There are people who read books and there people who love books.
The former group are people who are into reading stories that are fun, or Literary-with-a-capital-L, or though-provoking, or meaningful, or what have you. They don’t care how they read the book — it could be a borrowed library title or it could be an eBook they take with them on vacation. They’re all about the stories. The second group of people are those whose love of books extends beyond the story and bleeds over in the physical book itself. These are the “Book as Object” folks who are collectors (whether serious or casual) and biblioholics (looks at self).
If you fall into that latter category you’ll want to know about The Folio Society, a high-end book publisher founded in 1947. Think of them as the Rolls Royce of the book world. The Folio Society specializes in creating finely-crafted editions of literary works, including (fans of this blog will be pleased to learn) speculative fiction titles. Their books are produced with the primary goals of being high quality and long-lasting, from production through packaging. Take a look at their catalog — and especially some of the speculative fiction titles and you’ll see what I mean. (Leave yourself some time. You’re gonna get lost over there. Seriously.)
I had the opportunity to see one of these books first-hand. I received a copy of Frank Herbert’s science fiction classic Dune. Being a “Book as Object” kind of guy, I’m not ashamed to admit it caught my breath a little when I saw it. It’s simply beautiful. It comes in a heavy duty slipcase adorned by a sample image of Sam Weber’s excellent artwork — more of which appears within its high-grade pages. (Another sampling is shown below.) There are 11 color illustrations throughout the novel, as well as a nice handful of black and white drawings accomapnying the crisp, clear text. Weber’s images really capture a unique and realistic feel for the story. (Translation: No bikini-clad Sting.) The book itself feels hefty and substantial, something that feels better just for being there. It’s truly a book lover’s dream edition of a science fiction classic.
I’ll stop here so you can just soak up the awesomeness contained herein…
[Images by Sam Weber for The Folio Society edition of Dune © 2015]