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.

The Big Read

Is your community participating in The Big Read, an initiative by the National Endowment for the Arts “to revitalize the role of literature in American popular culture and bring the transformative power of literature into the lives of its citizens.” Lincoln, Neb., doesn’t seem to be, though we also have One Book, One Lincoln going on (five books are right now under consideration for 2009, one of which is Eggers’s great What is the What), and, I think, “Nebraska Reads” which I just won’t bother linking to for no reason.
Continue reading The Big Read