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A reference for Used and Rare Books, Periodicals, and Paper Ephemera courtesy of an International Co-Op of Independent Dealers.
Welcome to, a website for reference materials related to used, rare, and collectible books, ephemera, and periodicals.
This website is owned and operated by A Book CoOp, which is a cooperative legally incorporated in the state of Wisconsin. As a cooperative, our site is jointly and equally owned by independent member booksellers.
A Book CoOp began in 1999 as a small discussion group of independent booksellers. We wanted to develop a bookselling site that would not be vulnerable to the kind of corporate interference that can dictate selling terms or reap undue profit from our efforts. We wanted a Code of Ethics that requires professional standards of our sellers. We wanted to be able to guarantee the highest quality service to our customers, and to be able to deal with our customers directly. We wanted a database that would, in short, be bookseller and bookbuyer friendly.
A cooperative was our answer. We hired an attorney experienced in the laws regarding cooperatives. We incorporated, and made our Charter Member stock offer late in December of that year.
For over 17 years, the TomFolio site operated as a site where independent booksellers could offer their wares free from the constraints and ever-changing functionality of the mega-bookseller sites. In late 2016, the selling features of the site were shut down but the valuable reference material has been retained. These reference materials were developed over the course of many years, representing hundreds/thousands of hours, by dedicated bookseller members.
Over the next few weeks, and months, all the reference materials will be made available on this site. The TomFolio site has been moved to a new home and it will take time to make all the materials available once again.
There are no plans, at present, to restore the selling features of the TomFolio site. The new site is dedicated to preserving the substantial reference materials developed over the years.
The name of our website is taken from an 18th Century literary reference: 'The Tatler'
(from The Tatler, April 13, 1710, by Joseph Addison)
"Tom Folio is a broker in learning, employed to get together good Editions, and stock the Libraries of great men. There is not a Sale of books begins till Tom Folio is seen at the door. There is not an Auction where his name is not heard, and that too in the very nick of time, in the critical moment, before the decisive stroke of the hammer. There is not a Subscription goes forward, in which Tom is not privy to the first rough draft of the Proposals; nor a Catalogue printed, that doth not come to him wet from the press. He is an universal Scholar, so far as the Title-page of all Authors, knows the Manuscripts in which they were discovered, the Editions through which they have passed, with the praises or censures which they have received from the several members of the learned world."
Footnote: The reference is to Thomas Rawlinson (1681-1725), a lawyer and bibliophile whose accumulation of books at his residence in Gray's Inn was said to have compelled him to sleep in a passageway. When Rawlinson's collection was sold at auction, it required sixteen sales over twelve years, each sale taking from two to four weeks.
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Notice to SEO companies, web-designers, and such.
Don't bother contacting us. We designed and coded the site ourselves, we are 100% contented with the design, and there are no coding errors in any of the main content pages. Any such messages you send will be marked as SPAM, reported to SpamCop and similar services, and deleted. If we decide we want a new design, we'll do it ourselves. And, since this site is for reference only, nothing for sale, we don't need any e-commerce solutions nor credit card processing.
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