Thursday, January 22, 2009

Attending to the details

A few weeks ago I wrote about The Birth Order Book and how I was thinking about picking it up. Shortly after that post I found a copy on Amazon used for $0.01 so I ordered it. It arrived yesterday.

Opening the package I notice that the cover isn't nearly as flashy as the one at Barnes & Noble was. The title is the same, so is the author; that's good. It's ok, I thought, I don't really care what the cover of the book looks like. (It was a lie; I actually do care in a very superficial sort of way.) It has a very distinct late-70's/early-80's design and color scheme. It's faded and yellowed. It smells like a grandpa.

I check my e-mail confirming the purchase and follow the link -- the book pictured is in fact the book I had read at B&N and not the book in my hand. Then I notice the used price is now $4.38, not the $0.01 I had paid. Looking around I found the hardcover editions listed for only $0.01. I also noticed that said hardcovers -- the version I held in my hand -- was only available in first edition.

Curious as to what the difference was, I begin comparing the two. The copyright said it was published in 1984, 20 years before the 2nd edition. It's also 180 pages less. After 10 minutes of reading I also notice that it lacks much of the humor and accuracy that the 2nd edition has. This may be because it was written for a generation before me and frankly things have changed a bit since then. How accurate can a book describe me socially and psychologically when it's talking about up-and-coming new fields that work with "computers"?

While I'm not exactly happy with the book I received I'm not upset, either. I only paid $4 for it and that $4 went to a used bookstore in Atlanta, GA.

I love used book stores

I support used book stores; I don't mind giving them $4, even if it's for a book I don't really want. I'll just donate it and put in another order, this time for a used 2nd edition. It'll probably cost me $8, but even with that I'm paying less that I would buying it new from B&N. I'm still counting this as a win.

1 comment:

--jeff * said...

while i'm all about old things, something about the 70s-80s era book covers you described really don't do it for me, either.
the geriatric aroma never really helps, either.

still, you're out a penny and some shipping. meh.