I just decided to join The Folio Society. It seems a bit extravagant but what the heck, it’s only money right? And the books are beautiful.
The basic deal is that you get a huge box full of reference materials for $19.95 if you join but you must purchase 4 additional books. All of the books are hand crafted and made exclusively for Folio. They range from classic literature and poetry to history, religion and philosophy; everything from Seutonius to Milton to Bertrand Russell to P.G. Wodehouse. The volumes are expensive (anywhere from $35 to $80 or more depending on the size and scope) but they are made to last a lifetime or more!
Specifically, I pay only $19.95 for the following: Chambers Biographical Dictionary, Chambers Dictionary of World History, Oxford English Reference Dictionary, Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, The Time Atlas of the World, plus Robert Graves’ The Greek Myths. In return I agree to buy four additional books to complete my membership. I chose Milton’s Paradise Lost (counts as two volumes), T.H. White’s The Once and Future King, and Ambrose Pierce’s The Devil’s Dictionary. That will cost me over $200 but considering what I am getting I think I come out ahead. I have a killer reference library that will last a lifetime for a couple hundred bucks.
Does that seem extravagant to you?