A Ku Indeed!

I Hate Expensive Philosophy Books

Posted in Academia by Chris on June 25, 2008

I was doing a little research on narrative ethics and found a pretty cool anthology of essays that I was ready to buy. Well, that is until I got to Amazon and saw that the book cost $135.00! Time to turn to the used books! Oops. They are selling for $118.00 a copy at the cheapest. Next stop: university library. Bah. They don’t have it, nor is the book locatable through their system, so no inter-library loan on this one. Translation: no book for me.

Is it just me, or does anyone else get frustrated by this sort of thing? I mean look — this particular book is 11-years old and is still selling for over a hundred dollars at Amazon! Now, I (sort of) understand when hardcovers come out, and the publisher sells it for jacked up prices. So you have to wait a while for the cost to come down, or the paperback edition to come out, or whatever (or get it through interlibrary loan, which I had to do with Jijuan Yu’s latest book, which is selling for 110 bucks, I think).

After 11 years, I’m thinking the cost isn’t coming down. At the same time. I don’t think this book is going to be going paperback if it hasn’t already. And I doubt that it’s going to sell presently at 135 bucks a copy. Which makes you think: if the book itself was a sales bust, wouldn’t the publisher like to at least actually sell those existing copies? Somehow I doubt that many academics out there are going to be shelling out that much money for one book, at least not for one that isn’t a rare book. This is the “limbo” price status that not-well-selling philosophy books sometimes seem to wind up in. Ah well, I suppose the publisher really doesn’t want to sell them.

Basically I’m S.O.L once again.


2 Responses

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  1. Emily Morgan said, on June 27, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    Try using WorldCat. It connects all the libraries in the world. Maybe you can get your book loaned through there?

  2. Chris said, on June 27, 2008 at 6:03 pm

    You rock. I just ordered it for ILL via WorldCat.

    There’s nothing like getting a tip on how to use the library properly from a former student!


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