Annual Arion Press Sale

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Annual Arion Press Sale

Editado: Nov 15, 2021, 10:51 am

Now through 11/21, 20% off for non-subscribers with the code 21BOOKSGIVING. One order per household.

Nov 15, 2021, 10:49 am

>1 LBShoreBook: Hmm doesn’t seem to be applying for me at checkout (promo code is showing as invalid). Will retry later today.

Editado: Nov 15, 2021, 10:53 am

>2 const-char-star: I pasted the information from the AP e-mail below. I got the code in the wrong, will update my original message. Sorry about that.

Have friends interested in Arion Press books? They can save 20%*** on online orders by using promo code: 21BOOKSGIVING.

***Promo code is valid 11/15/21, 12am PST until 11/21/21, 11:59pm PST. One-time discount per household. Cannot be combined with Subscriber discounted pricing. Limit of two copies per fine print title or artwork. Limit of ten copies per trade edition title.

Editado: Nov 15, 2021, 3:03 pm

Is there a way to find out how many books Arion Press has left? I wonder if the Folio Society trick (recently fixed as I understand it) - entering a large number of books works? I'm surprised they don't use "last chance to buy" to spur sales but then again AP was never one for sales tactics, quite the opposite.

Nov 15, 2021, 6:03 pm

>4 punkzip: no idea but I couldn't resist adding a few Arion Press titles during the sale.

Nov 15, 2021, 6:07 pm

>5 SDB2012: Since I plan to subscribe when DQ is restocked in late 2022/2023 I was trying to get a sense of what might sell out before then so I can buy it during this sale :).

Nov 15, 2021, 6:54 pm

>6 punkzip: e-mail them and ask. I do it all the time. I am a subscriber but if you explain your circumstances I suspect they will accommodate.

Nov 15, 2021, 8:46 pm

If anyone has the AP edition of the Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde, what are you thoughts about it? Is it worth the price?

Nov 15, 2021, 9:07 pm

>8 ultrarightist: I also would love to hear opinions! It looks great from the photos!

Nov 15, 2021, 10:19 pm

I’d be interested in anyone’s take on Arion’s South of Heaven. I read Chris’ review of the book itself on Books and Vines, and it sounds like a nice edition to dip my toes into AP, but don’t know much about the story. Amazon reviews seem mixed, but there aren’t many. So any thoughts on either the story or the book would be appreciated. The sale price is less than what a copy of this edition sold for in the most recent auction, so I’m leaning toward taking a chance, but figured I’d ask around for any input.

Nov 16, 2021, 7:24 am

>10 jsg1976: I haven't read the book but it was one of the three I purchased during the sale. Have you read Jim Thompson? He's not for everyone but I like his stuff a lot.

Editado: Nov 16, 2021, 10:56 am

>10 jsg1976: I'm not sure if the recent Swann auction is representative given that so many AP books were auctioned, drawing a larger pool of bidders than usual. There were some silly hammer prices in that auction - perhaps people getting caught up in the bidding - for example, the in print Sappho went for a $1700 hammer price (at least $2125 with buyer premium - $2210 if you bid outside Swann - then add tax, and shipping/handling) which is way more than the non-subscriber retail of $1750. I take this to mean that the bidding just got out of hand, not that buying the Sappho for the sale price is a good value. Another crazy example from that auction - AP Yeats went for $2700, just watched another Swann auction today where the same volume went for $1600 - this is a week apart - again, a lot of bidders in the first auction. I find that the best way to find out about books before buying expensive editions is to download an e-book and read about 10% of it. This will tell you far more than anyone else can. What others can best tell you about is the paper quality, layout etc.

Nov 16, 2021, 3:15 pm

I will purchase either the Paradise Lost or the Frankenstein. What does this august forum recommend?

Editado: Nov 16, 2021, 3:21 pm

>13 L.Bloom: I suspect everybody else will say Paradise Lost, but I say Frankenstein!!!

Nov 16, 2021, 3:22 pm

>13 L.Bloom:. Frankenstein!!!!

Nov 16, 2021, 3:23 pm

>14 grifgon: I confirm grifgon's suspicion. I own both and I would go with Paradise Lost - not really close for me.

Nov 16, 2021, 3:30 pm

>13 L.Bloom: +1 Paradise Lost.

Nov 16, 2021, 3:39 pm

>13 L.Bloom: Paradise Lost, definitely. It will become your go-to reading copy.

Nov 16, 2021, 3:50 pm

>15 Glacierman: Couldn't ask for better company on #teamfrankenstein !!

Nov 16, 2021, 4:29 pm

What would be useful, for those of use who do not own either volume, is for partisans of both volumes to give reasons for their choices.

Nov 16, 2021, 4:31 pm

>20 punkzip:

And also more photos!

Nov 16, 2021, 4:48 pm

>13 L.Bloom: Well...I bought the Paradise Lost AND the Frankenstein. The savings covered the cost of South of Heaven. That meant it's free, right?? +)

Nov 16, 2021, 4:57 pm

So far asking this question in this forum has resulted in roughly the same vacillation which had already tormented my mind. Entertaining seeing all the different viewpoints though.

Nov 16, 2021, 4:57 pm

>20 punkzip: I don't know how to post photos on LT (post #21) and not that invested in which one you purchase but the difference, to me, is this: Paradise Lost is exquisitely bound and has a hefty weight to it. Rounded binding, beautiful font, fantastic paper and understated elegance. Frankenstein is a fun book bound in faux leather; the grey coloring on mine is already chipping at the corners (I assume from the slipcase) and I've owned the book for maybe 2 months and have yet to read it. Frankenstein is an interesting concept and a nice addition to my library but the difference in craftsmanship between the two volumes is pronounced. Glad I have both but only one is timeless.

Nov 16, 2021, 4:58 pm

>22 SDB2012: Get thee back, foul tempter!!!

Editado: Nov 16, 2021, 5:09 pm

Just a heads up. There is one copy of the Dickinson Sampler left. So if you were at all considering this book - buy it now at the sale price.

