books: learning curve

So, I know as much about selling 'regular' books as anyone. It's a topic with endless permutations that is constantly evolving, so that's about the boldest claim you can make. However working in a general shop in a small-ish town I haven't had much exposure to genuine collectibles and rarities. We get them in from time to time, but deep, authentic book knowledge comes from intimate, broad knowledge and historically we haven't seen enough of that stuff for me to build a substantial memory file. With the contraction of the biz and the ongoing economic turmoil we're starting to see more of that kind of thing, an opportunity I've leapt on with both feet. Today's self-researching masterclass will be on the offerings of the Folio Society. They're a publisher of quality limited editions falling somewhere between the Limited Editions Club on the high end and subscription publishers like the Franklin Library/Easton Press on the lower end. Not genuinely high end fine press stuff, but as nice as you're likely to find in the hands of the proletariat. In the previous 20-odd years I've handled maybe 5 books published by Folio. Last year a bit before Christmas we bought 20 or so of recent vintage. This week the boss picked up a good sized library including several hundred Folios among the other treasures. This is the best way to learn a subject, researching and digging through a big ol' pile of the titles in question. File under 'When Work is Fun'.

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