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The Ten Stages of Folio Acquisition Disorder (F.A.D.)

Folio Society devotees

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Edited: Mar 3, 2016, 12:44pm Top

1. Innocence. Pleasant surprise and first purchase. 'Ooh what a lovely volume!'
2. Fascination. Another volume. 'Can't believe I haven't come across these before.'
3. Good intention. Third to twelfth volumes. 'Reading's good for you after all.'
4. Enthusiasm. Second dozen. 'This sale/offer is too good to let pass.'
5. Awareness of excess. Third/fourth dozen. 'Hmm. I'm buying faster than I'm reading.'
6. Guilt. Fifth/sixth dozen. 'Now where can I hide these?' 'Damn Folio 60!'
7. Deception. 70+ 'Oh, they were crazily discounted, dear, I couldn't possibly refuse.'
8. Disinhibition. First LE purchase. 'It's just sooo beautiful. Look, it's numbered!'
9. Delusion. Second/third LE purchases. '…and they're hedges against hyperinflation.'
10. Monomania. Multiple LEs/acquisition of different FS printings of same work. 'Should we think about moving house, darling? This place is so claustrophobic.'

I've been in double figures for a while. What number are you?

*Edited March 2016 to add eleventh category revealed after further painstaking research — with thanks to scratchpad and elladan0891:

11. Lobotomy Queue. Buying a book you hate just because it's a Folio. 'Grrmmphnnnhfnkmmmnang.'

Jul 16, 2015, 3:39am Top

OK, this made my day (night!).

Jul 16, 2015, 3:44am Top

Oh dear... I am desperately clinging at 8. Good that the newest voucher does not work for Trollope though or the clinging would have been futile and I would sliding down into 9...

This list made me smile at the end of a hard day so thanks!

Jul 16, 2015, 4:18am Top

No secret. I have been a major sponsor since i think October last year. My first buys: Beowulf, 1984 & Song of Roland

My first LE - Faerie Queene ordered on Oct:13 - 2014 on a 10 month instalment (because it was so expensive) Since then i have bought even more Le`s, and even cashed out for the Magna Carta (as repeated before)

The local mailoffice probably take me for the original i am, when i pick up my 4-5 bags from Royal mail (and doesn`t seem to stop)

Folio books have become a major part of my interiour as well - folio have triggered my lust for books to another level - that i didn`t even knew i had in me

A thank you for your continued support note sometimes lies in my packages with who wrapped them up (maybe "all" get these) ..

Folio Society is my primary source when it comes to bookbuying, but it has also triggered a lust for one time or another - to buy a fine volume from another press

I still have room in my house, but one time i probably will build something like Boldface has, an Alexandrian Library next to my house

I am still manic, but not as manic as before (will probably get manic in sales)

Thank you Folio Society, and thank you Librarything and it`s members - from which i have learned a lot


Jul 16, 2015, 5:10am Top

I'm pretty sure I'm at 10, though I had to skip a few steps to get there within 3 years...

Jul 16, 2015, 6:01am Top

>5 PeterFitzGerald: You were at 10 even before Night Thoughts.

Jul 16, 2015, 6:16am Top

I must be a 9, as I do not have monomania, just bibliomania, as I collect an excessive number of books from multiple publishers.

Jul 16, 2015, 6:35am Top

Well I have purchased well over 200 FS volumes before just taking the LE plunge.

But I reckon I will probably be moving into the latter stages of the disease.

On m ultiple voumes of a particular book, I already suffer from that in

#1 Kidnapped by RLS

Jul 16, 2015, 7:50am Top

I'm a very solid 9, though one could argue that I've (temporarily?!?!?!) slipped down to 10 with the 'last chance' sales of LEs over the last few weeks....

Jul 16, 2015, 8:02am Top

Thank you >1 cronshaw:, very good.
I am at 7 and hoping to stay there for some time, as LEs are still an indulgence too far (at the moment). FS's Fine editions satisfy my need for beautiful books at present.

Jul 16, 2015, 8:14am Top

>1 cronshaw:

Thanks for the accurate typology. I'm definitely a 10, and proud of it!

Jul 16, 2015, 8:23am Top

I nearly jumped several steps when those copies of Moby-Dick were found. Alas, my order did not go through.

