What Appears to Now Be a Series, Assembled by a Cheapskate: The Value(s) of Books, Part 2

Here’s another book I want, seen in a well placed ad in the New York Review of Books. Why (and not, please, whether) we care about literary characters is a subject I’m committed enough to to want a read a whole book that finds an answer.

Would you believe it’s $60.00 through Johns Hopkins Press’s site? Sixty! Amazon drops that down to a mere $43.20.

We won’t ever care about Blakey Vermeule, no matter how brilliant her book may very well be, the way we do about, oh, John Dowell, say. And The Good Solider has surely never cost $60, not even with its adjusted-for-inflation 1915 first-edition rate. What the F’s?

It’s clear: there are very few university presses in the world whose business models don’t hinge on overcharging libraries for their products.

2 thoughts on “What Appears to Now Be a Series, Assembled by a Cheapskate: The Value(s) of Books, Part 2”

  1. Right, good call. I’ve been thinking about products with similar market structures, if that’s what all this is, a market structure. Like, maybe the argument goes that the demand for books printed by uni presses is so low that the cost must be proportional to that low demand to compete with commercial presses’ high-demand books?

    But if that’s the case (and I don’t think it is) what other markets out there overprice their products to compensate for a relatively lower number sold? I can think only of luxury items, like high-end luxury items, where one buys a brand name as much as a quality item.

    Are uni presses trying to insist that theirs are luxury books?

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