Sage, the publisher of 520 journals in such fields as anthropology, criminology, education, management, medicine, politics, public administration, theology, urban studies, and, yes, even information science, has a special offer for the month of October 2009. It’s offering free online access to all its content from 1999 to the present. You do need to register, but this is an extraordinarily generous offer from Sage. Check out Business Information Review, if you’ve never read it.
Financial Times columnist Tim Harford reported that Dan Brown’s latest book, The Lost Symbol, sold “more copies in its first 36 hours than any other adult hardback sold in total.” He also notes that the use of the word “adult” kept “a certain boy wizard” out of the calculation. The article then talks about the hugely discounted prices that the book sold for in the UK. Bookstore Waterstone’s offered a 50% discount, but some of the grocery stores discounted it even deeper, 75% in the case of Asda, which meant it lost money on each sale. Harford thinks book as loss leader for grocery stores will, in the long run, be good for the stores, the theory being that people who come in to buy the book will also buy groceries (that, presumably, are not deeply discounted).
I looked at the US online booksellers, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books A Million. All three are selling the $29.95 book at $16.17, not quite a 50% discount. You may find a better price at your local grocery store, but stores such as Kroger are not adding the book’s price to its website.
Here’s what I’m wondering, though — do libraries go to grocery stores to buy books for their collections? Or are our libraries paying list price? Here’s hoping they’re getting the best deal possible on books, given shrinking materials budgets!
Subject lines in emails and press releases sometimes make me chuckle. Like this one that just showed up: SPEAKER PELOSI TO ANNOUNCE 100 PERCENT RECYCLED CONGRESSIONAL RECORD. First of all, why does GPO insist on throwing all caps at me whenever they want to announce something? And, second, doesn’t this imply that the content in the Congressional Record will be 100% recycled? Does this mean I’ll be able to see last year’s items in this year’s CR? How fun! Reading the release revealed that it’s not the content that’s recycled, it’s the paper on which the Congressional Record is printed that’s recycled. OH WOW, IT’S RECYCLED PAPER. Now, GPO, please stop shouting at me. And let me read it online with recycled electrons. Think digitization, people.