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First time buyer - poor quality

Folio Society devotees

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Jan 13, 3:44pm Top

Hi - long time lurker and now a first time buyer of Folio Society books and...a bit disappointed. Ordered:

Game of Thrones
Selected Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Fall of Gondolin

And every one of them had quality issues (stains/marks on the back of illustration pages, flaking gold from the embossed covers, bashed cases, creased pages).

To be fair, they are all being replaced no problem at all but have I just been unlucky? Is the quality normally this bad?

Jan 13, 3:52pm Top

I've been buying Folio books for 30 years now, and have had maybe three or four quality issues sufficiently noticeable to ask for a replacement. Though I did buy one book early on that has an upside-down title page, which somehow eluded my notice for some years!

Edited: Jan 13, 4:20pm Top

>1 Billy_Young:

I would have thought as a long-time lurker you'd have seen similar discussions a few times on these pages.

Cut to the chase - you've been unlucky. But, as you've found out, replacement is never an issue.

Edited: Jan 13, 4:34pm Top

>1 Billy_Young:

Folio Society books occasionally have quality issues, mainly related to handling and improper packing, especially when boxes are placed within the dreaded white plastic sack for mail personnel to toss about, resulting in damaged slipcases and (rarely) books. A few quirky bindings made with non-standard materials also have had problems. However, over many decades of purchasing FS books I have never encountered "stains/marks on the back of illustration pages" or "creased pages". Never.

Frankly, I do not believe you and your claims are not credible.

Edited: Jan 13, 4:46pm Top

>1 Billy_Young:

The Fall of Gondolin is not strictly speaking a FS book; it is published by HarperCollins and resold by FS. Besides that you are either extremely unlucky or overly critical. I only ever returned one FS book because of a quality issue.

Jan 13, 5:33pm Top

Fairly poor response to a genuine question - I’ve already stated I have no issue with the customer service, just genuinely surprised at the issues I’ve had . Seems that some here allow the brand to blind them, oh well 😀

Jan 13, 6:27pm Top

>6 Billy_Young: Many of us in this forum have purchased hundreds of Folio books, and while issues do come up, the odds of every book in your order being defective (when the defects are not the same and the result of a crushed box or something) are extraordinarily low. Consequently, you’re going to find a lot of us skeptical about your claim.

Jan 13, 10:30pm Top

I have about 370 Folios, but I've never seen creased pages or "stains/marks on the back of illustration pages" - not even once.

I asked for replacement only twice: paste paper wasn't glued correctly to the binding of the Edward Thomas LE resulting in air bubbles, and spines of The Tale of Genji were creased (production defect). There is one more book that I would have asked to replace if I bought it myself, and it's one of the books from your list - The Silmarillion. The gold on the ship and its reflection on the front board was stamped poorly. Is it the problem with your Silmarillion too? I got it as a gift though, so I won't be bothering the gift-giver with returns, of course. So that's 3 out of 370.

Sure, one of the responses wasn't particularly amiable, but what did you expect asking the "Is the quality normally this bad?" question? "Oh yes, normally the quality is absolutely terrible. We own hundreds of Folios, and every single one has quality issues. That's normal and expected, welcome to the club"? :) Perhaps if you post pictures of the defects, people would have some basis for judgement.

Sounds like you were extremely unlucky. Hope you will be satisfied with the replacements.
To be honest though, the Tolkiens are not Folio's best, in my opinion. Not something I would select as a good introduction to the Folio Society. But I hope you'll enjoy them anyway.

Jan 13, 11:01pm Top

The only time I've asked for replacements was when the books came bruised because the boxes themselves had been bumped. As for the quality of the books, I've never had any issues.

I remember way back, I had some issues with Mrs Dalloway. The cover (made on some buckram) rubbed on the interior of the slipcase and as a result would appear somewhat paler than it was supposed to. Of course, Folio offered me replacements. I learned too that you shouldn't be overly critical; in some cases, there are things that cannot be avoided. Anyway, maybe you have been unlucky. This forum wouldn't have so many members, and the Folio Society itself wouldn't have survived, if it made books of such low standards.

Jan 14, 4:40am Top

I had an unlucky phase with limited editions once, several in a short time frame were unsatisfactory, which was an unpleasant surprise. One had scratched / scuffed leather, another had deep scratches on some pages, and one had a creased quarter-binding which affected the gold stamping. I guess these kinds of things can happen, but they're not the norm.

Jan 14, 6:53am Top

I also had problems with some of my LEs. It seems I'm quite unlucky in that regard. As for regular editions out of the 150 or so I ordered from FS directly I only had a few I for which I asked for a replacement, but that was due to poor packaging/rough handling.