Nov 16, 2021, 5:29 pm

>20 punkzip: I wrote about this in a similar context (someone was trying to decide between the Arion Don Quixote and the Arion Paradise Lost), so I am just going to copy/paste the text, since it sounds like it would be useful here:

Arion's Paradise Lost is probably my single favorite book that I own. It has a very strong personality, despite direct inspiration from and reference to the early Baskerville printings. It is restrained, but precise. The lack of illustration, and the choice of binding material (linen rather than leather) combines to focus all attention on the basic structure, as if every superficial luxury was foregone to emphasize the balance and harmony of the fundamentals: paper, printing, construction, and verse. Even the paper is, by fine press standards, an exercise in restraint (heavy smooth Zerkall). These choices lend the two minor concessions to opulence greater effect, which are the gold lettering on the purple leather spine label and the blackletter header font.

I have special regard for the work itself as well (Paradise Lost is the book in my library that I have the most copies of) but even apart from that connection I would think it is a triumph.

Nov 16, 2021, 6:02 pm

>27 abysswalker: Very well stated and I completely agree.

If it were me, I would purchase the AP Paradise Lost for the reasons stated above and the Centipede Press Frankenstein for the Lynd Ward illustrations.

Nov 16, 2021, 7:59 pm

>7 LBShoreBook: Thanks - however, I figured out that the "Folio trick" works for AP. Just enter a large number of books - say 100 - and it will tell you how many books are available - e.g. "sorry there are only X available"

Editado: Nov 16, 2021, 8:54 pm

FWIW Frankenstein has sold relatively quickly - by AP standards that is - there are 41 copies left out of 220 for a 2019 title. Paradise Lost has 93 copies left (out of 400) and given that it is a 2002 title I think I'm safe in waiting until I become an AP subscriber. However, I asked and it looks like DQ will not be restocked until 2023 at the earliest. Could anyone comment on Arcadia? That's likely to sell out very soon and I'm potentially interested.

Nov 16, 2021, 9:22 pm

>30 punkzip: I have Arcadia! It's big and very well typeset. I don't particularly like the art or how it's incorporated, though. But if you're into how it looks from the photos online, I expect you'll like it in person.

Nov 16, 2021, 10:58 pm

>30 punkzip: Arcadia is one of my favorite AP books (that I own, I don’t have any of the expensive titles). I like the play and I think this edition is well made. The artwork is unusual in that it folds out around the edges to form a setting for the play. It works for me.

Nov 17, 2021, 2:10 am

Sea of Cortez was tempting… but I opted for Paradise Lost and The Sundial when all was said and done.

Nov 17, 2021, 6:56 am

I'm tempted to grab Paradise Lost that many are also contemplating/recommending as it's also been on my wishlist for a while now. Are there any international buyers that can give an idea what their shipping rates for outside of America (specifically Euroep) are like? Seems like a bit of nuisance not being able to see any options/prices readily in the checkout and needing to email them.

Nov 17, 2021, 7:14 am

>35 mnmcdwl: shipping is not cheap… for shipping to me in Japan, it’s usually between 100-200 USD.

Nov 17, 2021, 7:58 am

>34 wongie: Last sale, I paid $40 for shipping to Germany (I got Frankenstein and Horace) which is rather cheap.

Frankenstein is a lovely book and the illustrations really work for me (Much more than the Pennyroyal edition)

Concerning Paradise Lost: I was always on the hunt for the Golden Cockerel Edition. I guess they are difficult to compare but since there are so many books out there, I try to limit myself to one copy for each story. Now I am unsure.

Any opinions on Sea of Cortez?

>33 const-char-star: The production details of Sundial are modest but the book itself is a great read!

Nov 17, 2021, 8:03 am

>36 SebRinelli: I've heard that SJPP may do Paradise Lost (not next year though).

Nov 17, 2021, 8:18 am

>36 SebRinelli: The quirky mix of science and literary might not be for everyone, but I absolutely love my (deluxe) copy of Sea of Cortez—from the binding and Richard Wagener engravings to the use of wood from the Western Flyer and the text itself. It’s probably the book I would grab if my house were aflame.

Nov 17, 2021, 8:59 am

Well, I think team Paradise Lost is probably correct but maybe not for me personally. Don't get me wrong I LOVE great literature but the subject matter is of no interest to me. As an object, it is clear that the Arion PL is a triumph but I don't see myself getting enjoyment reading it.

Nov 17, 2021, 9:56 am

>37 punkzip: Cmon you can't post something like that and not give more information...

Nov 17, 2021, 10:25 am

>40 filox: It's mentioned in the "News from St. James Park Press" thread here.

Editado: Nov 17, 2021, 11:38 am

Anyone have any ideas of why Call it Sleep has sold so slowly? This is a classic novel, relatively inexpensive by AP standards (particularly factoring in inflation), 300 limitation - yet it has not sold out since its publication in 1995 - 26 years later there are 17 copies left (so I guess it might sell out in 2022 or 2023). Is there something unappealing about this that is not evident from looking at the photos?

Nov 17, 2021, 4:37 pm

>42 punkzip: No, I bought a used copy in Fine condition a couple of years ago. The book is a good read and nicely bound in quarter leather with a slipcase no less.

Nov 17, 2021, 4:45 pm

>42 punkzip: this was my sale splurge. I am looking forward to receiving it.

Editado: Nov 17, 2021, 4:47 pm

>42 punkzip: This is a guess but it is pretty understated relative to much of the catalogue. For example many on this thread appreciate South of Heaven, which is distinctive (not my jam but clearly ticks the boxes for many). Frankenstein - also pretty distinctive in terms of art and layout. I am leaning toward purchasing in this sale to make sure I don't miss it before it's gone but it has been on my backburner while I grab higher-priority titles.

Nov 18, 2021, 12:08 pm

Struggling with a decision between Pedro Paramo and The Leopard. Anyone who owns one of these have strong feelings either way about the production value? I am drawn to Pedro Paramo more for the literary component and The Leopard for the concept/layout.

Editado: Nov 18, 2021, 12:47 pm

>46 LBShoreBook: Pedro Paramo is the clear winner as far as bookmaking. The Leopard, while being a much better story, isn't quite up to the standard of Paramo. Everything about Paramo is done a level above. The website photos do not do it justice.

Nov 18, 2021, 5:22 pm

>46 LBShoreBook: I have both and completely agree with >47 Sorion:. The Leopard is a beautiful book, where all elements just work together in harmony, but Pedro Paramo is a step above. The translucent artwork was an inspired choice and very well done.

