Re: RARA-AVIS: used books

From: Mario Taboada (
Date: 26 Nov 2001

<<In 2020 will a list like this be unable to thrive on the shared experience of having been able to easily read the more obscure authors of today?>>

It's an unpleasant but likely scenario. In fact, many books don't even stay in print long enough to be appreciated. The other day I was looking for a nonfiction book, a truly excellent effort, only to find out that this title, published in late 1999, is already out of print and not likely to reappear. I contacted the author, who expressed bitterness that her effort is out of sight so soon. I suggested to her that she sell the book herself, in .pdf format, but that cannot be done without a legal tangle. She was kind enough to make me a photocopy, though.

I think authors will eventually have to turn to self-publishing, or better said, to keeping works available in electronic form or publish-on-demand when publishers let them go. I think Lawrence Block is doing that, as is Constantine (his fine novel Upon Some Midnights Clear is available for download in .pdf for $5, which is a fair price). The technology is there, and it does away with inventory.



"Don't just do something, sit there!" Thich Nhat Hanh

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