Books you regret missing out on (the most)?
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Over your time as a Folio enthusiast, which book(s) you regret missing out on the most?
I'm curious to know, as I've seen quite a few lamenting comments recently.
In my case, I regret not buying:
2. A Brief History of Time
3. The War of the End of the World
5. War and Peace (just remembered)
6. Pinnochio (thanks Pellias, for reminding me!)
For all the books above, I was a student and had to look on as the stocks were depleted. Hope they come back one day. :|
>1 Kainzow: Beowulf is very well worth acquiring on the secondary market if you can afford it. I have a letterpress limited edition of Beowulf and the FS fine edition compares very favorably to it.
The Chronicles of Narnia. In my defence I was a kid when it was last published by Folio Society so I couldn't have purchased it for myself, but I have always wanted a nice collection of the Narnia books. I wish they'd bring it back again.
I wish I knew of FS when Lolita was around. And One Hundred Years of Solitude.
(And about a billion other books...)
I managed to get two copies of One Hundred Years of Solitude on the second hand market.
One was sealed, and the other is pristine condition. I was pretty lucky, to be honest.
Same for Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart. I had no idea it was published by the Folio Society until I saw a sealed copy selling for 20 pounds.
Lolita was on my wishlist, but unfortunately it cost too much at the time. I chose instead to spend my funds on several copies that were on sale. It's a definite buy if it ever comes back.
>6 Kainzow: IS there a chance for it to come back? Congratulations on the Márquez! :) That's lucky.
Do you ever find forgotten second hand FS books in actual second hand bookstores around the UK (ones that might not even sell online)? I wonder if it's worth trying because maybe some of the old editions never even make it on the internet.
I regret missing out on King Tut, but in fairness it was a coin toss with Reformation. If I'd bought King Tut instead I'd be writing this exact post about Reformation instead.
And a copy of the fine edition of Rubaiyat with the Puttapipat illustrations, on eBay 2 years back for £48.
I regret not purchasing the latest version of Ulysses (I have the anniversary LE and Finnegan's Wake--I should have gotten the matching Ulysses).
Can't speak for the UK, but I've picked up 37 so far this year in the local bookshop in Ontario, Canada, none of which made it to his website; probably because his usual price is $10 - $15 in excellent condition. Could have picked up more in less good condition. Prices rise steeply for boxed sets.
>10 Jayked: Thanks! I WAS asking the question generically, it's good to know whether there is any success with old school methods.
The Man in the High Castle
The Dark is Rising Series
I wish I were around and the Hardy and the Trollope sets were published. Not that I am not filling them in from secondary sources but still... :)
FS' recent Paradise Lost. I was focusing on non-fiction at the time so I skipped it even when it was 50% off one summer. Huge regret. The mezzotints are incredible.
I’d second the Lolita shout out. I was a relative newcomer to FS when it came out and I didn’t understand the quirky marketing inconsistencies of the company at that point. I was waiting for either an appearance in a sale or a low stock counter to show. Instead, *poof!* It disappeared in a puff of smoke. Hoping it’ll return.
Otherwise, my lamentations have been about ones I did order but never arrived. A fine copy of Beowulf from the UK last year, the Foundation set, Mani & Roumeli, Martian Chronicles and more in the sale this year... all refunded of course, but I’m like one of those old fishermen endlessly banging on about the whopper that slipped out of my grasp
The PTSD is real, maybe we need the resurrection of a “best bargain” thread to offset this 😄
I think I've always tended to give Folio books that interested me much at all the benefit of the doubt, and bought them quickly - To Save Time Is To Lengthen Life, as it used to say on every Remington typewriter. Then sales come along and persuade me that a few more volumes are worth considering. About the only regret I've ever had, then, was Johnson's Dictionary, which for some reason wasn't brought to my attention until it had sold out. A few years passed and then the absence was remedied by an as-new copy listed on eBay, at if I remember rightly a fraction under what the FS price had been.
I remember seeing Beowulf on the web site shortly after I started to build my collection. Simply beautiful. But I was a poor graduate, and I simply couldn't foot the bill at the time. I still hope that a reasonably-priced copy will turn up somewhere, someday.
My other regret is more recent: The Great Gatsby. It's not so much for me as my significant other as it's one of her favorite books; but even I have to admit that the most recent edition is beautifully bound.
When the COVID-19 lockdowns started, I decided to read The Count of Monte Cristo since I felt a bit like a prisoner myself. It turned out to be one of my all-time favorite books, and I'm a little sad that I missed out on the LE.
