A Book Lover’s Holiday Gift Guide and Giveaway!

Back in October, I shared that The Folio Society had at last completed their complete Jane Austen collection, with the publication of the illustrated Mansfield Park. As I mentioned at that time, my friends at The Folio Society were gearing up for a big holiday release and, as a “thank you” to the readers of my blog, who have always been big Folio Society fans, they wanted to return this week and offer you all something special. (More on that at the bottom of this post!)

First, though, I thought I would share with you some new treasures I discovered in the Holiday Catalog. If you are still thinking about gifts for the special bookworms in your life, I have to recommend these beautiful editions of classic literature (they also have texts from philosophy, science, religion, etc.) What is special about these editions is not just the fact that they are illustrated with stunning work by some of the most talented artists today, but they are beautifully bound in illustrated covers and come in sturdy slip-cases, which is important for protecting the look (and value) of these books, especially for long-time collectors. One of my favorite features, though, is that each edition comes with a new introduction. Take The Folio Society’s new edition of Ray Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man, for example; it is introduced by the incomparable Margaret Atwood!

Anyway, my perusal of the holiday catalog led to my acquiring 4 (technically 5!) new editions from The Folio Society. (Side note: there is also a Children’s Gift Ideas guide, from which I was VERY TEMPTED to get a few more items, but I had to restrain myself). The texts I picked-up for myself are: Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick; John Steinbeck’s East of Eden; Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner & Three Other Poems; and a dual edition from Philip K. Dick, including Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and A Scanner Darkly. I have to say, even though I have collected a fair number of Folio Society books over the years, I was absolutely stunned by these new editions. The  cover art, especially, is beyond beautiful. I keep my books in their slip-cases in order to protect them, but someday I hope to purchase a display cabinet where I can put all of these out, front cover forward, because they are so beautiful.

As for the interior illustrations, well, take a look for yourself:

Moby-Dick by Herman Melville

“I think that the book which I put down with the unqualified thought ‘I wish I had written that’ is Moby-Dick” -William Faulkner

Following the huge success of their 2009 limited edition, Folio has reproduced Moby-Dick in a new collector’s edition. Featuring Rockwell Kent’s illustrations and bound in rich cloth, this is a fine presentation of what is regarded by many as the greatest American novel.

Herman Melville’s tale of the hunt for the white whale, Moby-Dick, is a sublime work of the imagination, an American Odyssey. It is at once an adventure story of the high seas, and an exploration of the uncharted regions of the soul.

A Scanner Darkly and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

It is difficult to measure the impact of Philip K. Dick’s work. Not only did his stories and novels win awards and influence an entire generation of science-fiction writers, many of his works have been adapted into film and continue to inspire directors to this day.

Alongside Ridley Scott’s genre-changing Blade Runner, inspired by Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, the films Total Recall, Minority Report, A Scanner Darkly and the recent television series The Man in the High Castle all owe their existence to his imagination.

For this special edition, The Folio Society have brought together two classic titles in an appropriately mind-bending format: read one, then turn the book upside down to enter the altered reality of the next.

East of Eden by John Steinbeck

“It has everything I have been able to learn about my art or craft or profession in all these years,” wrote John Steinbeck of East of Eden, the novel he considered his magnum opus.

Coolly received when it was first published in 1952, it has grown in stature and popularity ever since, and is now recognized as the author’s most ambitious and accomplished work.

This magnificent edition, published to celebrate the winner of Folio’s 2017 Readers’ Choice Fiction Competition, and produced with the highest design and production values, is a fitting testament to Steinbeck’s remarkable achievement.

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Three Other Poems by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Samuel Taylor Coleridge was the most innovative and influential of all the English Romantic poets. This beautiful edition emulates our popular limited edition, with four immortal poems superbly illustrated by Harry Brockway, one of the UK’s leading wood-engravers. A striking binding design by the artist and a blocked slipcase make this the perfect vessel for Coleridge’s fantastical journeys.

This supernatural ballad was conceived as Coleridge walked in the Quantock Hills with William and Dorothy Wordsworth. From this initial inspiration Coleridge labored for five months, changing a traditional ballad stanza into an astonishingly flexible and musical unit of varying length. Lyrical Ballads, his collaboration with Wordsworth, opened with ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’. It became the keynote of the book, indeed of English Romanticism as a whole.

The poem is a gripping tale of death, damnation and expiation. But it is also an allegory of sin and repentance, a mystical account of man’s fall from Grace through the symbolic killing of an innocent creature. For some critics, the mariner represents the poet himself: Coleridge wrote of his “Mind shipwrecked by storms of doubt, now mastless, rudderless, shattered, – pulling in the dead swell of a dark and windless Sea.” Just like the wedding guest, halted by the mariner and unable to break away, the reader is entranced by this visionary poem.

