The Folio Society

After much internal debate, I’ve decided to renew my membership to The Folio Society. It’s a bit of a commitment to agree to buy four (pricey) books in the next year, but I can’t help myself. I’m a sucker for two things: beautiful books and British culture. The combination of the two is pretty much irresistible.

The Brits slay me. Their dry humor, their correctness, their funny punctuation (no period after salutations like Mr.), it all gets into my chest and bubbles out in laughter. This is a congenial laughter, mind, not a derogatory kind. I just love ‘em.

When I signed up to join, there was the typical drop-down box for choosing my title. Besides the usual Mr/Mrs/Ms choices came Lady/Sir/Major and a couple others. I toyed with picking “Lady” until I realized they’re actually serious.

Some weeks after I initially joined I still hadn’t received my shipment and I was getting worried. I e-mailed the customer service to check, and here was the response:

Dear Ms xxx,

Thank you for your e-mail.

I can confirm your order has been received but is currently being held at dispatch. You replied to the offer regarding the Tote Bag, and that is what has been holding up the order. We are currently waiting for a new delivery of Tote Bags to arrive, and once they do we will be sending them as a complete order. If you wish me to cancel the Tote Bag so your order may be sent straight away, please let me know.

I hope this e-mail finds you well.

Yours sincerely,

Ross Steele
Membership Secretary

I had forgotten I was to be awarded a tote bag as a new member. (The capitalization was all his.) I let Mr Steele know that although I appreciate the gift, the books were my highest priority and, really, it would be all right, sir, to ship my order straight away without the Tote Bag.

His response:

Dear Ms xxx,

Thank you for your e-mail.

I can happily confirm your whole order, Tote Bag included, was dispatched today 12th June 2009. I am sorry for the wait but you were one of the lucky customers who got a Tote Bag on their delivery, we still have not got enough in for everyone!

I hope the books and this e-mail find you well.

Yours sincerely,

Ross Steele
Membership Secretary

Isn’t that delightful? I really think if we’re going to outsource our customer service operations it should be to England. How could one ever get annoyed reading e-mails like these?

A week or so after the last e-mail I got a giant package on my front porch enclosed in a burlap bag marked “Her Majesty’s Post”. I practically bounced into the house with it. Even the kids were excited.

Inside were beautiful books and this Tote Bag (please pardon the blurriness):

Tote Bag

It is now being used to haul The Girl’s toys and books to her brother’s piano lessons. I gaze upon it happily every Tuesday afternoon.

Yeah, I’m a sucker.

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3 replies

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more about outsourcing to the English. I had a most wonderful experience with Persephone Books when I had made a mistake on an order placed. So nice. I have been thinking about joining The Folio Society and was wondering if you had a difficult time choosing four books that you really wanted. I have found at least four books that I would like from the website but not sure if these would count towards the four books needed or must those four only come from the prospectus for that year? It is a huge commitment and could use any advice you may be able to offer:)

  2. I had a difficult time restricting myself to four books! From what I understand, any four books you choose on the website will fulfill the commitment. Sometimes especially expensive ones count as more than one volume. In those cases, there’s a notation at the end of the book description. I believe you also have a full year to choose and pay for the books, and you can order them all at once and do a payment plan if you want.

    Thanks for the comment, and good luck!

  3. Thank you. I appreciate your taking the time to give me direction.

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