Nov 18, 2021, 6:58 pm

>46 LBShoreBook:
+1 Pedro, which I enjoyed reading very much. I don't own The Leopard though

Nov 19, 2021, 10:31 am

I’ve been sold on Paradise Lost (by this and other threads) but am still undecided on Sense and Sensibility - does anyone have an opinion on their version?

Nov 19, 2021, 1:19 pm

>50 jordanxn: I think it's wonderful. First it is the perfect size. It fits so snugly in your hands for reading. There is no position it's uncomfortable to hold the book in unlike so man AP books. The green brocade cover is perfectly done with hidden depth to it on closer inspection. The art while a little edgy for the period is very nice. Textually they didn't miss a single step. The only problem with the book is that is contains material written by Jane Austen.

Again I must bring out the Twain quote: "Why I go so far as to say that any library is a good library that does not contain a volume by Jane Austen. Even if it contains no other book."

Nov 19, 2021, 1:23 pm

>51 Sorion: Ouch. Why do you own it, then? (I'm assuming you do, based on your detailed description)

Nov 19, 2021, 5:04 pm

>47 Sorion:
>48 mnmcdwl:
>49 SebRinelli:
Thanks for the feedback on Pedro Paramo. I went with the wisdom of the crowd and nabbed a copy of this book and Call it Sleep.

Editado: Nov 20, 2021, 4:40 am

>52 ultrarightist: I don’t anymore, I didn’t have a choice at the time. Was still a subscriber then. I did read it because dag nabit I’m not spending that much on a book without actually reading it. Oh I wish I had those hours of my life back! :)

Nov 20, 2021, 5:22 pm

Anyone here has Orlando and wants to chime in on the book?

Editado: Nov 20, 2021, 6:10 pm

>55 filox: I got Orlando in a recent auction but haven't received it yet. I understand it is a polarizing book due to the photos - on a previous AP thread it was listed as one of the AP books someone would save from a fire while another person would throw it in the fire. However, it is available in fine condition on Abebooks for $450 (this was mentioned on a previous thread - hard to find because the seller lists it under Arion rather than Arion Press).

Nov 21, 2021, 12:39 am

>55 filox: One of my fave AP books. First, it's Virginia Woolf. Tackling gender, relationships, and marriage in ways few novels have. Second, I feel it honors a pioneering woman printer to see a press like Arion create an edition of her work. Third, illustrations are polarizing but in this case I think they are pretty spot on and I like the creativity of the folding panels. Much more imaginative than many of the AP books I got as a subscriber.

I blogged about it here:

Nov 22, 2021, 2:36 am

>12 punkzip: >11 SDB2012: well, I took your advice and downloaded the sample of South of Heaven that’s free on Amazon. Only 3 chapters, but I was intrigued enough to pull the trigger and buy the book from AP before the sale ended. Thanks guys.

Editado: Nov 23, 2021, 2:12 pm

Hi all I'm in desperate need of some sage advice, and time is of the essence. I placed my booksgiving order at the last minute on Sunday, as I was overwhelmed with choices. I ended up going with Melville Selected Poems and Pedro Paramo. The third runner up was Eugene Onegin, and since placing the order it's been lingering in my mind/giving me second thoughts.

My order has not yet been shipped, and Arion would be willing to allow me to switch one of the books out for Eugene Onegin today should I decide. If so, Pedro Paramo would be on the chopping block (I can't afford all 3 right now)...Does anyone own both Onegin and Paramo, and can share their thoughts, sway me one way or the other? Or even if you don't own them, but have an opinion. Both the works themselves and the editions should be considerations.


Nov 23, 2021, 2:53 pm

>59 Nightcrawl: I like your taste! I own Melville (great book) and ordered Pedro Paramo in the sale. I also waffled on Eugene Onegin as that is high on my list - I will probably grab it next year. One of the factors that led me to pass on EO this year is they still have 131 copies so this is not selling out any time soon. Granted there are still a lot of Pedro (87) so you will likely have another crack at either. EO is also 16 inches tall, which is a huge book. I need to talk myself in to storing a folio-sized book. I will eventually buy it (it really looks fantastic) but got comfortable waiting on this round. Good luck, I think you are getting a great book either way.

Nov 23, 2021, 3:09 pm

>59 Nightcrawl: There are plenty of Eugene Onegin copies available and doubt it will sell out for years so you could always wait for the next sale. That's my plan anyway after getting Paradise Lost and Exit Ghost.

Nov 23, 2021, 3:09 pm

>59 Nightcrawl: Keep the Pedro! The Juan Rulfo is the "Huckleberry Finn" of Mexico, required reading in secondary school, and is translated well. I don't know where Eugene stands in the Russian canon but the translator, while a great novelist, is a very polarizing translator, as you can read in the appropriate thread on this forum.

Nov 23, 2021, 3:17 pm

>59 Nightcrawl: Here's the chat on Nabokov's Eugene Onegin if you haven't already found it:

Editado: Nov 23, 2021, 3:39 pm

>60 LBShoreBook: Thank you for your insight! Our tastes clearly align. This honestly feels like an impossible decision haha. I'm sure EO will sell slower due to price, but I feel pretty confident that both will still be in stock for next year's sale. What it is really coming down to is a combination of which do I feel is the more essential literary work and which is the more essential Arion production. Thats the one I want to go for first. And my knee-jerk response to both of those questions is EO. The size is probably also my main reservation (well, that and the price). I'm sure it is beautiful, but almost 16 inches really is pushing it for me. I also would be missing out on PP's illustrations, some of Arion's best and most original of recent years IMO. BUT, when I compare the productions as a whole, I do feel that EO, though more expensive, might be the better value, and I'm honestly surprised it isn't priced higher. Sewn by hand, quarter goatskin, and just the pure complexity of the typesetting. I just saw (forget where) that Andrew Hoyem said this was the most challenging production in recent memory...ugh I'm still torn.

Nov 23, 2021, 3:26 pm

>61 Joshbooks1: Whichever I don't get this year, I will probably acquire next year. I feel confident that both will be available. But you're right that EO is the safer bet to wait on.

