Specialist in Books about Glass and Glass-Making Joins TomFolio.com

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Whitehouse Books, a world-class source for books about glass, glass-making and all aspects of glass joins TomFolio.com, the booksellers's cooperative internet site.

Whitehouse Books is a world-class source for books about glass, glassmaking and all aspects of glass, including studio glass, stained glass, ancient glass, American glass, paperweights, beads and jewelry. Their extensive stock in this area includes new and out of print books for the artist, collector, instructor or historian. Owner Elizabeth Whitehouse and her daughter, Julia Whitehouse operate Whitehouse-Books.com predominantly as a mail order business but are also open by appointment should any visitor to Corning wish to view the inventory.

TomFolio.com is a legally incorporated cooperative in the state of Wisconsin and is equally owned and operated by about 150 of the listing booksellers. Shareholding is open only to independent international booksellers who purchase one share of stock. No member is allowed to own more than one voting share. The shareholders annually elect a Board of Directors from among themselves. The Board oversees the daily operation of the site and act as business managers.

TomFolio.com was begun in 1999 by a small group of independent used & antiquarian booksellers who wanted to develop a book site that would not be vulnerable to corporate interference and monopolies that can dictate selling terms and increase the prices of the books offered by individual independent booksellers. They wanted a Code of Ethics that required professional standards of the listing sellers. They wanted to be able to guarantee the highest quality service to their customers, and to be able to deal with their customers directly. They wanted a database that would, in short, be both bookseller and book buyer friendly.

A cooperative was the answer. After much discussion and even more work by various volunteer committees, TomFolio.com was launched in December of 2000. After almost 5 years they have achieved many of their goals. The booksellers, equally and jointly own the site. They have a site that is second to none in operation. As the large corporate intermediary firms become costlier, raise prices, & come between the book dealer and the book buyer, TomFolio.com has become a safe haven for those book dealers who want to maintain their independence and for book buyers who want to deal directly with the bookseller who has the book in hand.

TomFolio.com, the trademarked name of the website, is taken from an 18th Century literary reference, The Tatler, no 158, 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; or 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 barrister & bibliophile Thomas Rawlinson (1681-1725), also known as Tom Folio, the bibliomaniac.

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James L. Davis
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