I know, I know: it wasn't up to the usual standards, but it's about the principle of the thing. You want your favorite book to get the best treatment.
There’s currently a standard version being sold from the US on eBay for $70.
I’d say the foundation trilogy as it goes for ridiculous amounts on the second hand markets at the moment. Also The Book of the new sun was too rich for my blood but I find myself looking back to it many times this year. Looking forward to seeing the non LE version released in the near future that folio is working on.
I also highly recommended the old fashioned methods of second hand book stores and op shops for finding gems.. I’ve found around 30 this year with the highlight being Orwell’s Reportage for 15 Aud in pristine condition.
Nice try. You'd have to kill me. In fact these are pretty standard prices for provincial areas where there aren't many fanatics. The bookseller does price desirable books such as Ulysses and some Fairy Books up to full market value, along with boxed sets. Even if you look at a city the size of Winnipeg, Bison Books keeps a Folio list at often reasonable prices (though in US dollars) and the stuff never seems to move.
The Foundation Trilogy springs to mind. It was discounted during a sale when I was placing an order anyway, I love Asimov, so why in the world would I not buy it?
Can't really explain it.
More defensible is the Dali 1001 Nights, which I just couldn't afford, but dearly wanted.
From the 'before my time' category, I'd have liked a complete set of Patrick O'Brian at a reasonable price, the Mort LE, the Gormenghast Trilogy, and so much more...
Don't despair. I'm sure you will find your fair lot on eBay.
When I was a student in UK, I used to look for Folio books online every day. I managed to get:
Labyrinths (not sealed)
One Hundred Years of Solitude (two copies; one sealed)
The two-book set of Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales (sealed)
The complete set of Anton Chekhov's stories (sealed)
The complete set of Leo Tolstoy's stories (not sealed).
Things Fall Apart (sealed)
I think the most expensive cost me not more than 60 pounds, which is kind of good. You have to pretty quickly though.
Some I bought by bidding, others by direct purchase. Sometimes you may be looking at a book and debating whether it's good value, and it's already gone by the next time you look at it.
I missed out on The Man in the High Castle too!
Same, I couldn't afford Beowulf at the time. :/
I wasn't yet at uni. And I feel you about the Great Gatsby.
I adore Beloved, but was an undergraduate when it came out, and I couldn't afford it either. It pains me to think I miss out on it.
Seems you're not the only one who missed out on Asimov's set. I managed to buy it just before it got sold out. (For a set of 3 books, 54 pounds was a pretty good price). As for Dali's LE. Yes, that was unbelievably beautiful. If I had the funds, I'd definitely have bought it.
I came to The Folio Society relatively late in the day (2016) and have spent the last four years chasing down out of print books, sometimes at hugely inflated values. I've ticked off most of my list now. The main one still outstanding is the 2-vol History of Japan, which goes on eBay for circa £200.
I once passed on the opportunity to buy the 2-vol War & Peace in the sale for about £70, only to see it go out of print shortly afterwards. I ended up paying £200 for a copy on eBay. That said, I funded the purchase by selling my limited edition copy of War & Peace (an inferior translation) that I picked up for £50 in the FS shop closing down sale in December 2016. So guess I can't complain!
I passed on a copy of south polar times for £20 that I regret and I should’ve pick up “we”, but I’m not particular fussed and have most of the folio books I desire.
I believe I put my dismembered voucher towards Lolita because it was a higher price than regular editions. They informed me that this was due to the very restrictive and expensive rights for his work which amounted to £15 per book or some such. I doubt, like master i margarita, they will be re printing anytime soon because of this.
A Brief History of time
For vanity reasons maybe `Mort LE` and to some degree `The Shining` with signed bookplate, the latter one is only my own fault (mostly my niece, if she had not come for visit, i would have bought it)
There are some older editions from the time before my devotion. But none i can`t find later, like
Postman rings twice
.. and one that are out of reach, like `Wind in the Willows LE` (i had my chance buying it to a great price, but i waited to long / one day to many)
.. and to some degree `Morte D`Arthur` / just because it`s Arthurian legend and to make sure the answer to the grail`s location is not in there somewhere
You had all those chances >1 Kainzow: `The War at the End of the World` were on sale after sale after summer sale. What happened? :)
A number of the missing books mentioned above are on sale on the usual book selling sites. For those on a budget, they could always ask the seller if they would accept a lower price.
When I was a student, I didn't follow The Folio Society as much I used to.
So, I missed it completely, even when I literally toured the UK bookshops looking for Mario Vargas Llosa's novels.
And oh........another one added to the list: Pinnochio!!
I almost forgot. :(
I missed it because, again, I didn't have the funds at the time.