Jul 16, 2015, 8:29am Top


I was at No 4 from about 1992 to 2009 - young children, daughter wants cute rabbit, daughter wants pony, daughter wants horse, daughter wants showjumping horse, daughter wants more than one showjumping horse. Then, thankfully daughter discovers boys, much cheaper than horses. Means I can resume the climb up the FAD ladder. I'm at No. 9 now, as I've just received "The Golden Ass", my second LE after "The Sound and The Fury". Since an ass is like a cheap horse I think I'm ahead at this point.

Jul 16, 2015, 8:55am Top

Great description of the stages of FAD. I'm clearly a 10 as anyone who read the post on my 44 Limited Editions would recognize. I have over 1,000 Folios (books, not titles) and have long ago outgrown the room that was dedicated to housing them. I'm near unto emergency measures for shelving, displaying, or storing my ever-growing library.

Jul 16, 2015, 9:38am Top

Like CarltonC, I'm at 7 and hoping to avoid the jump in the LE realm (and I don't have Folio 60 to blame for step 6). Having been a Folio member since the late 1980s (I found the 1988 prospectus while cleaning the basement last night), I think I might be able to pull it off.

Jul 16, 2015, 10:28am Top

I have to move a pile of Letterpress Shakespeares to get to the thermostat, so I think I'm at #10 now.

Jul 16, 2015, 10:31am Top

I am a solid 9. Took the plunge to 8 by getting the Fitzwilliam thanks to the enablers of FSD.

Jul 16, 2015, 10:54am Top

Am probably around 7, only been collecting a year and 2 months and always from bookshops, charity shops etc as on benefits, but have 184 titles!

Jul 16, 2015, 11:09am Top

I'm on my 17th LE so technically 9, but still using 8's reasoning. They're pretty, no further justification necessary.

Jul 16, 2015, 11:32am Top

You left off the next stage:

11. Doublestacking FS volumes on your book shelves.

Edited: Jul 16, 2015, 1:16pm Top

This is great!

>9 scholasticus: slipped down to 10

That is perhaps the solidest evidence you are not yet at stage 10, thinking of the progression as "slipping down". I imagine those at stage 10 re-frame the journey as "climbing up to 10".

I'm between 3 and 4, though of my 20-24 volumes, 20 are the Aubrey-Maturin series. Up 'til now, I've remained firmly at stage 3 by following my self-imposed rule: One May Not Purchase A Folio Edition Excepting It Is Part Of The Canon.

But I've just purchased the last Aubrey-Maturin volume, so who knows what lies in my future.

Jul 16, 2015, 1:52pm Top

And here I am, still at # 1, having only bought my first a few months ago (Dune). Now I'm getting these lovely brochures in the mail.... and have a wishlist in my Folio account.

(I don't count the two Folio titles I bought second-hand for very little money -- I was buying them for the text, not because they were Folios.)

Jul 16, 2015, 2:43pm Top

>22 amysisson:

Technically all the Folios I have (minus the Folio 60 and the like) are bought because of the text - I would not buy a Folio book just for being a Folio book... :)

Don't worry - you will decide you cannot live without something. You know - the Foundation set is really nice looking and sits so nicely on the shelf next to Dune... :)

Jul 16, 2015, 2:44pm Top

>22 amysisson:

The fact that you have caveats on your purchasing means you're well on your way to a higher level of FAD. We welcome you with open arms :)

Jul 16, 2015, 2:47pm Top

>21 elenchus:

Thank you for reassuring my conscience! Now only if you could reassure my bank account as easily.... ;)

Jul 16, 2015, 3:00pm Top

I'm very much afraid I passed 10 by some years ago. Now, it's "We need another Shed , dear." I've just got back home today after five days away in Gloucestershire and Wiltshire. I haven't counted how many books (all but two secondhand) I've bought - it must be fifteen at least. Only six of them were Folio though - the novels of Ann Radcliffe (1987). God knows, though, there is enough Gothic Horror at home after almost every bibliomaniac splurge. Perhaps I need a bunker, rather than another Shed.

Jul 16, 2015, 3:09pm Top

>26 boldface:

If you get one with padded walls, do invite me for tea.

Jul 16, 2015, 4:00pm Top

advanced stage 9 probably fatal

Jul 16, 2015, 4:09pm Top

Uh, what happens when you have over 300 volumes?

Jul 16, 2015, 4:11pm Top

>29 EclecticIndulgence: -

You aim for 400, of course.