Jan 14, 9:20am Top

Sounds like you're spectacularly unlucky. I've bought around 50 books new from the FS and none of them have had even so much as a hole in the shrink wrapping. They've all been pretty much pristine inside.

Books are organic material so very small blemishes to the paper and slip cases is natural, but nothing so noticeable that would make me think twice.

Jan 14, 10:44am Top


>1 Billy_Young: is your basic internet troll, someone who craves attention and invades various websites making false and controversial remarks to stir the sh*tpot and attract attention to himself/herself.

Basic internet rule: Please don't feed the troll, i.e., do not respond to these posts or engage the troll in any manner. Eventually, he/she will leave the website, find another one, and do the same thing. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Jan 14, 12:53pm Top

>13 dlphcoracl: I see Emily's offspring has hatched.

Thanks for the tip, dlphcoracl.

Edited: Jan 14, 2:31pm Top

Thanks for the pictures. I think you were right to return these books. Don't be discouraged to buy more FS books in the future; it can only get better from now on.

Jan 14, 2:27pm Top

Seems like you have been very unlucky. I haven’t ever needed to ask for a replacement, but can see why you would be concerned given the photos you have uploaded. I hope your replacements are perfect!

Jan 14, 2:40pm Top

The first book I ever purchased direct from the Folio Society had a detached page (page ripped diagonally straight across) about 2/3 the way through the volume. It was a copy of Bertrand Russell's History of Western Philosophy. Emily at FS was great, and had a replacement shipped free of charge.

Since then, I've purchased approx. 10 other Folio books new from the Folio Society and all have been perfect. Just a one time thing....sometimes it happens. FS always makes you whole.


Jan 14, 3:13pm Top

I’ve had two books from Folio with creased pages, both replaced immediately.

Riddley Walker LE:

The Diversity of Life:

Jan 14, 3:35pm Top

>15 Billy_Young:

Mea culpa. My apology.

In many decades of collecting FS books I have never encountered the number and number of different type of defects exhibited in your photos, especially within one shipment. It is as if someone decided to clear out the defective copies and include them in one order to an FS newbie. Fortunately, FS does indeed replace defective copies promptly and without complaint or hassle.

The good news? Your next FS order will inevitably be better than this one.

Jan 14, 3:57pm Top

Thank you - I’ve clearly just been unlucky. Fingers crossed the replacements are ok and apologies if I have created any discord in the group, it was never my intention.

Jan 14, 4:18pm Top

>21 Billy_Young:

Any discord was clearly my doing with a false accusation. Truly, I have never encountered the specific type of defects you have described (and photographed) in your shipment.

Jan 14, 4:19pm Top

>21 Billy_Young: Were they shrink wrapped? The shrink-wrap does - to a certain degree - provide a minimal level of protection as to avoid any creasing of interior pages. Very odd.

Not doubting you, of course. Just curious, as the shrink-wrap is more or less sturdy on Folios.

Jan 14, 5:24pm Top

They were all shrink wrapped which made it even more confusing as it suggested a QA issue at the point of printing

Edited: Jan 14, 5:47pm Top

>24 Billy_Young: Or returns which had been shrink wrapped and send back out again - just because it is shrink wrapped, there is no guarantee that the book was never opened... It should not happen but someone in the warehouse may be doing something weird during the Sale... Or someone picked books from the wrong pile - they do have the "last copies sale" occasionally (or used to) which are mostly scratch and dent copies (I have a few of those from a sale 6-7 years ago and I knew they come with various weird issues on them but they were 90% or so off so...)

Good luck with your replacements. I've had problems with a single book in the last 12 years or so (deliveries to two different countries) so this is... surprising.

Edited: Jan 14, 8:13pm Top

>15 Billy_Young:
While not required to obtain a no cost replacement I certainly hope you shared your pics with the FS so they have documentation of the rare quality miss and can address internally.

Jan 14, 9:20pm Top

>1 Billy_Young: The creased pages are the result of sheet mis-feeds at the printer. It happens more often than you would think. Binding errors occur more often than we would like. I once received a copy of a book (not FS) that was bound upside down. Bookseller replaced it and returned it to publisher.

Jan 15, 2:33am Top

>27 Glacierman: I also received an upside down copy of a book once. The replacement had the textblock not correctly aligned between the covers. The third book I received was finally up to standard.

Jan 15, 2:35pm Top

So, some bad news and some good news...bad news is that the replacement copies of The Hobbit and LOTR still have the same gold flaking issues and the Folio Society are now carrying out a warehouse check to see if they have received a bad batch.

The good news is that a) my replacement copy of the Silmarillion is spot on and b) my second order from the folio society of 22 books turned up today and every single one is top notch in terms of quality - phew!

Now looking forward to working my way through them - going to start with Dune I think before moving on to American Gods.

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