Measuring the Value of a Book

How do you measure the value of a book? One might ask several questions when determining what a book is worth: How meaningful is the content? Is it enjoyable to read? Can you learn from it? Does it have historical significance? The list can go on indefinitely, and everyone will weigh the various factors differently, depending on their reason for wanting a particular book.

I don’t want to say that any particular metric is necessarily wrong, but I find it inconceivable that people will buy books based on how thick they are, with nary a thought for aught else. But apparently this happens. How else could the Strand Book Store sell books by the foot?

Sure, they mention some legitimate uses, film and theatre sets, for example. But to say “we will custom design a library that is sure to be a perfect match for any home or office space” implies that these books have no value beyond the visual appeal of their spines. Maybe it’s just the penny-pincher in me talking, but can’t you get the same visual effect with wallpaper? Leave the books for snobs like me who thinks books are for reading.

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