Sunday, January 20, 2013

HT Jim West: Why do some books cost so much

Particularly scholarly books on, say, biblical literature?  I've found myself wondering that when West would recommend some title that intrigued me, like something about financial transactions described in OT narrative, and then saw prices for books published by Brill that took my breath away!  No way!  That much!? Well, West links to a post that discusses why some books are so expensive with the tidbit that those super-expensive books are likely to get purchased mainly by librarys that contractually agreed/obliged themselves into buying an entire run.

It sort of reminds me of the exclusitivity and security of Defense Department contracts before the Clinton administration introduced some post-bid competition in subsidiary parts to major weapons platforms.  I was never a fan of Clinton overall but on that particular issue Clinton's administration made a smart move.  There's nothing quite like an assured monopoly on any level to inspire people to ratchet up the price for stuff in a narrow market.

Still ... some of those Brill monographs do look intriguing ...  but I'd kinda like to peruse the study score of Penderecki's Credo now that the study score is finally in print. 

The question of whether Wenatchee The Hatchet must write, whether prose or music is probably pretty well settled right now, eh? 

1 comment:

Juniper said...

The New Cambridge History of the Bible is around 200 per volume. I can only wish.