Nov 23, 2021, 3:32 pm

>64 Nightcrawl: I hear you. Out of all AP books still available, EO is in my top 3 along with DQ and Paradise Lost (I own the latter two). I keep getting side-tracked with books that are getting low on inventory (for example, I added Call it Sleep in this sale and I purchased the last available copy of A Lie of the Mind a few weeks ago) but that is mainly because I am hoarding versus picking my top choices first. I would have owned EO long ago if I prioritized as you are doing. I would love to hear your reactions if you get it - the complexities in printing that book plus the production quality are amazing. Plus I love Russian lit and EO (although the Falen translation that AP did not use hits a few clunky notes to me in its stretch to retain verse, well covered in the link from jveezer). Good luck with your decision. :)

Editado: Nov 23, 2021, 7:37 pm

>62 jveezer: From what I understand Eugene sits at the tippy top of the Russian canon as well, and is arguably more significant on the world stage. I know a bit about the controversy surrounding the Nabokov translation, but it is certainly historically significant, so I appreciate the choice by Arion. I would probably supplement it with a trade paperback of one of well regarded verse translations.

Nov 23, 2021, 3:35 pm

>63 jveezer: Thank you! I've read through this thread a few times in the past couple of days haha

Nov 23, 2021, 3:44 pm

>66 LBShoreBook: I will definitely let you know. Btw my only other Arion edition is Paradise Lost, and it takes pride of place in my collection.

Nov 24, 2021, 12:47 am

>63 jveezer: for anyone curious about Nabokov's Eugene Onegin translation or the Wilson-Nabokov feud (mentioned in that other conversation), this New Yorker article (The Translation Wars) has a few insightful paragraphs near the end about it, and there is also a 2016 book by Alex Beam: The feud: Vladimir Nabokov, Edmund Wilson, and the end of a beautiful friendship.

(I haven't read Eugene Onegin.)

Nov 24, 2021, 1:38 am

>70 abysswalker: I haven't read it either but I would totally read and would love to have the AP edition. I like both Lolita and Pale Fire so am not put off by Nabokov's ego and feuds with others. Of course, if I liked the book enough, the feuds might cause me to seek out the other translation as well.

But I love Pedro Paramo and was actually the one who got Andrew Hoyem to read it, with the result that he eventually published it, and to his credit sent me one of the hors commerce copies. Hence my recommendation to Nightcrawl.

Nov 24, 2021, 2:28 am

>71 jveezer: Ah! You must be the one behind the "whole book experience". I read your review of Pedro Paramo along with many others. I find them super helpful. Write-ups/photos of Arion's publications are extremely rare, so I really appreciate what you do!

Dez 7, 2021, 5:56 pm

>51 Sorion: Thanks again for the recommendation! S&S came yesterday and it’s absolutely brilliant. It’s my fourth letterpress book and by far my favorite - the type shows a lot of character and charm and it’s lovely to hold.

Dez 7, 2021, 8:33 pm

>72 Nightcrawl: Glad you enjoy and appreciate the blog. It's a labor of love and quite rewarding.

Nov 10, 2022, 6:16 pm

Arion's Annual Sale is On... And the non-subscriber discount is up to 30% this year!

"Booksgiving has returned! Celebrate the holiday season with a rare discount on elegant handcrafted Arion Press books. A perfect opportunity to find a thoughtful gift for the book lover in your life, or even yourself. From now through November 30, 2022, we’re offering 30% off all orders of fine press editions and 20% off deluxe editions. Members of the Arion Subscriber Program will save an additional 5% off their regularly discounted Subscriber prices, PLUS free shipping* anywhere in the US. To order, click the button below and use the promo code 22BOOKSGIVING.

You can also order by emailing us at or calling 415-668-2542. Have friends interested in Arion Press books? Forward this along. They too can save 30% on online orders by using the same promo code.

*Booksgiving discount and free shipping applies to orders placed and paid starting 11/10/22, 12 a.m. PST through 11/30/22, 11:50 p.m. PST. Shipping fees apply to international orders. While we will do our best, we cannot guarantee or predict delivery dates this season.

**Promo code is valid 11/10/22, 12 a.m. PST until 11/30/22, 11:59 p.m. PST. One-time discount per household. Cannot be combined with Subscriber discounted pricing. Limit of two copies per fine print title or artwork."

Nov 10, 2022, 7:27 pm

So, now it's 30% off? If they're going to do this every year, why subscribe? I guess if you want a shot at the most popular deluxe versions but since the standard editions rarely sell out, why bother?

Editado: Nov 10, 2022, 9:35 pm

>77 SDB2012: I have a feeling that Arion is probably experiencing the effects of the economic downturn (like other presses/publishers) and is offering a larger discount this year to move books. Having said that, a 30% discount offered to nonsubscribers is probably a galling to subscribers who had to buy books they may not have wanted.

I was planning to subscribe to Arion, primarily to purchase DQ. However, I managed to purchase DQ on the secondary market for a very satisfactory price. The problem with a 30% Booksgiving sale is that there is now no incentive to subscribe to AP at all, at least to me. I do think that some of their back catalog books are worth it at 30% off.

Editado: Nov 10, 2022, 10:58 pm

>78 punkzip: I mean, if you actually want all of Arion’s publications, subscribing still makes the most sense. I doubt any subscribers regret getting their books sooner for the same price, or that any potential subscribers would rather wait a year to potentially get the same titles at the same price, just delayed.

The Arion subscription program is very much designed to reward those who want a substantial Arion library, not those going for a one-off discount.

Nov 11, 2022, 3:34 am

They only ship within the US?

Nov 11, 2022, 7:01 am

>78 punkzip: Yup. I'm actually thinking about canceling my subscription and the only thing that is making me hesitate is waiting for the last 100 copies of Don Quixote. And to add insult to injury, if I'm reading it right it's not even 35% but '5% off their regularly discounted Subscriber prices.' So I get 2-3% extra off and free shipping for the risk and highly likelihood of an annual dud. And it's not like the new releases are at risk of selling out. Very strange way to reward your customer base.

Nov 11, 2022, 7:07 am

Este utilizador foi removido como sendo spam.

Nov 11, 2022, 7:22 am

>78 punkzip: As a subscriber, I do feel a bit chagrined by the 30% discount. I am happy with this year’s output, so it’s fine, but I can’t help but feel that should a dud arrive, a decision to cancel will be easier knowing that this sale is more or less annual now.

Nov 11, 2022, 7:49 am

>81 Joshbooks1: wait is there more DQ coming? When I try adding 2022 preorder it says out of print? That would be nice

Editado: Nov 11, 2022, 8:44 am

>84 trentsteel: Yes there are 100 more copies coming as I recall. Unfortunately didn't make the 30% Booksgiving sale this year.

