My second-to-last book review column can be found here. The file pointed to does NOT include the BOOKS I NEED REVIEWED since that has changed. For that go here.
The column has an editorial! In a book review column for CS theory books?! It is an editorial against the high prices of books and the fact that many books are NOT online. These are well known problems, so what of it? I could say why the publishers are at fault, but frankly, I don't know the economics of the book market. So instead I recommend the community to do the following:
- Only buy books used or at a cheaper than list price (you probably already do this).
- If you write a book then insist that the contract allow for it to be online for free. This is not as outlandish as it sounds: (1) Blown to Bits by Abelson, Ledeen, Lewis (which I reviewed in this Column) is a book for a wide audience--- it is a popular book about computers and society. Even so, it is available online for free here. (2) Some book companies of Math and Science books allow the author to have the book free on line.
- When assigning a course textbook allow them to get earlier editions that are usually far far cheaper. There is no reason to insist they get the most recent edition.