While there are many that I want that are before my discovery of Folio Society, I guess the only one on the list that I truly passed on that I regret is Tale of Genji. I have the first edition of it, which is quite nice, but I wish now that I had bought the Folio version before it sold out.
Others that I will keep searching the used market for include:
One Hundred Years of Solitude
The Brothers Karamazov
Those that were on the list that I’ve managed to find include:
The History of Japan
Things Fall Apart
I've only been buying from FS for a couple of years now, but there were a couple of earlier titles that I really liked and fortunately managed to track down at reasonable prices:
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
The Third Policeman
The Gormenghast Trilogy (I prefer the red label on the spine of the 2000 reprint)
Seven Gothic Tales
The Collected Ghost Stories of M.R. James
In a Glass Darkly
The Bloody Chamber & other stories
The Once & Future King
One Hundred Years of Solitude (although now I'm considering an upgrade to the LEC...)
There's only a few that I still want, that I haven't bought yet for one reason or another (mostly buying other books lol):
Walden (2009 edition)
Ghost Stories of Walter De La Mare
The Princess & the Goblin
I don't know where the price will go, but at the moment History of Japan is still very reasonable here: https://www.ebay.de/itm/A-History-of-Japan-Conrad-Totman-2013-Folio-Society-Two-...
No connection to the seller.
For me, the only book that I really want and have been unable to find is Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. I’ve tracked down many others, often paying sucker prices for them.
I agree with the finding of FS books in second hand book shops. I got to know of Folio Society only in 2019 January because i was searching for some Thomas Hardy books. I found a seller in Germany itself and bought 9 Hardys for €5 each. After that, i dealt directly with him and purchased many others (Entire Dickens, Anthony Trollope, George Eliot, Brontë sisters, Wilkie Collins, Vanity Fair, Daphne Du Maurier, Rob Roy, Henry Fielding, etc.) I would name such low prices but because FS books aren't popular here in Germany, i would get them for very affordable prices (most of the Trollopes cost me €4). The most charming part is that these all belonged to the same person and were very well taken care of. The green moiré silk bound Bronté set has zero fading. My only regret is that i didn't buy the many other books which he was offering at the time (Ann Radcliffe set, Clarissa, etc.)
My partner got me the 2008 Brothers Karamazov (since it's my favourite book for an exorbitant price) last year. It was listed as Like New, but there was some very little rubbing off on the corners (which hadn't been shown in the pics). When mentioned to the US based seller, they refunded 60% of the money. So, it became relatively reasonable. More so because i don't come across that Bk edition often.
I was not aware that Folio had taken out In a Glass Darkly by le Fanu. Now i want it really badly!
The only book that was in print when I discovered FS that I really regret missing is Beowulf. There are many older titles I wish I'd been around for. I didn't know they'd produced Things Fall Apart until this thread, for instance.
… most of the Trollopes cost me €4 … Sounds a bargain. I have to wine and dine them.
I'm in the fortunate position to have no real regrets on not buying books. I might consider the fine edition of The Holy Land & Egypt and Nubia a missed chance, and News From Nowhere by William Morris though I'm not actively chasing them down. Other than that, I'm low-key looking at the remaining books in the Myths and Legends Series (Herodotus, Thucydides, Ovid, Virgil and Irish Myths and Legends). I own better translations/versions (e.g. the Landmark series or Metamorphoses LE) for most of these and I find Irish Myths and Legends a mismatch, so I'm in no hurry.
>29 Kainzow: So, I missed it completely, even when I literally toured the UK bookshops looking for Mario Vargas Llosa's novels Oh, the irony ;)
Pinocchio went OOP just a couple of months after i joined in 2014. Happy hunting books !
No import charges on books from anywhere to the UK - fortunately for me, as I've bought quite a number from the USA, and carriage alone is generally quite fierce enough.
I always regret the bank balance destroying foundation requiring The Holy Land & Egypt and Nubia! I also regret Pepys when it first came out in the wonderful wooden 'slipcase'
I was heartbroken to miss The Martian Chronicles, especially at such a good sale price. I ended up picking it up second hand for over $100.
No regrets about missing out on any FS books. Rather the opposite - have been slimming down to those I value the most.
Having said that, I do wish I'd bought the Trollope Society editions of the Palliser and Barchester novels that came out at the same time as the FS editions in a similar if 'duller' format - I currently have the FS editions which, whilst being more colourful and illustrated, are hopelessly impractical.
Thanks for the tip, friend! However, I've already ordered a copy of the standard version of Monte Cristo from AbeBooks.
