The Case of the Hundred-Dollar Paperback

Mick Sussman has a really interesting (to me, at least) post at the Times's Paper Cuts blog about the phenomenon of used books that seem to be vastly overpriced on Amazon - a post prompted by his attempt to purchase Rick Perlstein's unjustly out-of-print Before the Storm, which is currently priced at $131.09 for a paperback, and (oddly) only $89 for a hardcover. I bought Perlstein's book used myself, a couple years back, but at the point, if memory serves, it was going for a much more reasonable price. (This was before Nixonland came out, of course.) I had a similar experience to Sussman, though, when I needed a copy of Kevin Phillips' The Emerging Republican Majority; I don't remember exactly how much I spent, but it was something far more obscene than the $47.86 that it currently takes to get a copy.

In the spirit of authorial solidarity, incidentally, I urge anyone who wants to read Before The Storm - which is well worth your time, as I'm sure I've mentioned before - to wait until next summer, when Nation Books plans to bring it back into print. No matter how high the price of a used copy rises, the writer himself doesn't see a dime of it.

Ross Douthat is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Video

Pittsburgh: 'Better Than You Thought'

How Steel City became a bikeable, walkable paradise

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

Just In