If you had to throw away just one Folio edition, what would it be?
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Mine would be The Diary of a Nobody because I have a duplicate! (But that's not allowed)
It would have to be.....
The Life of Jonathan Wild by Henry Fielding MCMLXVI
What colour are those boards?
Altogether a beast. Nonetheless, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and you may disagree.
Easy. The Best of Dorothy Parker. Couldn't read more than the first 50 pages. Plus, the finish on the binding does not hold up well, and I didn't care for the look to begin with. It's in my to sell/give away pile.
The Black Death (1997). The design for the series changed, instead of the title along the spine in large golden gothic script it is across the spine, the letters are all pinched together and uncomfortable. The Society sent me this in the middle of a run of titles from around 2001. It is a real eyesore, and pains me every time I see it square-pegging. A real shame, since the content is good.
I would like to sandwich it lovingly between the 2 volumes of The Greek Myths and hide them in the recycling basket, thence to be consigned to some ghastly pit or more likely, less fittingly, a new existence as loo roll.
It's already on display in the local charity shop: Josephine Tey Daughter of Time, awful photo-collage illustrations, even on the boards - never has a book been so well served by its slipcase!
Ah, but if I had to throw out another I still have, then The Siege and Fall of Troy, for the same reason - awful illustration, though the work itself is very good.
PS >2 I quite like Dorothy Parker's work, though The Best of DP is a book I'd dip into rather than read in one go. The foil binding was a mistake I think: apart from looking cheap, many copies showed creasing to the lamination of the boards in production.
never has a book been so well served by its slipcase!
Ha! That's funny!
A Short History of the English People, by J.R.Green, it is very tedious and I could fit two other books into the space it takes up.
There's actually quite a few, not least because the content doesn't interest me one jot - LesMis's suggestion of Diary of Nobody would be a serious contender for me - complete waste of paper. But on the grounds of poor production? I can forgive issues of taste - after all one man's meat and all that, but the one book that pretty much fell apart on me was, like Osbaldistone, The Best of Dorothy Parker', where it all started to peel apart. Of the ones I currently have, I'd like to dispose of The Odyssey, with all its sticky leather, and get hold of a copy that I can actually hold in my hand.
Like cronshaw I've just done it: The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire set was collected off the doorstep yesterday by Help the Aged (or whatever they call themselves now - in the current economic situation probably God Help the Aged). It wasn't that they were bad books - they were quite handsome, although I wasn't much taken by the illustrations, it was just the reproachful look they gave me every time I passed their shelf. They knew that I knew I was never get round to finishing them.
But, of course, I pretend to myself that without the footnotes they're not the 'true' Gibbons, and that I *will* buy the unedited set and I *will* read them - one day. When I have time. Even if it's not in this life. ("I am setting aside Miss Yonge's works for when I die. I am told eternity may just be long enough to do them justice." - Douglas Jerrold)
I'm not keeping Year Round Things to Do...but it can do duty as a stocking filler this Christmas. I did genuinely throw away - as in put in the bin for recycling - Moonfleet, but this was a second hand copy that turned out to have a production fault. I think the most disappointing book/set I have is the collected Sherlock Holmes. Francis Mosley's illustrations look rushed and sketchy to me, and the version of Baskerville the text is set in isn't particularly attractive.
Having just waxed lyrical on another thread about my new A Memoir of the Forty-Five of 1958 (Folio 60, 114), I am now on the look-out for a first edition of The Trial of Charles I from 1959 (Folio 60, 125) to replace my lithographic reprint of 1974. The latter is one of a series of lithographic re-issues put out in 1973 and 1974 under the joint imprint of The Folio Press and J. M. Dent. As well as being available to Folio Society members, Dent apparently marketed the books to a wider public. Another unusual feature is that instead of a slipcase they have not one, but two dustjackets: a plastic one with paper flaps from the Folio Society and a conventional paper one from J. M. Dent. There is even an ISBN number.
Perhaps this joint venture was a sign of difficult economic times. The quality certainly suggests that the Folio Society was cost-cutting. If this one is anything to go by, these reprints fall somewhat short of Folio excellence. The binding is good - nice-quality red cloth with a design in gold on both front and back - but the print-quality of the illustrations is very poor. Some of them look little better than photocopies.
