The Case of the Hundred-Dollar Paperback

More

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.

Jump to comments

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

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

What Crazy Tech Idea Could Become Real?

"There could be great intelligence enhancements, like infinite memory."


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

A Time-Lapse of Alaska's Northern Lights

The beauty of aurora borealis, as seen from America's last frontier

Video

What Do You Wish You Learned in College?

Ivy League academics reveal their undergrad regrets

Video

Famous Movies, Reimagined

From Apocalypse Now to The Lord of the Rings, this clever video puts a new spin on Hollywood's greatest hits.

Video

What Is a City?

Cities are like nothing else on Earth.

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Writers

Up
Down