I'm glad I got my copy on the secondary market. The 30% discount non-subscriber discount this year changes the calculus a bit. If you DQ you could either wait to subscribe, buy on the secondary market, or wait until Booksgiving 2023 and hope for another 30% discount. However, while there will definitely be a Booksgiving next year, I'm uncertain whether or not the discount will be 30% again, as it's possible this was done in response to the economic environment and is not permanent.

Nov 11, 2022, 8:44 am

Good to know there's still a batch of DQ to come through. Might hold off in that case on buying a "cheaper" edition currently available and just putting that money into a DQ pot.

Nov 11, 2022, 10:31 am

I used the discount to purchase Melville's poems (with the same paper used for Moby Dick) and the deluxe edition of Christian Symbols.

Editado: Nov 30, 2022, 7:43 pm

I'm a bit intrigued by the Nachman Stories, probably because it's unique (not 20 fine press editions). Anyone have it and have thoughts?

EDIT: purchased this book on the last day of the sale. Read a paperback version and the stories are quite good.

Nov 11, 2022, 2:53 pm

>88 LBShoreBook: It's a really nice little book. I knew nothing about him when I got it as a subscriber. It's been a decade since I read it but I remember really liking the writing. Happy to have it on my shelf.

Nov 11, 2022, 3:09 pm

I'd go for that Coney Island of the Mind if it was a little cheaper or my bank account was a little bigger. It's a great book by a great poet.

Nov 11, 2022, 3:35 pm

Did anyone else not get the free shipping applied?

Nov 11, 2022, 4:09 pm

>91 Nightcrawl: I did not. I read the announcement to mean that only subscribers get free shipping.

Nov 12, 2022, 2:06 am

I took the free non-shipping option as I live fairly near to the press.

Editado: Nov 12, 2022, 4:56 pm

>91 Nightcrawl: >92 ultrarightist: Yeah, I initially misread this myself. It applies only to subscribers who get the 5% additional discount.

Editado: Nov 19, 2022, 6:37 pm

Couldn't resist the 30% Arion Press discount in this year's Annual 'BOOKSGIVING' sale. There aren't many Arion Press editions I still wish to acquire but this was one of them:

Dez 14, 2022, 3:52 pm

Do Arion’s newest publications still ship with the prospectus, or are they all fully digital now? Didn’t receive one with my copy of 100 Love Sonnets.

Dez 14, 2022, 4:52 pm

>96 Nightcrawl: I received a prospectus with 100 Love Sonnets.

On a side note, I'm surprised no one has posted anything about the upcoming Poe.

Dez 14, 2022, 5:33 pm

>97 SDB2012: re Poe, was there any details released on this one other than I think the initial announcement at the end of last year

Dez 14, 2022, 5:43 pm

>98 trentsteel: I received an email about purchasing the deluxe last week, which I did, along with the prospectus.

Dez 14, 2022, 5:46 pm

>98 trentsteel: The prospectus is public on their website, though I think only subscribers can order right now(I am not one).

Dez 14, 2022, 6:02 pm

>98 trentsteel: yes. They emailed subscribers a couple of weeks ago.

Editado: Dez 14, 2022, 6:05 pm

>99 Objectr: I was disappointed by the deluxe in that it looks like the cover design makes it impossible to read the book. Did you have a different understanding of what they're doing with it?

There wasn't much information on the deluxe considering it is triple the price of the standard.

Dez 14, 2022, 7:14 pm

>102 SDB2012: Have there been photos? I do have a few books with pulp paper “sculptures” / reliefs that are still quite readable.

Dez 14, 2022, 8:37 pm

>103 NathanOv: yes, but it was the cameo by itself. That was the only picture of the deluxe version. I'll try to post it tomorrow if no one beats me to it.

Dez 14, 2022, 8:51 pm

>100 NathanOv: Nice to see Chris Semtner involved with this. I've acquired a number of Poe titles for him at the Poe Museum here. Guess I won't have to wrangle this one at least!

Is Arion open to new subscribers for this one? (Might be better for my book budget if they aren't, but still...)

Dez 14, 2022, 11:47 pm

>102 SDB2012: I agree that there wasn't much information on the deluxe compared to the standard, or overall in general. I ordered the deluxe with a bit of blind faith in Arion to be honest, and I hope I'm not too disappointed. Given The Nose, my blind faith may lead me to walking into a brick wall, haha

Dez 15, 2022, 12:45 pm

>105 Shadekeep: Well, if it didn't count as your "current" edition, I imagine it would be available as one of the three back-catalogue titles you're required to buy for the subscription.

A current subscriber might be able to give you a better answer though.

Editado: Dez 15, 2022, 1:05 pm

>107 NathanOv: Thanks! Though looking at the Arion catalogue, a subscription might be a bad idea for me anyway. Their offerings seem pretty hit-or-miss with regards to my tastes, and the money could very likely be spent better elsewhere. Perhaps if copies of the Poe book are left over I'll get one later as a direct purchase.

EDIT: Actually, the subscription terms don't seem too bad. Start off with three back-catalogue picks and the current title, and buy the next three. I believe I heard elsewhere here that if you don't like a particular pick, you can substitute another back-catalogue item. I think I might be able to pull together enough desired titles to make this work. Will see. I would want to wait however until the Poe book becomes the current title.

Editado: Dez 15, 2022, 1:19 pm

>108 Shadekeep: I've considered subscribing to Arion in the past, but the chances of that now are close to zilch. Arion offered a 30% discount to everyone during Booksgiving this year, which would not have made me happy if I did subscribe (the reason I was going to subscribe was primarily to get Don Quixote when the remaining copies were released, but given that I purchased it for an excellent price on the secondary market, that motivation is gone). So why not just wait until next November? I guess it is possible that the 30% discount won't be around again next year and they will go back to 20%, but otherwise I don't see why someone would subscribe and commit to buying books for a year now. Unless you want Deluxe states, but these are very expensive and don't seem worth it?