Important Dates

  • The last day to order for holiday delivery is December 8 (midnight EST).
  • The last day for express delivery is December 14 (midnight EST).


Now for the really fun part! The Folio Society is saying HAPPY THANKSGIVING, and wishing you all early luck in your holiday shopping season by offering up one copy of their new edition of MANSFIELD PARK to a lucky winner. What do you have to do to be entered to win?

  1. Be a WordPress or an e-mail subscriber of this blog (click the thingamajig in the side-menu).
  2. Leave a comment on this post, including your e-mail handle in case you win, sharing what you are most looking forward to this holiday season! And let me know how/where you subscribe to or follow this blog.
  3. Follow me on Twitter @RoofBeamReader. (1 bonus entry)

The giveaway will close on “Black Friday” (this Friday, November 24th) at 11:59pm Pacific Time. All valid entries will be counted and winner will be chosen randomly via Random.org. Winner will have 72-hours to respond to e-mail notification with request for shipping information before new winner is chosen. Roof Beam Reader is not responsible for items lost in the mail, damaged, etc. Item will be shipped from the publisher. Folio Society editions are available exclusively at http://www.foliosociety.com.

16 Comments on “A Book Lover’s Holiday Gift Guide and Giveaway!

  1. What a lovely new edition, thanks for the chance to win it.
    This Christmas, like every year, I’m looking forward to the excitement that the local kids experience waiting for Santa. I don’t have any children of my own so I find that really fun.
    I follow your blog by email: crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com, and also on Twitter: @carlrscott. Thanks again for the chance to win this beautiful prize.
    Have a great Thanksgiving week everyone!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a beautiful book. I would love to read it this winter. I’m most looking forward to decorating the tree with my husband & son and walking through the huge light display at our local park.


    • I love going out for a “holiday lights” drive! That’s definitely one of my favorite parts of the season, seeing all the lights and decorations.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for this opportunity to win some of the classics in such a fine edition. This Christmas, I am looking forward to reading anything but English Literature prescribed texts. I have one month until I am back in class pursuing my English degree — I’m half a credit shy of achieving this goal. I follow your blog by email: nancy(dot)gazo(at)simpatico(dot)ca

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I follow you right here on WordPress, and I almost feel bad for entering (though I still am) because I won a Folio book from you many years ago, Once There Was a War by John Steinback…. and I *just* started reading it, this Remembrance Day! Better late than never, right?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Whoops – I’m at lauratfrey @ gmail.com. Long time follower and lapsed Classics Club member. I look forward to reading late into the night over the Christmas holidays.


  5. Folio books are so beautiful. Would love to win one for my own as I’ve drooled over them & ordered a couple as special gifts this Christmas. Thanks for the opportunity to enter. Subscribed to your blog & following on Twitter. Email – chudson9(at)bigpond(dot)com


  6. I’m looking forward to catching up with family and loved ones. There are a lot of us so it’s always such a fun time.

    Email Subscriber – marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com


  7. Great giveaway! I’d love to be entered into the drawing for the beautiful Folio edition of Mansfield Park. I follow you on Twitter, Facebook, and subscribe via email at karenlibrarian13 [at] yahoo [dot] com.

    This holiday season I’m most looking forward to having my daughter home for the holidays — we are on opposite sides of the Atlantic but we’ll have 3 1/2 weeks together, including a week in Madrid! I don’t think I’ll have time to read Don Quixote but I’m very much looking forward to tapas and sangria. Hope your holidays are excellent as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This holiday season I am looking forward to seeing all the beautifully decorated tables! Like you, I love seeing the lights and this year we are doing something totally different- we’re traveling to see my folks and my brother instead of them travelling to us like they have for the last 27 years.

    I follow you by email, lostinliterature108@gmail.com. I also follow your Facebook and instagram accounts.


  9. Oh my gosh, these are all such beautiful editions! Northanger Abbey and Mansfield Park are the only 2 Austen books that I have not read yet so I’d love to be entered in this giveaway (and hope this gorgeous book gets added to my collection, haha). I’m really looking forward to catching up wit my friends and family this holiday season.
    I follow your blog using the email I’m commenting with, I also follow you on Twitter: @hootowl14. Thank you. Have a great Thanksgiving weekend!


  10. Thanks for all your thoughts and comments, and happy holidays to all! Karen was the lucky winner and her book is on the way!


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