I wasn't aware that The Martian Chronicles was so sought-after! I picked up a copy after I breezed through Fahrenheit 451. After I finally, *finally* catch up on my back reading, I might have to try the other Bradbury books currently on sale.
This thread got me thinking - does anyone else think it would be a good idea to create a new thread that’s a corollary to this: books currently in stock that stand out in terms of topic, illustrations, design?
Something of a “Summer 2020 - You’ll miss these when they’re gone” thread.
And there could be links to the threads where they’re discussed. Off the top of my head, it would have Dr. Zhivago, The Door in the Wall, Japanese Folktales, Madame Bovary. Those all have entire threads dedicated to them.
And I don’t mean to suggest they should only have Limited Editions, though three of the four above are. Indeed, it would be an opportunity to spotlight some of those other books that are almost sleeper hits.
>44 Unbroken1: These things are strange. Here with Martian Chronicles as an example .. they are seldom as much sought after when they are in print, they are normal and we are happy because finally a volume we wanted, so we pick it up during sale we say, and if so should happen and we miss out, then we hit bottom low, we gown down into the basement to sob.
Personally i have raised my level some small notches and started buying the occasional in-print book.
I'm going to regret not adding The Princess Bride to my sale order. I had it on my list, but must have forgotten it in the excitement of the moment. The shipping charge for a single-book order is stopping me from ordering it now.
I have FOMO for Brave New World, but am not completely convinced- does anyone have any review on it?
>43 Willoyd: Why do you find the FS Trollopes impractical, if i may ask?
>47 coynedj: FS mentioned on twitter last week that they're reprinting Princess Bride and that it's due back in stock (assuming current batch sells out) in August.
>50 agitationalporcelain: One would wonder if the meaning of the words 'Last chance to buy' is different for FS from the standard meaning in the rest of the world.
I suspect it has to do with the very light-colored paper boards on a lot of them... :) They are annoying and need some care (or you accept that they won't look their best).
>51 Fierylunar:. Agree. Maybe a Temporarily Out of Stock tab? Also clearing out the clutter of sold out never to return would be nice - say a tab for an out of print archive would be a nice place to put those.
>51 Fierylunar: One would wonder if the meaning of the words 'Last chance to buy' is different for FS from the standard meaning in the rest of the world.
"Please buy these books, we want more money".
Foundation Trilogy. It was on sale!! The price was amazing!! And I didn't buy it. Whhhyyyy?
News from Nowhere. Somehow that one completely passed me by.
I had watched Beowulf for a couple of years, hoping it would go on sale. The year it finally did, I placed an early sale order without noticing Beowulf was on offer. When I noticed it the next day, it was already gone. The gnashing of teeth was immense. It took several years to find it at a reasonable price in the second hand market, but I did eventually find one. I’m still watching for News from Nowhere.
>52 AnnieMod: Ah, right. That is true. The set i got was extremely well preserved and i have only read 6 of them. Hopefully, i can keep them clean.
>50 agitationalporcelain: Excellent news! Now I can dilly-dally about ordering it, along with Something Wicked This Way Comes, for even more months!
I also missed it. and missed Martian Chronicles. My rationale for all the FS SF titles is that, if I´d bought one then I would have had to buy them all: all the Bradburies, Dune, Foundation + I Robot. The two Clarkes are very off with that square spine, so I can leave them out, haha
I have mild regret at missing Lolita. More regret at not being a LE buyer at the time Wind In the Willows was for sale, as that seems one of the few titles whose price may never come down from the stratosphere.
For anyone who missed Martian Chronicles: Some time ago the LEC of Martian Chronicles was recommended on this board. I purchased it and am really happy with it. It has lovely illustrations, and I prefer them to the cartoony FS ones.
Also, as I think Wizard of Oz stock is getting low, I would recommend the Books of Wonder edition as an alternative. It is a facsimile of the first edition, and not as high quaility as FS, but has sewn bindings and a dust jacket. Plus, you can buy the rest of the Baum Oz books quite affordably, and Ozma of Oz is the best of the series.
I have an extra two volume blue leather W&P FS LE (sans slipcase), if interested.
They were covered with mostly pale-coloured paper that picks up and glaringly shows every small mark etc. Try reading them with bare hands, even freshly washed, finger marks show up easily and almost instantly. Had to wear gloves to read them, or rest book on something and only touch pages. I've now replaced them (and one or two others I had).
I was fortunate to come by a full set of the Folio Trollope in near-fine condition, and have read quite a number of them bare-handedly without as far as I can tell any visible effects on the books. Perhaps I'm just blessed (?) with unusually dry, leathery skin...