Dez 15, 2022, 1:28 pm

>109 punkzip: Ah, that's a good point as well. Assuming they repeat the discount next year, and the titles I most want are still in stock, then yes, that would be the better way to go. And I'm not particularly interested in the Deluxe editions from what I've seen. The Limited are perfectly adequate for my wants. So my motivation at this point would be whether I have a strong desire to support the press (beside the acquisitive motive of assuredly securing certain titles at 30% off now). Given my highly variable interest in their output, that's something I'd have to weigh.

Editado: Dez 15, 2022, 1:38 pm

>108 Shadekeep: I’ve definitely got three back-catalogue titles that I’d like to have and haven’t seen come up with better prices on the secondary market. I’m mainly just nervous about their upcoming titles.

That said, I think the point of the subscription is much more to build a substantial Arion Press library than to get a discount on specific titles you want.

>109 punkzip: If I wanted to jumpstart my collection and make sure I received all of the upcoming release, subscribing would still be the way to go.

Editado: Dez 15, 2022, 1:58 pm

>111 NathanOv: I guess I still don't understand the motivation for subscribing. None of the Arion new releases will sell out before the next Booksgiving sale - that I'm sure of - unless you are talking about the Deluxe states. Couldn't you just make a large purchase during the next Booksgiving sale to build your library? Or if it turns out that the 30% discount for nonsubscribers was a one off, just subscribe when you find that out.

Not trying to dissuade anyone from subscribing, but just relating my thought process as someone who considered subscribing and definitely won't because of what happened in the last sale. It looks like one would be making a financial commitment without as much of a benefit as in the past.

Also, if one is patient, almost all the books will eventually be near or less than the subscriber price on the secondary market. It's really the older books which have appreciated, not the ones in the current catalog. I have numerous Arion books myself, all purchased on the secondary market for better than subscriber prices.

Let me say though that Arion is one of my favorite presses, although I think the books are a bit overpriced. They don't focus on the most popular obvious sellers, have a literary rather than genre focus, and publish books like Don Quixote which no other press would likely attempt.

Dez 15, 2022, 1:53 pm

>112 punkzip: The discount isn't the only benefit of subscribing, and besides, I think Arion Press really gears their subscription program toward a "patron of the arts" clientele who are subscribing more to support the Press' mission than to get the discount. The overlap between Arion subscribers and Fine Press collectors generally is relatively small.

Dez 15, 2022, 2:09 pm

>113 grifgon: The overlap between Arion subscribers and Fine Press collectors generally is relatively small.

I'm curious, why is that do you think?

Editado: Dez 15, 2022, 2:15 pm

>112 punkzip: "I guess I still don't understand the motivation for subscribing. None of the Arion new releases will sell out before the next Booksgiving sale... Couldn't you just make a large purchase during the next Booksgiving sale to build your library?"

Well lets flip the question: if you want to buy all of Arion's upcoming releases anyway, what possible motivation is there to wait till November of each year to make the same purchase instead of receiving the releases as they come out, and staying more current and in tune with what the press has planned?

Dez 15, 2022, 2:17 pm

>114 Shadekeep:

Because Arion Press books are extremely overpriced and not crafted to the same standards as current top tier presses such as Foolscap Press, Barbarian Press, Nawakum Press, Shanty Bay Press, etc. Whatever money you are considering spending on a new Arion Press book can almost always buy something finer or more interesting, either from a current private press or an older one such as Gregynog Press, Officina Bodoni, etc. New(er) collectors interested in the Arion Press should focus on acquiring the editions from their golden years, 1975-2000.

Dez 15, 2022, 2:23 pm

>116 dlphcoracl: That's unfortunate to hear. Did anything precipitate this decline in quality, or has it been a slow and gradual process?

Editado: Dez 15, 2022, 3:00 pm

>113 grifgon: Thanks, that explains a lot. Arion seems very uncommercial for a large press, almost the opposite of say, Suntup. They also use fine artists rather than the crowd-pleasing illustrators which many seem to like here. But these are factors that would attract support from "patrons of the arts".

Editado: Dez 15, 2022, 3:05 pm

>115 NathanOv: Well until recently I don't think Arion announced their next 3 releases in advance. If you were to subscribe today, do you know what 3 books Arion will be publishing next? In addition, you wouldn't know any details, such as the production details, price, etc. If you waited until Booksgiving, you'd know all that, and could pass on the ones that didn't turn out to be as good as you expected.

Editado: Dez 15, 2022, 3:01 pm

>117 Shadekeep:

To my mind, it has become pronounced since 2015.

1. The bindings for the standard editions are consistently unattractive, using mediocre materials and uninspired design.

2. Several bindings are Smyth-sewn rather than hand sewn with silk or linen thread, inexcusable for an edition costing $800 (for non-subscribers) or more.

The most frustrating part is that every other blue moon Arion will create a superb book, then will follow it up with 2 or 3 mediocre ones. I can best sum it up by stating that during their first two decades, collectors considered each new release as an event. Today? Not so much. The last Arion Press edition that raised my eyebrows was 'The Lulu Plays' in 2025, but at $2000 it SHOULD be exceptional.

Dez 15, 2022, 3:03 pm

>118 punkzip: Yeah, it's just a different crowd. I met two Arion subscribers at an event in San Francisco who told me very proudly that they supported "The only remaining letterpress publisher in the world." ¯⁠\⁠_⁠(⁠ツ⁠)⁠_⁠/⁠¯

Dez 15, 2022, 3:04 pm

>119 punkzip: I don’t, and that’s exactly the point I made before - the subscription really isn’t for collectors to get discounts on specific titles. It’s to aid with building a general Arion Press library.

Dez 15, 2022, 3:11 pm

>120 dlphcoracl:

2. Several bindings are Smyth-sewn rather than hand sewn with silk or linen thread, inexcusable for an edition costing $800 (for non-subscribers) or more.

I agree completely, but unfortunately I think this is a battle we'll lose. Vanishingly few collectors seem to appreciate the difference, and it's such a time-saver to mechanize the sewing process (time which could be used elsewhere). It's really curious to see Smyth-sewn bring used as a bragging point nowadays! Many presses are including it on their "list of details" about an edition. A little sleight of hand to take a typical commercial/trade process and turn it into a feature.

Dez 15, 2022, 3:19 pm

>123 grifgon: Arion does have large limitations though - wouldn't that make hand-sewing difficult for standard editions without increasing the price very substantially?

