Larry Hurtado’s latest blog post is A Plea for Affordable Book-pricing. I agree wholeheartedly. As someone who lives (a) in Australia and (b) several hours’ drive from a good theological library, I am a fairly enthusiastic buyer of books, but I simply can’t afford to pay over $100 (let alone over GBP 100 = AUD 185) for a hardcover book. Nor do I need hardcover – I just don’t use my reference books that often. I read Review of Biblical Literature avidly and often buy books that are reviewed. I also read reviews on other people’s blogs, and again will often buy something that looks useful – but only if it’s in paperback (or second-hand) unless it’s absolutely essential for me to own it.
I was extremely grateful when an author recently sent me a soft copy of his book which is only available in hard copy at the moment. I would still prefer a hard copy, though. I am finding marking up the text electronically not as easy as doing it with a pen and sticky notes on paper. I second Larry’s plea!