Re: RARA-AVIS: Digest Number 1666

From: Allan Guthrie (
Date: 13 Oct 2007

Something else to consider is that the retail price doesn't mean a hell of a lot these days. Fewer and fewer customers expect to pay full price for a book, so much so that there's a lot of talk about removing the retail price altogether.


  ----- Original Message -----
  From: jacquesdebierue
  Sent: Saturday, October 13, 2007 9:45 PM
  Subject: Re: RARA-AVIS: Digest Number 1666

  --- 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.




[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 13 Oct 2007 EDT