Sunday, November 17, 2002

Watty is parsimonious:

Books cost too much. Now, I know that if you're an aspiring author *cough* this will look like some kind of heresy, but it's true. I used to work in the book trade, and I understand the economics of it. Would it surprise you to know that the high street supermarket / department store outlets are charging a mark up of at least 50%? And that's based on 15 year old information. Actual, proper bookshops make far more. And, yes, I know that the investment in stock for a decent sized bookshop requires a significant return from every item sold, but still - books are too expensive. So, I rarely (I'd like to say never, but sometimes my desires get the better of my principles) pay full price for a book.

Having said that, this is ridiculous. On Wednesday, prior to meeting Paul, I popped into the basement at Henry Porde's in Charing Cross Road. It's a fine second-hand emporium, but generally charges London prices - which is to say, more than you would pay at the Carnforth Bookshop (it doesn't have a website, but if you're ever near Lancaster, you should check it out. Oh, and Great Grandfather's in Leyland, too). So, I just browsed speculatively; anything I found would have to be either irresistible or very cheap. Very cheap won the day - a US edition of Neuromancer for £2 (£2 is so far below London Price that I assumed they had missed the 1 off at the beginning). Pleased with myself, I was. Until yesterday. We went to the library (warning - utterly uninformative link), as usual on a Sturday morning, and filled our bag with storybooks for the boys. And then I quickly browsed the book sale rack, and picked up 2 fat SF paperbacks (an Asimov collection, and Greg Bear's Eternity) for which I was charged the outrageous sum of 30p. No, not each; in total. Clearly I haven't been trying up to now.

Oh, a word about the book list - Blogger seems to be having trouble refreshing my template, so it hasn't been updated for a while. I'm going to try again now, but if you don't see the books I've just mentioned over there, it's not because I'm too lazy to update it. Well, not just that...

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