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Old March 23rd, 2016, 11:02 AM   #1

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Cost of Books


I went to pick up a book today, history, and then I became curious if we here in my home, Chile, pay too much for books (99 percent chance the answer is yes) and then I got to wondering how much books must cost elsewhere versus price of living etc. So I was wondering if any of you could enlighten me on what an average history book costs in you're area. For reference here I got a book today for 18,000 Clp which is at the current exchange rate 26 dollars, same book on amazon in english was listed at 12 dollars more or less.

I hope i'm not intruding too much in anyone's personal finances, just would like to know how much an average book might cost elsewhere.
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Old March 23rd, 2016, 11:25 AM   #2
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Mark, popular history books are affordable in most cases, and if Amazon can provide some discount, not to mention convenient delivery, that is a great benefit. Academic history books OTOH are ferociously expensive. Publishers like Cambridge U. Press, or the Netherlands publisher Brill routinely want $100 or more for history books. The quality of their products is very good, and with the most prominent historians involved.

I have a number of titles from Brill, mostly purchased with points accumulated through credit card purchase deals, although I have also bought some outright. Some of these books are $150, and one I saw was $225! OUCH!!! I have I think 7 or 8 Brills, and I think they were all around $75-$90. This is why there are libraries . Universities can afford these prices, and those publishers leverage that. If we want books for our personal libraries, too bad for us.

Lucky for me, I live a few miles from a major uni library (my alma mater) with 5.8 million volumes. As a state university it will give you a library card if you have residency here. I have yet to find a title I am interested in that is not there, although the newest titles may not be immediately available.

All that said, sometimes there is something you want on your own shelf.
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Old March 23rd, 2016, 01:05 PM   #3

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I buy a lot of history books and there is no "average price"--I try to buy used books as much as possible so I usually get them for between US$3 and US$25. But sometimes I'll pay a lot more if it is something I really need. Or as my wife would say, something I think I really need.
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Old March 23rd, 2016, 01:29 PM   #4

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I buy second hand antique books.
almost all my books date from the 19th century and they can come real cheap.
I once bought a whole collection of Plato for 10 euro
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Old March 23rd, 2016, 02:21 PM   #5
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I think it's hard to say an average price. Like some others here have said I think it comes down more to what kind of history you're looking for. I've picked up several books on fairly well known topics (Russian revolution, the Crusades, etc.) for about €10 each, but when I tried to find a biography of Demchugdongrub, the leader of Mengjiang, there was nothing under €100!

It's a shame that some really fascinating and well researched history books aren't available to us non-academics because they're just too damned expensive.
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Old March 23rd, 2016, 02:47 PM   #6

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Why do we still need to buy books when we can download them? It's tons easier to search for a specific text within an e-book than in a paper book. No, I do not buy books no more.
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Old March 23rd, 2016, 02:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maribat View Post
Why do we still need to buy books when we can download them? It's tons easier to search for a specific text within an e-book than in a paper book. No, I do not buy books no more.
Where would you generally download your history books from? For myself most of the books I've searched for aren't available to buy in pdf download. Unless you're talking about Kindle, but I don't have one of those and I'm sure I'm not the only one. So in most cases it's just straightforward to buy them.

Last edited by Wodz Mikolaj; March 23rd, 2016 at 02:57 PM.
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Old March 23rd, 2016, 03:09 PM   #8
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There are programs that let you reed books of almost any format, so you don't need to own Kindle to use ebooks. Just google ebook reader and you will find something. Don't want advertise, because don't know rules about that.
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Old March 23rd, 2016, 03:17 PM   #9
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Huh, haven't heard about anything like that. I'll look around and see. Ačiū už informaciją.
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Old March 23rd, 2016, 03:24 PM   #10

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wodz Mikolaj View Post
Where would you generally download your history books from? For myself most of the books I've searched for aren't available to buy in pdf download. Unless you're talking about Kindle, but I don't have one of those and I'm sure I'm not the only one. So in most cases it's just straightforward to buy them.
Like janusdviveidis has said I am not sure it's all righ talking about downloadable places in the net. As for reading - there are lots of online converters that can convert books to your preferable format. I use fb2 format for 5 inch smartphone reading. I like short lines it has. No need to scroll eyes from left to right. It's rtf in Microsoft word for highlighting and making notes.
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