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Most expensive books of 2012
November 23, 2012 6:55 PM   Subscribe

Publishers Weekly lists the most expensive books of the season.
posted by anothermug (34 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
One of these things is not like the other
posted by griphus at 6:59 PM on November 23, 2012 [7 favorites]


Students may look at that list, sigh, and think "If only my compulsory books were that cheap..."

From 2.5 years ago, the 12 most expensive college textbooks, and some witterings on this (disclosure: own blog) with more links.
posted by Wordshore at 7:00 PM on November 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Last year it was The Making of a Fly...
posted by growabrain at 7:03 PM on November 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


That is one awesome photo of an elephant.
posted by Artw at 7:04 PM on November 23, 2012


I thought this would be a list of the books with the highest advances and lowest sales.
posted by thecjm at 7:09 PM on November 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


No fair putting multi-volume sets on this. If I'm spending over $200 on a book, I better be able to hold it in one hand and beat someone over the head with it until they're dead without worrying about one of the volumes falling out of the commemorative fancy box.
posted by NoraReed at 7:17 PM on November 23, 2012 [9 favorites]


Chris Ware’s Building Stories didn’t make the cut?
posted by 1970s Antihero at 7:18 PM on November 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Still tempted by that Möbius cat book with the insane price to page ratio.
posted by Artw at 7:20 PM on November 23, 2012


No ornithology this year?
posted by Wordshore at 7:24 PM on November 23, 2012


The credibility of this list is fatally undermined by the absence of this item.
posted by multics at 7:24 PM on November 23, 2012


I immediately thought of this set, which would be a great geek cooking gift, but it was printed in 2011. There is a single volume for at home, but it's about $100.
posted by annsunny at 7:25 PM on November 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Chris Ware’s Building Stories didn’t make the cut?

It was 50% off at Barnes and Noble today.
posted by bongo_x at 7:37 PM on November 23, 2012


We just bought my dad the orange Phaidon architecture book for Christmas.

When I brought it in, the mailman had propped it up against a wall. The book, with packaging, was as high as the table next to it.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 7:46 PM on November 23, 2012


Kind of want to buy the Motherwell set. It seems like a good "value"?
posted by subtle-t at 7:53 PM on November 23, 2012


I also thought of the Nathan Myhrvold cookbooks. I would love to own that set.
posted by painquale at 7:54 PM on November 23, 2012


I knew something from Taschen would be on that list.
posted by drezdn at 8:13 PM on November 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Myhrvold's only a hundred bucks a volume. Considering the price of the equipment and ingredients you'd need to cook a lot of his stuff that's not that much.
posted by madcaptenor at 8:32 PM on November 23, 2012


Are these actually the most expensive books of the season? I think it's more "here are some expensive books".
posted by Justinian at 9:24 PM on November 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


That grape book looks fantastic. Not being ironic at all. I would become a sommelier to justify owning that.
posted by No-sword at 9:31 PM on November 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would do wonderful things to people for that Motherwell set.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:46 PM on November 23, 2012


I went to Amazon and found the $1,000 "Limited Edition" book about Marilyn Monroe. And below the price, Amazon said...

"Free 2-day shipping for college students!"
posted by destinyland at 9:49 PM on November 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


That grape book does indeed look fantastic; all the rest are meh at best.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:46 AM on November 24, 2012


I so want the Motherwell volumes. Maybe the architecture book, too.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:25 AM on November 24, 2012


I remember the Making of a Fly from my undergrad days. Looks like I should have held on to a copy to fund my retirement.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 7:43 AM on November 24, 2012


Yeah, this seems suspect. Most of my textbooks go for $250 or so, and I don't see any of them on the list, or even anything from my field (chemistry)
posted by Canageek at 7:50 AM on November 24, 2012


It's the Most Expensive Books of the Season, so they're all gift books. Of course you can give Advanced Semiconductor and Organic Nano-Techniques as a holiday gift, but for the majority of people it's probably not going to be as well-received as a Star Wars pop-up book or a book of art photos.
posted by girih knot at 8:29 AM on November 24, 2012


Of course you can give Advanced Semiconductor and Organic Nano-Techniques as a holiday gift, but for the majority of people it's probably not going to be as well-received as a Star Wars pop-up book or a book of art photos.


Oh, I bet I am not the only one here who has a family member who would beyond thrilled to recieve such a gift.
posted by louche mustachio at 9:45 AM on November 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


For the Lovecraftian on your list ($495; page includes triggery bodyhorror image)
posted by kurumi at 9:55 AM on November 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Including signed editions seems like cheating to me. Because then the book isn't expensive, the signature is.

$300 for a signed pop-up book is ridiculous, slip-covered numbered edition be damned.
posted by lyssabee at 5:28 PM on November 24, 2012


No-Sword and MartinWisse, the Oxford Grape book is cool, and a good companion to the general Oxford Companion to Wine. There is a great blog, though, called Fringe Wine, run by an amateur ampelographer and wine critic, that does the duty of that book and has the benefit of being free. On top of this, the author conveniently purchases and gives tasting notes on specific varietal wines. It is located here.

More pertinently, though, the author has a critique of the Oxford wine book, which is erudite but nonetheless interesting. Basically, they are kind of shady about revealing their sources. If you are interested,the two posts are here and here.
posted by Dia Nomou Nomo Apethanon at 6:23 PM on November 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm actually going to buy myself that Motherwell book in January, if I don't get it as a holiday present. I can't wait!

But the most expensive book this year is the Kiss Monster Book. $4250, but hey, free delivery!


If you ever want an expensive book, just check Taschen's Collector Editions list. Some are pricey because they are signed and include a limited print, but usually it is just AWESOMELY LARGE.
posted by Theta States at 6:13 AM on November 25, 2012


Books that are so large, they come with their own display stand:
Helmut Newton's SUMO
GOAT - GREATEST OF ALL TIME: A Tribute to Muhammad Ali
posted by Theta States at 7:06 AM on November 25, 2012


I would very much like to have the book on 19th century paintings, but i don't anticipate that it will be in my stocking this year.
posted by dejah420 at 8:53 AM on November 25, 2012


@girih knot: Ah, that makes sense. Though there is an inorganic textbook that I would like as a gift (I would link it, but I can't find it on Amazon: Wineberg or something like that? 90-somethingth edition, published in both English and German).
posted by Canageek at 9:18 AM on November 25, 2012


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