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I think there may be a transitional period where this is common, but the future of publishing is online entirely.

In my mind if you need to have a blog to supplement your book, why bother with print publication at all? In other words, the advantages of online publication are clear, the advantages of print are a mystery to me.

I find it amusing that you can still buy a book on computer programming with a packaged CD. I sometimes wonder who buys such books, since they are so obviously inferior to online resources.

I hope I may be forgiven for being an "old stick in the mud," but. . .

As much as I take advantage of reading newspapers, magazines, and even some books online this medium will always lack something that books have provided.

For me there is nothing like the "feel" of a book. To run my hands over the hardcover, to take pleasure in the design and appearance of the dust jacket, to "fondle" the pages.

And online books will never replace one of the greatest pleasures of "real" books -- the smell. There is often something special in the smell.

Finally, online books will never replace a certain special thrill. Years ago I purchased an 1874 edition of Henry Fawcett's "Manual of Political Economy." But I found that I couldn't initially read it. Why? The pages had never been cut open!

The excitement of cutting the pages apart and being the first one to turn the pages of this book that was more than one hundred years old will never be experienced with online books.

I know, I know . . . But that, I guess, is just me.

Richard Ebeling

I hope I may be forgiven for being an "old stick in the mud," but. . .

Agreed.

About a year ago I checked out Human Action from the NMU Library. I noticed with pleasure that it was in fact the first edition first printing by the Yale University Press in 1949. I made it to Chapter XII (the Sphere of Economic Calculation, I believe) before I noticed that the binding was very loose to the spine and that any more reading would sever it completely. So I made the trip to the library and tried to impress upon the workstudy student at the front desk that this book was valuable and needed to be taken care of immediately. She nodded and I went home wishing I could keep reading--but alas, this was the only edition we had!

So, skip ahead weeks of asking about the book and hearing "no," until finally I come and ask. The girl tells me it's no longer in the book repair pile. I run upstairs to see the newly repaired volume--nothing. It's gone. I look everywhere in the, what, H's, I think for LOC system, and I ask the librarian and she says "Human Action: A Treatise on Economics" is not in their catalogue. But it was just repaired I said. So we look and look, and finally it hits me. Do you guys have a. . . a discard pile? Yes. May I see it. Certainly.

And so, I walk home with a perfectly mended, well-annotated first edition first printing of Human Action, which a book dealer offers $500 for, regardless of its ex-library status.

I hope I may be forgiven for being an "old stick in the mud," but. . .

Agreed.

About a year ago I checked out Human Action from the NMU Library. I noticed with pleasure that it was in fact the first edition first printing by the Yale University Press in 1949. I made it to Chapter XII (the Sphere of Economic Calculation, I believe) before I noticed that the binding was very loose to the spine and that any more reading would sever it completely. So I made the trip to the library and tried to impress upon the workstudy student at the front desk that this book was valuable and needed to be taken care of immediately. She nodded and I went home wishing I could keep reading--but alas, this was the only edition we had!

So, skip ahead weeks of asking about the book and hearing "no," until finally I come and ask. The girl tells me it's no longer in the book repair pile. I run upstairs to see the newly repaired volume--nothing. It's gone. I look everywhere in the, what, H's, I think for LOC system, and I ask the librarian and she says "Human Action: A Treatise on Economics" is not in their catalogue. But it was just repaired I said. So we look and look, and finally it hits me. Do you guys have a. . . a discard pile? Yes. May I see it. Certainly.

And so, I walk home with a perfectly mended, well-annotated first edition first printing of Human Action, which a book dealer offers $500 for, regardless of its ex-library status.

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