Jul 16, 2015, 4:11pm Top

>29 EclecticIndulgence:

You get a pat on the back from the group? Most likely together with someone telling you that you are far away from 1000 so you need to keep trying :)

Jul 16, 2015, 4:11pm Top

I am hoping that I can still justify myself as "only" being at 7, as I haven't yet succumbed to LEs!

Jul 16, 2015, 4:16pm Top

>30 coynedj:,31

I'm so glad I'm among friends. I really didn't realize I had that many until I checked the spreadsheet. They look so innocent and unassuming but I suppose I should have clued into the fact that they're taking over other bookcases. Three more in transit. ;)

Jul 16, 2015, 4:19pm Top

>33 EclecticIndulgence:

I have no idea how many I have but they had taken over all my bookcases to some extent - planning to finally catalog and count next few weeks. I am almost scared what the number will turn out to be :)

Jul 16, 2015, 4:43pm Top

"Fear is the mindkiller" ... Do not listen to fear. Catalogue, and carry on.

Jul 16, 2015, 5:04pm Top

I'd not been keeping count even on so basic a level, but the recent thread here listing LEs in approximate order of appearance has let me know that over the past four years I've held steady at two Limited Editions per annum. Two is a nice manageable number.

Edited: Jul 16, 2015, 5:46pm Top

>1 cronshaw: Very Funny. I'm sticking at 7. LEs are beyond my pocket. I have 1 which fits in a particular long term collection.

Jul 16, 2015, 6:31pm Top

I am clearly a 10, as I have around 1500 FS volumes, although in my defense that is 40+ years as a member (not all my own years, but my mother before me whose modest FS collection I inherited many years ago). My LE collection is not as extensive as some of you guys, but that is mainly because I focus on literature rather than art / facsimiles, nevertheless it is still of an immodest size, especially if you include my extensive collection of "proto-LEs" from earlier years.

Jul 16, 2015, 7:00pm Top

>38 Conte_Mosca:

That's less than 40 volumes a year, Conte. You're slipping... ;)

Jul 16, 2015, 8:33pm Top

>29 EclecticIndulgence:, >30 coynedj:, >31 AnnieMod:

Very simple! You have to keep going, as one of us must prove worthy of continuing the legacy of the Shed! ;)

Jul 16, 2015, 9:53pm Top

>23 AnnieMod:

Oh yes, I buy all books because of the text. I meant that these weren't books I was looking for, but I saw these second-hand copies of books I'd never read before, read the synopses, and said "why not?" I would have bought them no matter what edition they were, since they didn't cost much.

Jul 16, 2015, 9:55pm Top

>41 amysisson:

Ah - so a happy coincidence :) Yey for that.

Jul 16, 2015, 10:09pm Top


Do you mean yeh, as a variant of yes, thus I agree.

Or do you mean yeh in terms of yippee, hooray!

OED day :-)

Jul 16, 2015, 10:19pm Top

>43 LesMiserables:

Now that you ask, I actually had to look up if that is a real word... I meant something between Yay and Yeah and Yippee... :)

Jul 16, 2015, 10:29pm Top

I reckoned so! :-)

Jul 16, 2015, 10:30pm Top

Um, 10 ... But I was at 1 two or three years ago, when I just wanted a "nice edition" of The Leopard ('Ooh what a lovely volume!')

Jul 17, 2015, 6:20am Top

I'm at 7.I have around 100 Folio books at home.
Hmm,I don't think my first LE will be for anytime soon,as I must finish uni and find work first.Also,while I have no doubt about the quality of Folio LEs,I've so far not been enticed by the titles.

Edited: Jul 17, 2015, 12:53pm Top

Well since I just became a member last year, maybe a 5 with a little bit of 10 in there. I should really start cataloguing my books as I have no idea what the numbers are. I don't know if I have the patience though as I didn't realize how much time I have to commit. I started some in goodreads but to repeat the process again here good lord time wasted on cataloguing rather than reading :/

Edited: Jul 17, 2015, 12:35pm Top

>48 JuliusC:

It's probably a good thing you don't combine Cataloguing Disorder with FAD, it's a nasty combination and few have been known to recover. Though, victims do report great personal satisfaction, even as their symptoms grow more apparent.

In my case, I suffer more from CD than FAD, but I'm sure my days are numbered.

