A Calm Suggestion

Perhaps you are aware, my gentle snowflakes, that since May 1, 2010, smoking indoors at most public establishments has been against the Law in the fair State of Michigan. You might suspect that not every segment of the State’s population has welcomed the new law with great enthusiasm, and of course, you would be right: Michiganders are a proud and freedom-loving people who do not take kindly to the treacherous encroachment of Government upon their Liberties. As a result, a number of establishments have chosen to adopt an attitude of open defiance to the law, which has resulted in public expressions of outrage such as the following, which may be observed outside a bar not too far away from my humble abode:

This primal cry for freedom came to mind as I read our friend Nick Norelli’s post noting the dramatic price increase for first two volumes of Fr Dumitru Staniloae’s Orthodox Dogmatic Theology. Indeed, from an original $19.95 a piece, these books went up to an impossible $85 and $95, respectively. How is such a thing even possible? Nick observes that the only change seems to be that, while previously the books were published by Holy Cross Orthodox Press, they now appear to be under the imprint of T & T Clark.

Now we are all aware, I trust, that certain publishers cater specifically to the “library market,” and that their books are therefore outrageously expensive beyond the means of us mere mortals (e.g., Brill). It is not unusual, however, for these same publishers to eventually license the publication of some of these titles in more inexpensive editions by other publishers. It is not a perfect system, to be sure, but it is not without its merits: at the very least, it makes some scholarship more accessible than it would be otherwise. What benefit is there, however, to the reverse procedure? If a  book initially sells for $20, how will raising its price by approximately 400%  make it more accessible? And let us not forget that we are talking about the very same book, probably still with the Holy Cross imprint, whether it sells for $20 or for $95.

Do you feel the rage? Do you want to climb on a rooftop and shout,

“TAKE YOUR PRICE HIKE AND SHOVE IT”?

I assure you that no one blames you. But you might be heartened to learn that you can do something more concrete than shouting to the wind about this. You see, while Amazon has already succumbed to the price hike, this is not yet the case everywhere. Below you will find a short list of select online bookstores where these volumes may still be purchased for something close to their original price. I encourage you to visit any one of them and purchase these books for cheap while you still can. Say no to these outrageous prices! We may not be able to do anything about the price of forthcoming volumes, but we can do something about the price of these two.

N.B.: Several online used book dealers still have vols. 1 & 2 listed for reasonable prices, and smaller Orthodox bookstores without an online presence may also have the books available at the original price.

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5 responses to “A Calm Suggestion

  1. Dearest Nick:

    Be careful not to fall off your roof! A far more politically correct path… just purchase future books elsewhere under other publishers when possible. Reclaim your gentle snowflake status by heading sensible suggestions…

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  2. You just need to get Hendrickson to publish it and they’ll sell it for $3 a volume through CBD. Or get Eerdmans to do it and they’ll bind both volumes together in a giant unusable paperback volume or a giant hardcover volume that doesn’t want to stay open.

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  3. Nick> I feel your solidarity in this struggle, brother!

    Nancy> Well, by suggesting that there is something else that can be done about this matter, I did not mean to imply that the outraged should refrain from shouting from the rooftops! You see, I’m a both/and kinda guy. ;-)

    Charles> I’m afraid that we’ll never see a $3 Hendrickson edition of, well, anything ever again on CBD. Didn’t you hear? Baker acquired all those Hendrickson academic titles! But I hear you about those enormous, but glued, Eerdmans books. Why do they have to do that? My copy of Netherlanders in America (which they published in a happy day before the corner cutting commenced) is truly enormous, and yet stays open without problems.

    Chris> Apparently! It’s galling, really.

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