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)

Why Do Men Assume They're So Great?

Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, authors of this month's Atlantic cover story, sit down with Hanna Rosin to discuss the power of confidence and how self doubt holds women back. 


Elsewhere on the web

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

Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more

Video

Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.

Video

What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world

Writers

Up
Down