I was noticing something the other day whilst reading a book. I said to myself, “There are a lot of pages in this book.” I’ve been reading for while now, and I know about how big books are. So when I looked at this seemingly normal book and noticed that I was on page 500, I knew that something was up.
I went down to the basement and pulled several other similar sized books off the shelf (and one bigger and one smaller) and started to compare them. I almost immediately noticed that they all had pages. Then I noticed that one of them probably belongs to Brad and that I’ve had it since maybe high school.
Looking at those books, you’d probably imagine that the five in the middle are roughly the same size. Except now, with two paragraphs of build-up you’d probably imagine anything at all but. Well, here’s the data…
|Book||Year||Cost||Pages||Words||¢ / kWords||in 2009 dollars|
So, what’s the point? There are probably lots of points you could make from that mess. Some of them might even be true. My point? I had no idea that you could make a page half as wide as another page. I mean, pages are already pretty thin. Do they just split them down the middle?
For years I’ve been watching the price of books go up. I started buying books my freshman year in high school, and my memory was that they typically cost between $1.95 and $2.25 each. Lately they cost more like $6.99 and up. It was starting to get my goat until I did the calculations for that last column. Adjusting for inflation, I’m actually paying quite a bit less per word. It sort of makes you feel sorry for authors.