I have to say I really hate it when I see a blog post with an interesting title that concerns a complicated subject, only to find – on going to all that trouble of moving my fingers, clicking on the link, and waiting all of three or so seconds for the page to load – that the author has played the dumbass, and has instead reeled you in with a whole one line of text, or a picture, or something equally lame. Yes, I really, really hate that.
On an unrelated subject, do books really have to be so ~ucking expensive? I mean, seriously, who sets the prices? I’m going through a phase of buying reptile and amphibian field guides. It’s ok if the books are less than about £20 ($32 US, €23), but if they’re more than this, and if you’re on an, err, limited budget, forget it.
Take Alan Channing and Kim Howell’s Amphibians of East Africa, for example. Invaluable, but you can’t get it for less than about $50 US (or £30 or so). And what about Frank Glaw and Miguel Vences’s A Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar: well, you either need to be rich (comparatively speaking), or to take out a second mortgage, as it’s a whopping £79 ($131 US or €93). I mean, seriously… come on. There are lots of other examples.
Can someone seriously tell me that books – even lavishly illustrated, high quality ones like these – really need to be this expensive? I know that profits need to be made, authors and photographers and designers and editors need to be paid and so on (I’m not entirely naive: I’ve authored several books myself, and have a few in the pipeline, all by highly respectable, mainstream publishers), but – purely from the point of view of disseminating knowledge and promoting education – how can high prices be justified? Or.. is it really, really the wrong time to be asking this? Oh, and I’m not just ranting or picking a fight – I really want to know the answer.
Maybe I should ask my friends in publishing, but this seemed easier and involved less effort.