Re: RARA-AVIS: Digest Number 1666

From: jacquesdebierue (
Date: 13 Oct 2007

--- In, Patrick King <abrasax93@...> wrote:
> Okey. So by this calculation, a 35 cent book in 1960
> should cost about $2.25 today. The trick is, no such
> books exist. What's up with that?

If you do it with the price of houses, you will find a similar phenomenon... The general index doesn't tell you how particular things appreciate. I recall reading a similar comparison with movie tickets, which is a more appropriate comparison since tickets and books belong to the same category (popular entertainment). Also, the important factor is not how prices have risen but how the purchasing power has changed. For example, how many Gold Medals could the average guy buy in 1960 vs. today, what multiple of average (or median) family income buys an average (or median) house, etc. Price by itself doesn't tell the whole story. Even with food, the comparison can be faulty if the diet has changed... and entire categories of products exist now that didn't exist back then. It's not so easy.

Mind you, I do support the $2.25 paperback, but only Dover offers those and the books are out of copyright.



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