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 Post subject: Unjust price of books (against commutative justice)t?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2019 10:22 pm 
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Sons of Thunder
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How can one justify the price of a book like this, and is there some just reason as to why certain books are that costly?

I know where to download it for free, too. But my conscience is pricking me.

I'm tempted to just download the book. And then make secret restitution by buying a reasonably priced book from the same publisher, and then burning it. And then make a donation to Christendom College for good measure. :P


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 Post subject: Re: Unjust price of books (against commutative justice)t?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2019 10:33 pm 
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Citizen
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Leave it all alone.


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 Post subject: Re: Unjust price of books (against commutative justice)t?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2019 10:47 pm 
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Sons of Thunder
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Amon98 wrote:
Leave it all alone.


Yeah, perhaps that's what God's telling me when it comes to that book ::):


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 Post subject: Re: Unjust price of books (against commutative justice)t?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2019 10:52 pm 
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Some Poor Bibliophile
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DominiCanis wrote:
How can one justify the price of a book like this, and is there some just reason as to why certain books are that costly?

I know where to download it for free, too. But my conscience is pricking me.

I'm tempted to just download the book. And then make secret restitution by buying a reasonably priced book from the same publisher, and then burning it. And then make a donation to Christendom College for good measure. :P



Or, you can split the conundrum, get it for $170 from Amazon.

It's an academic press, as you likely know, with likely minuscule customer base for a given title and each of them will have to pay what it takes to make the publisher a few $$$. OTOH, I haven't dealt with academic publishers in any serious way for years.This could be that "Textbooks cost too much, the government should do something" theme I've oft heard of late. A scan of the publisher's offerings, under "religious", shows this title is not an aberrant price, for this house.

I've always been lucky enough to find affordable copies of almost everything I've looked for. Else, the titles I can't find become not affordable, by definition, and don't get purchased. Of course, I don't have to buy anything. Some folks do, I know.

The voice of 60+ years book collecting/14+ years in the OP/rare and new book biz speaking there.

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 Post subject: Re: Unjust price of books (against commutative justice)t?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2019 11:17 pm 
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Sons of Thunder
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I'm in Canada, so the book is about $246 on Amazon for me.

I hope I'm not coming off as entitled, btw. It's no big deal in the greater scheme of things (and no, I won't download it). I just find it humorous for the most part and my mind works in this crazy way where I start dissecting the morality of it all.

Out of curiosity, GKC, as a lover of books, do you think the price they put out is justified? I know they have a very limited customer base for such books but the price point still strikes me as ridiculous.


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 Post subject: Re: Unjust price of books (against commutative justice)t?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 3:00 am 
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Sons of Thunder
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Sadly, the cost is justified in principle.

I once had someone keep asking questions that were answered in a fairly hard to get set (the complete acts of Vatican II). A used copy would cost a few grand. But they couldn't read Latin and offered to pay me to translate the one relevant volume. I quoted them something like $24000 and a year turnaround. That would be pushing it timewise, and dirtcheap price.

But say I did the whole thing. Talking years, full time work. $800,000 on up. Now how many would buy my translation? Just to recoup my costs (to say nothing of printing, distribution etc) at the same amount as the original set we would need 400. To bring it to a cost per volume of say $50, now we need to sell thousands.

The real tragedy is that the author likely gets very little, probably amounts to a fraction of minimum wage.

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 Post subject: Re: Unjust price of books (against commutative justice)t?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 3:02 am 
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Sons of Thunder
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On the book itself, I am dubious (surprise, surprise) of his thesis, but iirc it gets expounded upon in more accessible sources (cannot remember if the Thomist or an anthology had an article by him)

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 Post subject: Re: Unjust price of books (against commutative justice)t?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 7:59 am 
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Sons of Thunder
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I can sympathize with the translating stuff, but I still wonder if publishing and distribution would justify such a cost. I mean, I recently put in an order for Taylor Patrick O'neil's new book. Same topic, same very limited audience, same in terms of it being his academic thesis (I think), similar number of pages, hardback. Yet about half the price. I just can't help but get the feeling that some of these publishers are charging such a price simply because they can. And for some odd reason, the ebook put out by the publisher costs slightly more.


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 Post subject: Re: Unjust price of books (against commutative justice)t?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 9:17 am 
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Some Poor Bibliophile
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DominiCanis wrote:
I'm in Canada, so the book is about $246 on Amazon for me.

I hope I'm not coming off as entitled, btw. It's no big deal in the greater scheme of things (and no, I won't download it). I just find it humorous for the most part and my mind works in this crazy way where I start dissecting the morality of it all.

Out of curiosity, GKC, as a lover of books, do you think the price they put out is justified? I know they have a very limited customer base for such books but the price point still strikes me as ridiculous.



Yes. See PED's post for explication.

Academic books of this sort are a particular case in the supply and demand world.

As to books generally, in the OP world, the saying was that a book is worth what someone will pay for it. Me, if that was too much (as a buyer), I looked elsewhere. Prices varied more in the days before the internet.

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Yea, naught for your desire,
Save that the sky grows darker yet
And the sea rises higher."


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 Post subject: Re: Unjust price of books (against commutative justice)t?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 9:19 am 
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Some Poor Bibliophile
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DominiCanis wrote:
I can sympathize with the translating stuff, but I still wonder if publishing and distribution would justify such a cost. I mean, I recently put in an order for Taylor Patrick O'neil's new book. Same topic, same very limited audience, same in terms of it being his academic thesis (I think), similar number of pages, hardback. Yet about half the price. I just can't help but get the feeling that some of these publishers are charging such a price simply because they can. And for some odd reason, the ebook put out by the publisher costs slightly more.


I noticed that about the ebook.

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Yea, naught for your desire,
Save that the sky grows darker yet
And the sea rises higher."


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 Post subject: Re: Unjust price of books (against commutative justice)t?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 9:44 am 
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Prodigal Son of Thunder
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Perhaps the publisher expects the ebook to be copied, or perhaps it comes with permissions to make copies for academic use

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 Post subject: Re: Unjust price of books (against commutative justice)t?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 9:53 am 
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Some Poor Bibliophile
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Peregrinator wrote:
Perhaps the publisher expects the ebook to be copied, or perhaps it comes with permissions to make copies for academic use



Creative thinking, there. Could be.


In all my years, as dealer/collector, I've never dealt, professionally or personally, with an ebook.

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Yea, naught for your desire,
Save that the sky grows darker yet
And the sea rises higher."


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 Post subject: Re: Unjust price of books (against commutative justice)t?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:07 am 
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Citizen
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Why guess when you can find out?

The publisher sets the price.

The author agrees to whatever compensation he agrees to.

And if the price is too high for anyone, don't buy it.

And ebooks are a joke. In a study, college students reported better retention of what they read from a physical book.

People can rent books. People can get books to read through interlibrary loan. Ask your local library.

And amazon is valued at $900 billion. There are countries out there that are worth less. Disney is worth less.


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 Post subject: Re: Unjust price of books (against commutative justice)t?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2019 1:41 am 
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Sons of Thunder
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Good luck getting this through a local library!

I have needed books that the nearest library with it was 4000 miles away... Ah academia!

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 Post subject: Re: Unjust price of books (against commutative justice)t?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:47 am 
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Some Poor Bibliophile
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Pro Ecclesia Dei wrote:
Good luck getting this through a local library!

I have needed books that the nearest library with it was 4000 miles away... Ah academia!


And, generally, owning books is best.

Though problematic, at certain levels.

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Save that the sky grows darker yet
And the sea rises higher."


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