Saturday, January 1, 2011

An unwieldy but valuable book

One of the books I got for myself a little while back is a paperback version of J A Schumpeter's 'History of Economic Analysis.' Contentwise it is straight-forward enough so far (I'm on page 93 after about 10 days of scattered reading episodes), though it does presume quite a large amount of knowledge and breadth of reading on the part of the reader. That is sobering, but at least this doesn't get in the way of comprehending the content.

The problem is physical - the pages are too small given that there are over 1200 of them! This makes it difficult to get comfortable while reading it, necessitating a firm grip that is both tiring after a while and creates the danger of damaging the pages or the cover. I'd hate to try reading this while on a plane or train (or automobile)! Its present physical format is best suited to books of tables and statistics that are delved into for minutes at a time (there are engineers' handbooks bigger than this), not for in-depth narrative. It should have been physically constructed with a smaller number of larger pages. The pages are a dash taller than A5, whereas ideally they should be one third taller and wider, giving a total of an extra 78% of text space per page and hence reducing the page count to somewhere around 750 to 800.

Another problem with this book is that the printing and binding got messed up. I estimate that there are about half a dozen or so leaves missing from the front of the book. Fortunately this is just Mark Perlman's introduction and the book itself (so far) is intact, so I wont bother with the trouble of sending it back halfway across the planet.


No comments:

Post a Comment