Jul 17, 2015, 12:45pm Top

Nothing wrong with Cataloguing Disorder!

Jul 17, 2015, 5:13pm Top

Two years ago I became fascinated with the beautiful brochures FS kept mailing me (the member offer in which I acquired the 8 volume Gibbon for a nominal fee) and over the next six months moved rapidly to #5, especially after discovering online resellers. I could say that, after acquiring around 80 titles (not counting the multi-volumes), I am slowing down, except that I am now stuck at #9. I never thought I would ever pay so much for one book, but the LE's are becoming irresistible! And I would like to deny arriving at #10, however, I now own two editions of Les Miserables: the 1970's edition alongside this summer's purchase of the LE.

And I was just beginning to move out of long-term denial about how much I spend by forcing myself to pay cash when along came this summer's LE Voucher. So, the Faerie Queen LE is on its way (thanks of installments)! No buyer's remorse, just lots of gratitude (and a healthy professional development deduction come tax season).

Adding #11 (which has yet to be named): the addiction to refreshing LT posts several times a day for the latest reviews, impressions, news, sales and deals announced. As in first thing in the morning, several times in the middle, and last thing at night before retiring. Or is this TMI . . . ?

Jul 17, 2015, 5:17pm Top

>51 texntim:
Not TMI, if that indeed becomes the 11th circle of FAD, count me in!

Jul 17, 2015, 5:18pm Top

This one made me chuckle. Good thing I still have something to strive for - I am a solid eight, not likely to climb to nine in the next few months. Ten is way off in the distance.

Now, if we change the subject to LPs or vintage wristwatches and clocks, on the other hand... (cough).

Jul 17, 2015, 5:57pm Top

>49 elenchus:
When it comes to Cataloguing Disorder, I am a 10+ as every book I own is listed on LT, and I have added hundreds of cover photos, AND I have also printed out my entire illustrated catalogue, and have it spiral bound in seven volumes of 100+ pages each!

Jul 17, 2015, 6:01pm Top

#11 and proud!

Jul 17, 2015, 7:04pm Top

>54 wcarter: Wow, that's incredible, at least to me as a maximum 0.5 on the Cataloguing Disorder scale!

Jul 17, 2015, 7:05pm Top


Yes I can vouch for this, but the catalogue is very impressive and I am quite envious, though I am baffled where the good Doctor finds the time!

Jul 17, 2015, 8:11pm Top

>54 wcarter:

How is it organized? Do you have one page per title and then you put it into alphabetical order by author?

Edited: Jul 17, 2015, 8:42pm Top

>58 EclecticIndulgence:
The printed catalogue is divided into subject categories (eg. Art, fine editions, Australiana, antiquarian, Folio Society, automobilia, science etc.) and then as I purchase a book, its details are added to the catalogue in the appropriate category, so it acts as a chronological record of my book buying.
Pages are easy to add as it is spiral bound.
An alphabetic list by author or title is available through the various iterations on LT if desired.

Edited: Jul 17, 2015, 9:56pm Top


Pages are easy to add as it is spiral bound.

Ah! I wondered how often you printed the catalogue, considering your purchasing prowess.

Jul 17, 2015, 9:47pm Top

>59 wcarter:

Thanks, interesting to note that the Folio catalogue looks the largest ;)

I was just thinking about how one would go about printing a catalogue and keeping it in alphabetical order. I would think that the easiest way is a page per entry in a three ring binder. I have near on 1000 books so I'm not sure this would really be feasible.

Does each book have its unique number and is there a range for each subject? (atlases 2xxx, for example)

Would you mind uploading one 'standard' page photo and one of the index?

Jul 17, 2015, 10:30pm Top

>61 EclecticIndulgence:
A couple of page examples follow, but if you want to see more go to:-
then click on the right arrow to see about a dozen sample pages from my printed catalogue.

The more expensive/desirable/presentable the book, the more space I devote tom it in the catalogue.

Jul 18, 2015, 12:01am Top

>62 wcarter:

That is absolutely amazing. I'm completely speechless. That is the best catalogue I have seen in my life. I don't know how you find the time, but I'm absolutely enchanted.

Thank you for sharing!!

Jul 18, 2015, 1:29am Top

>62 wcarter:

Many thanks for sharing! An amazing job of organization and detail. You are an example to follow. Congratulations!

