and craftsmanship. These gems are also attractively priced at $545 per volume. Such beauty is fleeting – only three hundred copies of each volume exist.  What better way to celebrate the Bard’s birthday than by enjoying his work in such a wonderful manner.