7.0268 Rs: Ox; Textbook Costs; Computer Work (5/132)

Sat, 23 Oct 1993 07:47:36 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 7, No. 0268. Saturday, 23 Oct 1993.

(1) Date: Thu, 21 Oct 93 20:02:29 CST (12 lines)
From: "Jim Marchand" <marchand@ux1.cso.uiuc.edu>
Subject: black ox

(2) Date: Thu, 21 Oct 93 15:28:32 -0500 (32 lines)
From: Richard Tuerk <TUERK@ETSUACAD>
Subject: Re: 7.0262 Used Books (1/71)

(3) Date: Fri, 22 Oct 93 11:37:14 -0700 (57 lines)
From: rww@ibuki.com (Richard Weyhrauch)
Subject: The price of Textbooks

(4) Date: Thu, 21 Oct 93 19:57:15 CST (18 lines)
From: "Jim Marchand" <marchand@ux1.cso.uiuc.edu>
Subject: kudology

(5) Date: Fri, 22 Oct 1993 18:06:41 -0400 (EDT) (13 lines)
From: Cathy Ball <CBALL@guvax.acc.georgetown.edu>
Subject: Re: 7.0263 R: Credit Where Credit is Due: Computer Work (1/59)

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 93 20:02:29 CST
From: "Jim Marchand" <marchand@ux1.cso.uiuc.edu>
Subject: black ox

Since Archer Taylor discussed it, there is little reason to return to the
black ox. I did find a nice note in Wander (Ochs, *350), where English,
Dutch, German and Low German examples are given, and where Schleicher is
quoted as giving the saying in Lithuanian. Wander also points out that the
black ox is the devil. G. L. Apperson, English Proverbs and Proverbial
Phrases (Black, 24), has a nice set of quotations, including Heywood (1546),
Lyly, Jonson (Tale of a Tub), Swift, Scott (Nigel).
Jim Marchand.
(2) --------------------------------------------------------------40----
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 93 15:28:32 -0500
From: Richard Tuerk <TUERK@ETSUACAD>
Subject: Re: 7.0262 Used Books (1/71)

Frankly, my sympathies are with the students. New textbooks are
extraordinarily expensive. I can't blame students for buying used books if
they are even slightly cheaper than the new ones. I also cannot understand how
the university bookstores get away with charging so much for used textbooks
when they buy them back so cheaply from the students.

By the way, as the parent of an undergraduate, I also am glad the used books
are available. When my daughter tells me she bought a used textbook for only
$40, I gulp, but I realize that a copy of a new textbook would cost more.

Still, you do have what I consider to be two legitimate problems: a university
bookstore that ignores your request for a particular edition of a textbook and
misleads students into thinking that they have the right edition when they
don't, and a bookstore that does not make new textbooks available for those
students who want them and can afford them.

Please, however, have pity on us poor parents and don't demand that your
bookstore only stock new books or that it make available at least half of the
books you order in the form of new textbooks.

If anyone can figure out how to get a bookstore to order the exact edition the
instructor wants, please let me know.

(903) 886-5266
(3) --------------------------------------------------------------73----
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 93 11:37:14 -0700
From: rww@ibuki.com (Richard Weyhrauch)
Subject: The price of Textbooks

My mane is Richard Weyhrauch, president of IBUKI, a new publisher of
electronic texts. As a startup in this area, let me tell you some of
my experiences concerning selling books through college bookstores.

1) From the point of view of college bookstores, books come in two
kinds: books adopted for courses; and, "trade" books. In fact most
college bookstores are subtly divided into these two parts and there
are usually different buyers for each type of book. The difference is
this: books adopted for courses are the ones the professors require
for courses. Thus the sale is "sure" ... thus the discount off list for
such books is only 20%. The drive for used books in this area is the
result of only giving a 20% discount for these types of books. It's
easy to see why used books are attractive to bookstores. Even though
the prices "may" be less they make more, because their cost is lower.
This means that, for a publisher, the "lifetime" of a textbook is
realistically only 3 years. After that almost all sales are of used
copies. It makes publishing tough, but part of the fault in in the
LOW discount for adopted courses.

This situation is further encouraged by the existence of centralized
clearing houses for used text books, so that it is not necessary that
your school teaches from the same textbook next quarter or year, but
simply that some shcool somewhere is. You create the supply of used
books they need, they create the ones you need. It is further
exaggerated by the fact that more than 50% of the college bookstores
are owned by 4 companies, who use centralized purchasing.

2) trade books. These are the books not required for courses. For
these books a publisher gives a 40% discount and the dymanics are
different. This is the discount common for ordinary bookstores.

3) under ordinary circumstances, all bookstores can return unsold
books to a publisher. In practice many bookstores do not pay until
just before this return priviledge runs out and they return everything
they haven't sold. This "service" is usually free except the
bookstore must pay return shipping (and sometimes, but infrequently,
a restocking charge)

4) we intend let people order our books over the internet, and
possibly ignore the bookstores entirely. In this way we can pass
some savings on to our customers.

Richard Weyhrauch
President, IBUKI

IBUKI - Publisher of Scholarly Texts and Reference Works in electronic form
340 Second Street Phone: +1 (415) 961-4996
Los Altos, CA 94022 Fax: +1 (415) 961-8016

(4) --------------------------------------------------------------31----
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 93 19:57:15 CST
From: "Jim Marchand" <marchand@ux1.cso.uiuc.edu>
Subject: kudology

In my fictitious (though not much so) case of the person who publishes, e.g.
a concordance, using a text gotten by e-mail, with a concordance routine
written by someone in the Computer Dept., etc. etc., I was not worried about
the person who scanned/typed the original missing out on his kudo, I was
concerned that the "author" was misappropriating. There are those in
academe who do not have student help or assistants (I am one). Another
concern is the lowly status of the "guru", who gets asked everything, but
who gets little thanks or recognition for it. In fact, we ought to rethink
the kudology of computer work, since people seem to want to be paid for
their work. At my age, to put in a personal note, I do not have to worry
about such things; it is not likely I would get a raise or a promotion. One
does encounter people who can do little more than turn a computer on, but
who boast of their computer work and expertise. What else is new?
Jim Marchand.
(5) --------------------------------------------------------------26----
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 1993 18:06:41 -0400 (EDT)
From: Cathy Ball <CBALL@guvax.acc.georgetown.edu>
Subject: Re: 7.0263 R: Credit Where Credit is Due: Computer Work (1/59)

The recent discussion of apportioning kudos for a hypothetical
concordance to the works of Thomas Mann raises a basic issue - why should
*anyone* get kudos for a concordance in these days of e-text and freeware
concordancers? In the 19th century, when it took Mary Cowden-Clarke
16 years to produce a concordance to Shakespeare, it was an incredible feat
to produce a complete concordance, but now ...unless there's some
scholarly added value that I'm missing ...

-- Cathy Ball (cball@guvax.georgetown.edu)