I would definitely consider precipitating this particular reprint to the metaphoric dustbin/trashcan. I have to say metaphoric, though, because the book remains a curiosity and I will have to retain it for that reason!
Judging from previous comments on other threads I may be in a minority of one, but my pick would be J.M. Coetzee's Disgrace. I just don't like that style of writing, and I just couldn't finish it even though it is realatively short.
ebayed for 9 € a copy of The siege of Krishnapur which I had got as part of a joining offer with other Booker Prize winners .
I guess there's nothing really wrong with the edition as such but the novel itself did not float my boat. And, with so many Folio editions I just needed to own at the time, its presence in the shelf became too conspicuous .
In a larger flock of sheep this goat might have passed unnoticed..
>12 - I never cared for The Siege of Krishnapur either, but I had the advantage of having read it a few years ago in a much lower-cost paperback edition, and thus avoided buying the Folio edition!
My nominee would probably be any of the Presentation titles I still have from the old days when they weren't as nice as they have been lately (I want this year's Fortey book, but will probably end up buying it on Ebay because the current renewal offer is too weak for my taste). Other than those, I would go with (or go without) The Greek Myths.
>14 - I have two copies, a minor detail I neglected to mention.
Too late, the damage has been done. I ran into the other room to my wife and children, and sweating like a madman, foaming at the mouth, I dragged them into the library and pointed to your post!
>11 Make that a minority of two, although I think Coetzee is a defensible Folio publishing choice. And I do greatly admire his semi-autographical novels.
> 12, 13 JG Farrell - yes, a completely overrated writer.
For sheer ugliness in every respect, prose, design, illustration, and long dispatched from my shelves - The Informer.
Y'know,it's an interesting looking thing and it's been discussed here a lot, but I can't help thinking that Brave New World just sticks out like a sore thumb far too much on my book case. The light reflectedfrom it always draws my eye to the poor ugly thing rather than the prettier spines on display. It's a good book though...
In fact I don't aesthetically like ANY of the Folio Society Huxley books I have.
>18 Much maligned, poor BNW. But I admire the attempt to do something bold. Lately I have come to wonder if Folio's design isn't just too chintzy and faux.
I'm sure there's a related thread somewhere, but I couldn't find it so this one seemed most appropriate. From the NYRB when to stop reading a book, or there are too many good books to waste time on a bad one. http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2012/mar/13/why-finish-books/
As my library full of duplicate titles can attest, I seem unable to throw away or donate or give away books. Every time I go to my hidden shelves (containing standard trade paperbacks or hardbacks or library discards I picked up as a poor student for $0.50 each) to finally free up some valuable shelf space, I pull a book down, flip through it, read the back cover or flyleaf and reshelve it and think maybe some other day, I can still walk from the kitchen to the living room to the bathroom to the bedroom without tripping over books, so I must not have too many yet!
There aren't too many Folio books that I actually dislike, though I have come to despise the collage illustration trend Folio has recently become obsessed with in their fiction titles. The last straw was using this for Cicero. Completely inappropriate! So if I had to pick one to discard it might be one of those.
101 O'Henry Stories - repetitive and boring and I couldn't finish them all. Ten may have been manageable, but then I am not a great fiction fan.
> 20 Interesting article, thanks for the link. The circumstances under which one may abandon a book are legion and it can be difficult to shake off the sense that the fault is yours rather than the author's. I remember being on Waterloo Station on a November evening in 1960 waiting for a delayed train when a nearby bookstall suddenly began to vanish under a wave of orange and white - the Penguin edition of Lady Chatterley's Lover had landed. Then a second wave swept towards the stall, an analogue flash-mob of rain-coated or dark-suited men converging with their three shillings-and-sixpences and expressions of evasive bravado. (In memory they all look like Philip Larkin but that's clearly just his Annus Mirabilis thrusting up through my subconscious.)
I had got through about 50 pages of my copy before the train finally turned up to take me back to school (I was returning from failing an entrance exam in Oxford). I lacked the nerve to go on reading it in a crowded compartment during the journey - Coitus Interruptus on the Southern Region, unwritten Betjeman poem - and back at school found it more profitable to rent it out than finish reading it. After which I lost the will to resume, and told myself I had fully assimilated the remaining 250 pages. But I secretly knew that was a pretence. I never have finished it; but I kept it for over 30 years before finally, guiltily, sending it to Oxfam.