Dez 15, 2022, 3:19 pm

>123 grifgon:

Whether other collectors know or appreciate the difference between Smyth-sewn or hand sewn bindings is immaterial. You and I know and appreciate the difference and we collect accordingly.

Dez 15, 2022, 4:01 pm

>120 dlphcoracl: It sounds like one is better off paying a bit more for the sporadically good titles than backing middling efforts, then. I may abstain until next Booksgiving and see how fortune shines.

Dez 15, 2022, 4:01 pm

>124 punkzip: I'd imagine, but I don't know by how much. Megan Gibes, Arion's excellent lead bookbinder, costs out projects by "Bindery Hours," with a typical edition being somewhere between 400 and 800 I think. I'm not sure how many more hours hand-sewing would add, but I do know they have a world class team of craftspeople who could do it. Most private presses I know do hand-sewing for the love of the craft, as it isn't hard to find a Smyth-sewing machine. Actually, literally two blocks away from me at "Rapid Bind Inc." (not joking about this name) there's a Smyth machine similar to what you could see in the post about Lyra's yesterday. They'll sew up booklets at ¢10 per signature. I sewed No Reply's A Scandal in Bohemia by hand on my couch while watching all of The Wire. It took about 60 hours. It would have cost $140 to have it done at Rapid Bind Inc. so by doing it by hand myself I basically paid myself $2 an hour, but it's one of my favorite parts of the process.

>125 dlphcoracl: Preach brother.

Dez 15, 2022, 4:03 pm

>126 Shadekeep:

It isn't rocket science. The very attractive Arion editions stand out from the remainder of their bibliography, especially over the past two decades.

Dez 15, 2022, 4:07 pm

>121 grifgon: I hope you slung a volley of abuse at them! 🤣🤣🤣

Dez 15, 2022, 8:49 pm

>123 grifgon: Our tobacco is toasted!

Dez 15, 2022, 8:56 pm

>123 grifgon: Just visited the American Bookbinders Museum in San Francisco today. They had a few displays showing hand sewing plus they have some very early Symth sewing machines, fascinating.

Editado: Dez 15, 2022, 9:12 pm

>131 kdweber: Oh hey! Thrilled you made it there. Great collection, right? Very digestible, but still comprehensive. Did you meet Anita by any chance? We're hoping to set up a private press exhibit sometime in 2023 or 2024, and you'll have to come for the opening.

>130 What_What: Exactly!!!

Dez 15, 2022, 10:13 pm

>132 grifgon: Yes, a lot of fun but I do wish they would cover more than just the standard case binding. Their special exhibit today was bookplates.

Editado: Dez 16, 2022, 9:56 am

Arion's last 2 books (not including Poe which is not listed on the website store). Prices are for the standard with subscriber discount (which would have been available to everyone for Booksgiving).

Woolgathering, 250 copies, 77 pages, Zerkall mouldmade, HAND SEWN $980
100 Love Sonnets, 190 copies, 232 pages, Barcham Green handmade, SMYTH SEWN $1190

Given that Woolgathering is a substantially shorter book with cheaper paper, I suspect that hand sewing 100 Sonnets would have increased the price quite a bit

Nov 20, 11:17 am

The Arion Press Seasonal Sale is set for Dec. 4-10. Here are the details:

"To celebrate the season and our move to Fort Mason in the spring of 2024, we are extending an additional 5% discount on the entire back catalog of both Deluxe (25% total) and Fine Press (35% total) editions to all subscribers. (Nonsubscribers are extended a 15% discount.)"

Nov 20, 11:32 am

>135 A.Nobody: Is this a replacement for the Thanksgiving sale? It sounds like they trimmed non-subscriber discounts in half from last year.

Nov 20, 11:45 am

>136 NathanOv: Yes (I think) and yes (definitely - it was 30% in the past). As a non-subscriber, that discount change is disappointing but I also totally understand it because it always confused me that they gave the same discount to non-subs that subs enjoyed.

Nov 20, 11:50 am

I suppose if I ever want an Arion Press book I need to make friends with a subscriber, then!

Editado: Nov 20, 2:05 pm

I think they upset a lot of subscribers with last year’s sale. Understandable, but as a non-subscriber I was thrilled to pick up the Neruda Love Sonnets at a hefty discount.

Editado: Nov 20, 1:15 pm

>139 Nightcrawl: I’d say they probably upset a vocal few, though it’s annoying to see that garner a reaction. The subscriber discount rewards individuals buying a much larger volume of books than anyone's taking home at an annual sale.

If anyone's buying books they didn't want just to maintain the subscription discount, which I remember being the main "whataboutism" getting thrown around, then I don't think they've done the math right on what they actually end up saving.

Nov 20, 2:15 pm

>140 NathanOv: I was one of the vocal few you are referring to. I enjoy most of Arion's publications but there are several titles, especially these past several years, which have been quite off-putting - Messiah, Smudgie, The Nose. As a subscriber, I understand that there will be some books I don't love but there is also a substantial discount. When they offered 30% off for everyone, what is the point of actually subscribing to Arion? I am the one getting penalized for supporting a publisher while the non-subscriber gets the same discount as I do without purchasing titles he or she does not want?

I'm not sure what your second paragraph has anything to do with the first. I can only speak for myself, but, for a while when they published more titles to my liking it was a great fit. Now? Not so much - especially after last year.

Editado: Nov 20, 2:35 pm

>141 Joshbooks1: I'll just say the press is not "penalizing" anyone who buys a book that they do not really want from them, whether they're doing so to get a future discount or not.

I don't think anyone is walking away from a once-a-year sale with the full-year's releases + 3 back catalogue titles to achieve the same level of discount that subscribers receive, and if they do, well, they're in the same boat as subscribers anyway.

Arion promoting more sales, particularly of back-catalogue titles that have already been published, brings down their overhead and means more funds can go towards the creation of your books instead of the cost of running the press. It seems good for everyone.

Nov 20, 2:52 pm

>142 NathanOv: But what then is the point of a subscription if they just give the same discount? Why would anyone subscribe? It's extremely rare for any of their books to sell out immediately.

Regarding your second paragraph, they are not in the same boat as subscribers. They are in a better position because they do not have to subscribe to any future titles they do not find appealing. They can just wait every year and get the same discount without any of the hassle. Again, why subscribe?