The Trollopes are bound and end-papered in Wiggins Teape's 'Conqueror' writing paper. I have used several of the colours for my own correspondence over the years, and always thought it strange to have novels which had matching envelopes.
No problem for me either. But I would have preferred the Trollope Society version had I known about them soon enough. Better a sober matched set than the technicoloured clown's pants effect.
I have read around 7 of them and am yet to notice any smudging/finger marks. But then again, i anyways read by keeping the book on a pillow, unles i am reading a paperback. Holding up The Way We Live Now for hours would be an uneviable task. The Trollope Society ones are very nice looking, as well.
I rather enjoy the "technicoloured clown's pants effect". I think they show up wonderfully against my black shelves. I am not a fan of all the books by an author looking exactly the same.
For me the only one is War & Peace (the 2016, non-LE one). It doesn't come up often and is usually pretty pricey, as much as the LE or more.
I like the colors - I much prefer matching but not the same spines (colors is a great way to do that) than a set with "same spine, different title" ones. Especi
>68 Mooch360: Indeed. I sold my limited edition of War & Peace to finance my purchase of the 2016 edition on the secondary market.
The fairy books, although blue is still available directly from FS.
Since I just became interested in them a few days ago and it looks like prices on the secondary market are off the wall.
In fact I had my finger on the Buy button for 3 still-wrapped new copies (red, pink, and I think yellow) for $120 each, but I moved too slowly and two days later I'm watching the buyer currently trying to flip them (with a starting bid about twice as high, same photos)
The Foundation Trilogy is also off the charts. A set sold for $460 USD on eBay, and another got listed on Abe for about $1,200.
For those interested in the Fairy books, a complete, unopened set is on auction on eBay, ending in less than 24 hours, and is currently at $1,875.
I’m not affiliated with any sellers.
>74 WishIReadMore_: - I'm reading the Foundation Trilogy now, and had no idea it held such value. Now I'm tempted to sell my copy, once I've finished reading it. It is very nice, but $460 is a lot of money!
Man in the High Castle
I actually had both Foundation and Man in the High Castle and sold them at cost when we were turning our office into a nursery. Figured I could always rebuy if we had space. Now we do but prices have skyrocketed so I’m regretting it big time.
Edited to add that I’m always looking for these on the secondhand market and would love to hear from anyone here with a copy to sell. Thanks!
I literally had the new Ulysses in the shopping basket when it sold out.
Also missed out on Monte Cristo by being abroad from the day before it was announced to the day after it sold out.
One thing I take from this thread is that sci-fi more than holds its value. So probably best to get in on it early if it is in any way intriguing.
The Roald Dahl Box Set. True, the illustrations were the classic Quentin Blake ones and they weren't even in color, but it was the finest manufacture of those books I've ever seen. Hard to come by but occasionally they appear on eBay
Not a bargain but cheaper than the cheapest set on Abebooks so perhaps of interest, can’t tell from your profile if you’re in the UK:
Wow, I didn't have a clue these have become so expensive. I bought my set at a discount directly from FS some years ago and haven't even gotten around to reading them yet.
Oh that would have been wonderful if they shipped it internationally. Unfortunately I do not live in the UK. I really appreciate you taking the time to post that link, though. I will just have to keep looking!
A forwarding service can be really helpful. I'm currently using Colis Expat and while there are problems due to corona, they worked perfectly before that at a good price and are getting back there.
Thank you SF, I will look into that. I'm sort of holding out hope that Folio Society will release Narnia again but finding a good quality copy secondhand would be good too. I'm also a bit wary to order anything internationally from any small companies at the moment, because of Covid and a lot of stories about packages getting lost.
>76 ChampagneSVP: I may have a copy of Man in the High Castle that will meet your needs. PM sent.
I’m considering paying four times the original the original price to get a copy of the FS Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas...but resisting for now!
Completely understandable, shipping is quite problematic between some countries, like the US and Germany, while the UK and Germany is actually a lot better and faster than before corona, strangely enough. Just in case you need something like this after all: Colis Expat use courier services like EMS, DHL and FedEx, at least for the areas relevant to me, I can't speak for others. Those couriers are already safer than regular mail in my experience, but usually you can also purchase insurance for a very small sum. The seller sends within their own country to the Colis Expat warehouse, then they ship your package to you. Their website allows you to check in advance how much something will cost and which services are available. I've been very happy with their service from the US, but haven't tried out other countries. They also have warehouses in France, the UK, Italy, Spain and Germany. I do wish they'd add Canada or Australia.
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