Should I now make amends for this? I might be tempted if the Society brought out a copy. They could schedule a Limited Edition for 2015 - DHL's 130th birthday. If they commissioned the right designer/illustrator, she could give them a cracking best-seller. It's a 20thC classic! It's out of copyright! The Guardian would commend them!
Perhaps this is a suggestion better suited to the Unlikely Folio editionsthread !
I do not own many FS books yet, but if I had to let one go it would have to be "A month in the country".
Reason for that is that I have already read it, and while I did like it I am not sure if I am going to read it again.
>24 Which just goes to show how varied we readers are:A Month in the Country is probably my all-time favourite book, and it would be one of the last that I rid myself of. As to what I would dispose of first? Still pondering that one! To be honest, there are quite a few in the running: FS books are generally beautifully produced, but they've bound some pretty tedious stuff over the years.
Hehe yes indeed, though I did not mention that I have actuallly only read two FS editions ever, being "A month in the country" and "The Golem" and since I can not really "throw" away a book I have not read then I had to chose :-)
I have only been a member for over a year so far and I do not own many FS titles for now.
While I never finished Seven Pillars of Wisdom (300 pages of desert wandering and little warfare is enough for me), it is too beautiful, and expensive, to ditch. The Double-Cross System was a fascinating and wonderful book. Yet every pic in it could be googled easily. So that's my one.
I've just thought of a FS edition I like less than 101 O'Henry Stories and that is the Folio Book of Carols - words but no music - how useless. I tried to give it away to a friend who is a church organist, but once opening it and seeing the lack of music, she lost all interest.
> 28 "I tried to give it away to a friend who is a church organist, but once opening it and seeing the lack of music, she lost all interest."
So I suppose it's back to the encyclopedias again for her. (See Britannica thread)
Good cross link! No, my organist is actually a 30 something friend of my daughter and very with it, using an iPad to download music and reads from that screen while playing a wide range of piano and organ pieces. Certainly not into selling encyclopaedias!
Any title - any title at all - with a heavily blocked spine that can be read at 15 feet. Those are my primary aesthetic bugbear among FS books: if I cast my eye on a shelf from across the room I want to see a range of books standing there, with perhaps the odd title I can make out if I try hard enough (though of course they're probably all well enough known to me and identifiable from that distance, unless I happen to be looking at a shelf of vintage Everymans or suchlike). Any volume which shouldered its way forward, so to speak, to shout out its identity while all those around it kept modestly quiet, would thereby become by far the easiest to bin. Though none such have made it through my front door as yet, and if, strictly for the sake of reading, any had, they'd likely be standing in plain brown paper jackets already to hide their shame.
Sounds that you have a severe case of anthropomorphism. The best cure is to send all such offending books to me.
Journey to the Centre of the Earth - don't like the cover and Verne is a terrible writer ( or badly translated or both ). Might have loved the book if I had read it when I was a lot younger though.
I`ve just thrown away (to a charity shop) the two-volume edition of The Greek Myths because I found the single-volume edition on e-bay. I was the only bidder
@ £8.99 for a much better edition than the one I have jettisoned.
In my case it would be “Justine”. I thought I really ought to read the much praised “Alexandria Quartet”, so I bought “Justine” to begin with. It's one of the few Folio books that I've given up on before getting half way through. I think this is probably because, as critics say, the city of Alexandria is one of the main characters, and I'm afraid that to my mind the city, as presented by Lawrence Durrell, is a unique combination of the nasty and the boring.
My vote would go to Year Round Things to Do. I actually gave this book away to a friend with kids as soon as I received it.
Kicking myself now: at >9 I said I'd slung out a defective copy of Moonfleet bought from the local Oxfam (charity) shop. This week they have another copy available - but no slip-case.
I don't like the green versions of Charles Dickens with the diamonds on the spine. From an aesthetic perspective, not really my cup of tea.
The cream versions with burgundy slipcases (and artist drawings on the front) are some of my absolute favourites. The style of the drawings blows my mind...
It's reminiscent of the very old two volume folio of War and Peace.
The only other one that I don't really like at all is my copy of The Red Badge of Courage which has a strange looking spine and the lettering seems off-centre on it as well.
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