Jul 18, 2015, 9:08am Top

>62 wcarter:

That's wonderful. Your printed catalogues are better than any FS prospectus!

Jul 18, 2015, 11:35am Top

very sorry

Jul 18, 2015, 7:34pm Top

>54 wcarter: >59 wcarter: ad seriatim

So impressive, both the time and the end result.

Jul 19, 2015, 8:32am Top

Perhaps No. 11 should be Amnesia. Your Folio Society collection is so large that you order a book long on your wish list only to discover at some later date that you already owned it!

Jul 19, 2015, 11:44am Top

>68 UK_History_Fan: Hmm, that has happened to me several times, most recently with Nineveh and Babylon...

Jul 19, 2015, 1:26pm Top

>69 Conte_Mosca:

I think this is another reason why we should establish a trade post/forum... My duplicates are piling up as well.

Edited: Jul 19, 2015, 6:40pm Top

Oh come on - amnesia comes long before step 10. :)

Jul 24, 2015, 2:39pm Top

>JuliusC You can export your library list from Goodreads and import it into LT. That's what I did.

Edited: Jul 25, 2015, 8:09am Top

For a potential 11th stage we have >20 podaniel: double-stacking, >26 boldface: another shed and >68 UK_History_Fan: amnesia (though as for Annie the embarrassment of unwittingly buying a second copy of an already owned Folio happened to me earlier). Another possible eleventh symptom may be feeling the compulsion to complete a series you had previously marked as strictly off-limits when mentally stronger. I had told myself that I must ignore the 1987-91 Folio Press Fine Editions when Conte Mosca shot his dangerous thread at us about them in November 2012, laced with lethal photos for good measure. I scored merely 8 on the FAD scale at the time and calmly thought I'd resist, unaware my resistance sat in the eye of a storm. I now find myself (like dearest Conte himself) with only one FFP volume left to collect, and wondering how I ever lived without such an exquisite series.

Jul 25, 2015, 3:53pm Top

>73 cronshaw:
Seems like the most logical 11th stage would be "feeling the compulsion to complete a series you had previously marked as strictly off-limits when mentally stronger."

Jul 25, 2015, 5:03pm Top

>74 UK_History_Fan: I'm not certain logic has much of a look-in when it comes to grading the madness of FAD, Faddicts are all bonkers in their own way.

Jul 26, 2015, 2:02pm Top

Stage 4 for me. I was given a kick-start by my dad, who generously gave me some Folios as a gift. Although, looking back on it, I feel it was also a tactic by him to clear shelf space for new, better-quality acquisitions (the Folios were on the distinctly knocked-about and missing slipcases side of things). Then a trip to the UK for my brother's wedding and a ransacking of secondhand bookshops/charity shops later, plus a careful pushing of the envelope of what constituted carry-on luggage back to Canada. I have also been impressed by and into the Aubrey-Maturin series, with my first order of A-Ms directly from the Society pending (the first 9 bought secondhand, with 2nd hand copies of later volumes at a reasonable price losing me in the fog). I feel a slip into 5 is fairly close at hand, although constrained finances mean that LEs/regular orders to the Society are not on my horizon for a few years yet. I've still got to finish the Victorian Adventurers, Dark Histories, Lang Fairy Books …

Jul 26, 2015, 4:37pm Top

They have this nice - pay in 10 months plan. It makes the cheaper LEs quite affordable even on a budget :)

Jul 26, 2015, 7:56pm Top

On "feeling the compulsion to complete a series you had previously marked as strictly off-limits when mentally stronger": I have only 1-5 A-Ms, but the day the discount was offered I started to calculate the cost of set completion. Thank god some sold out, because I wouldn't have had anywhere to put them ...

Jul 27, 2015, 7:49am Top

I now own two LEs when I thought I never would go down that route. It can happen to the best of us...

Jul 27, 2015, 9:45am Top

5. 6 if you count individual books that are parts of sets. With some 7th stage excuses creeping in.
I have also bought my first LE already, but as it's Alice Underground it doesn't really count, does it?

Anyway, as I discovered FS only last August, prognosis is not very good, I'm afraid. Well, at least I managed to inherit immunity to Cataloguing Disorder.

Jul 28, 2015, 6:57am Top

I'm still at number 7 but The Odes of Horace is calling my name, it's very pretty!

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