Classics of literature of the month club, cancel and Moby Dick is yours to keep? Where to find?
September 4, 2008 1:42 AM   Subscribe

Some publisher used to do a set of volumes of great works, supposedly quality bindings, via a "We'll send you another volume each month, and if you cancel, the edition of Moby Dick is yours to keep" model. Who was that?

It was some kind of vague collection or literary works, but not the "five foot shelf of books" or the Brittanica Great Books collection.

I remember advertisements in the back of magazines, and perhaps a TV ad where there was fawning over gilt edges and marbled endpapers.

Does this still exist? Or if not, who was the publisher/company/service can hunt down some of the books, used?
posted by bartleby to Shopping (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
In the UK, that would be the Folio Society.
posted by unconvention at 1:56 AM on September 4, 2008

Best answer: That sounds like Easton Press to me. They've got pretty good leather editions of classics and an assortment of new releases. Their 100 Greatest Books Ever Written sounds like the set you might have seen advertised, although it sends Huckleberry Finn first. You can usually find individual copies on eBay if there's a specific book you want without purchasing the complete set. A few years ago I gave a friend a gorgeous leather bound copy of The Last Unicorn I bought new on eBay and it blew her mind.

I'd be interested in hearing about any other companies that produce this sort of thing. I'm a sucker for the neo-Victorian library complete with spiral staircases, leather books, overstuffed chairs, personalized bookplates, and crackling (yet paper safe) fireplaces. Someday I'll build a house around a library. Or if I just wait long enough, I'll get the Primer from The Diamond Age. That'd be cool too, and a lot more portable.
posted by scottdavidsanders at 4:13 AM on September 4, 2008

The Folio Society also sells in the US.
posted by fidelity at 6:41 AM on September 4, 2008

You can also subscribe to the Library of America series (includes Moby Dick!).
posted by mattbucher at 7:45 AM on September 4, 2008

It's almost certainly the Easton Press you're thinking of: they were owned by the Franklin Mint, and the TV commercials for the Easton Press books were quite similar to the Franklin Mint commercials.

A really fine collectors' press is the Arion Press of San Francisco.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:19 AM on September 4, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks all, it was the Easton Press/100 Books I was thinking of. The Folio Society is a good lead too, as is Arion (but pricey!) - their editions look beautiful. The Easton editions are more in my price range, though.

Now if only I had money and space to buy them all, and the Library of America, and the whole Everyman's Library collection, and the entire Penguin Classics collection.....
posted by bartleby at 12:25 PM on September 4, 2008

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