For Sale

Don’t worry, capitalism has not tainted the escutcheon of Steamboats Are Ruining Everything. No money was earned in the writing of this post. But since I have already wasted the time collecting the links, here are some books for sale on the web very cheap, including a couple that I’ve written about lately, a couple that I happily possess, and a few I still covet.

Because Soft Skull Press is being sold to Winton Shoemaker in June, they need cash now, for reasons I have not tried to fathom but which you may exploit, because David Griffith’s A Good War Is Hard to Find, which I wrote about last week, can currently be had for $9.

As semesters across the country end, university press publishers are hunkering down for the long sales-dry summer, to survive which a number of them cut prices. If you don’t have tenure or an equivalent salary, this is the time to buy hardcovers at the price of paperbacks. (All of the following are hardcovers.) The University of North Carolina Press is selling American Heretic, Dean Grodzins’s biography of Theodore Parker for $19.95; I posted a killed review of the book back in February (somehow that phrase reminds me of killed-virus vaccines). Students of Transcendentalism might also want to look into the University of Georgia Press’s white sale, where they can obtain the Complete Poems of the divinely mad Jones Very for $17.50, and the Selected Letters of Mary Moody Emerson, Waldo’s influential aunt, for $16.25. (At the University of Georgia website, you have to enter the special code “WS07” in order to get the discount.)

Meanwhile, Oxford will sell you the hardcover of Christopher Ricks’s Oxford Book of English Verse for just $15, and Yale will sell you Roy Porter and G. S. Rousseau’s Gout, a book I haven’t read but always wanted to, for $27.50, and Art and the Empire City: New York, 1825-1861, a book I leaf through often, for $14.98. (With Yale, the secret code to enter is “YSALE”.) Finally, Labyrinth Books is offering many, many not-quite-new Library of America volumes for about $16 each. (These are the only sale books in my list that aren’t in fact brand-new.)

6 thoughts on “For Sale”

  1. Here's a bit of detail on why: Although there were many good, long-term reasons for this to be a wise move for Soft Skull, there was also the brutal fact that we were heading towards insolvency. Our distributor went bankrupt December 29th, 2006 and although in the bankruptcy court horsetrading that resulted, we and most other publishers got 70% of what we were owed (which was Sept-Dec 2006 sales, a very important period in a publishers financial year), losing 30% is a big deal. Also, a complicated restructuring of the new contract we had to agree to in order to get that 70% significantly changed how returns are accounted for and, without going into those details, the net effect was an additional loss of $110,000 of working capital.

    So basically we are now completely out of money, but the deal doesn't close til June 30th, so the only source of reveunue we will have for the next 5 weeks is direct sales, largely from our website…

  2. Caleb — Just discovered your site. Thanks for the tip on the Jones Very firesale. But which is worst — to be locked up in McLean, to be hung out to dry by Emerson, or to find your works remaindered?

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