Yes, more sales does mean back-catalogue titles sell faster but doesn't the subscription model also benefit their projected income that year with people paying upfront for the product they will receive in the future? i.e. Thornwillow, Foolscap, Barbarian, Mad Parrot, etc.

Editado: Nov 20, 3:02 pm

>143 Joshbooks1: Subscribe because you want all the books, and get a nice "thank you" in the form of the discount, not to mention get your books faster and more easily. If you don't want all the books, don't subscribe and don't get the discount.

The subscription isn't intended for people who don't want all the books to buy them anyway just for a discount, and I can see why trying to do so would leave someone quite frustrated.

Nov 20, 5:34 pm

Moving to Fort Mason!? What is happening. That is no trivial thing. I wonder what is pushing them out of their space? It's a cool spot. Not that Fort Mason is bad either. Hmmm...

Nov 20, 5:49 pm

>145 jveezer:

Whatever it is, my sense is that this is not a positive development.

Nov 20, 5:57 pm

>144 NathanOv: If they continued having the 30% sale annually for non-subscribers, as you think they should, you wouldn't have to risk anything on titles you may or may not want and just purchase the books you want at the same discounted rate that subscribers receive. Again, what would be the point of subscribing? So you can potentially get a dud for $1000 with the benefit of getting the book a year before other potential buyers when the book won't sell out anyway? That doesn't make much sense to me.

Subscribing is a risk and reward scenario. Both parties benefit in that the subscriber gets a discount by paying an advance for a product at a discounted rate and the publisher has extra funds to go forward with their publications and then sell other copies at a higher price. Many publishers do this. I would actually purchase Thornwillow books if they sold their older books at their Kickstarter rates, but, alas, they raise the price and I find them too expensive and not worth it.

Shouldn't there be certain benefits that entice potential subscribers and keep the current members happy?

Nov 20, 6:04 pm

>145 jveezer: Is it less expensive or smaller than their previous location? I was always surprised that they could run such a large business in the Bay Area with the current cost of living, let alone taxes and real estate. I do hope they get back on track with some more enticing titles and productions. Some of their older titles are magnificent and unsure why they don't gravitate back to titles that made them so well known - Ulysses, Leaves of Grass, Moby Dick, Pale Fire, Paradise Lost, Don Quixote, The Bible, Cane, etc.

Nov 20, 6:17 pm

>147 Joshbooks1: I’m with you on this. If the discount is the same for non subscribers, albeit once a year, there’s no incentive to subscribers to pay up all that money (for the new model) and commit to buy every book, when they don’t sell out anyway. Best to just wait and cherry pick.

Nov 20, 6:50 pm

It seems to me like one way to thread the needle, if Arion Press was interested, would be to limit the non-subscriber offer to a single title. Then it becomes a way to bring new people into the press and let them experience it and decide if they want to later subscribe.

Nov 20, 7:59 pm

Isn't the advantage of subscribing that you are guaranteed a copy? If a book sells out the non-subscriber's strategy of waiting for the sale would fail. Having said that, if I were Arion Press I would offer the subscriber better sale terms than the non-subscriber.

As a fine press newbie and someone who has never yet purchased a book from Arion Press I am finding it hard to find a book in their back catalogue that interests me even with the 15% discount.

Frankenstein or A Lost Lady possibly.

Perhaps Their Eyes Were Watching God but Folio Society's edition, albeit not letter press, looks nice enough at GBP45 against $1,360.

William Kentridge is one of my favourite artists but I don't like everything he does and his work in The Nose doesn't appeal at all. His work in the Lula Plays is much more to my liking. It doesn't help that I am less interested in plays or poetry.

Sense and Sensibility and the Leopard are wonderful stories but the art in these editions is really off-putting.

I am trying but struggling to get into Arion Press. There also seems to be better value elsewhere.

Editado: Nov 20, 9:33 pm

>147 Joshbooks1: I don’t think we’ll get anywhere with this debate, but you seem to still be caught up what the incentive is for you, who do not want all of the books published, to buy them anyway when that is not remotely the purpose of the subscription model.

Part of the problem with Arion is that they are geared more towards institutions and art collectors and therefore getaway with a much higher buy-in / commitment, but at the end of the day they still tell subscribers exactly what they’re paying for initially, and leave them free to lapse the subscription if an unwanted title comes up.

Nov 20, 8:24 pm

>151 Pendrainllwyn: Pedro Paramo

Nov 20, 8:31 pm

Well, a non-sale sale for non-subscribers. I've bought about a third of my AP books through their annual sale, one book at full retail and the reminder used in Fine condition for around 35-50% off the list price. Their 30% sale last year rightfully upset their subscribers but they should of gone back to their old 20-25% discount. As I'm not really interested enough in any of their available titles that I don't already own at a 30% discount, I won't even be perusing their website. I do want the AP to succeed and survive particularly since they are local to me but it's hard when their value proposition is so poor. Most AP books have pretty bland lower cost bindings than what you find from other fine presses currently in business. I'm not sure if they still don't bother with slipcases but for awhile only their most expensive books came with a slipcase. Finally, and most critically, I don't like most of the art in AP editions and for me, they detract substantially from my enjoyment of the book.

Nov 20, 8:34 pm

>151 Pendrainllwyn:
I agree with your last sentence.

Nov 20, 8:38 pm

>153 gmacaree: Good call. Thank you. That does interest me. I overlooked that book for some reason.

Nov 20, 9:16 pm

>152 NathanOv: You need to edit that comment as there are lots of errors that make it hard to follow.

But yeah, nobody's mind is getting changed here.

Editado: Nov 20, 9:34 pm

>157 What_What: Fixed the phone typos. At the end of the day, I think anyone trying to get something out of the Arion Press subscription other than as complete a collection as possible is going to be dissatisfied, and I think this debate just further demonstrates that.

Nov 20, 11:28 pm

I don't own any AP titles yet, so I cannot say why they command the prices they do. The sale may momentarily tempt me with Sundial or The Leopard, but then I'll pragmatically consider how many more books that I really want which I can get for that money. The two titles I truy desire, Poe’s Phantasia and Poetry of Sappho, are sadly unjustifiable for me. And it sounds like I'm one of the few people who would actually chose to purchase Morte de Smudgie, but the fiscal calculus scotches that as well.

I think nearly all these titles were around for the previous sale at 30% off, so if they didn't compel me then, they are unlikely to do so at half that discount.