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Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

The Life of a Book?

What is the life of a book? Wed. afternoon I hosted two vendors at my school. One of them stated they had an unconditional guarantee of their books. If the book fell apart, binding broke, or pages came out as an example, they’d replace it because our relationship was worth more than the price of one book.

The other vendor stated their policy was to replace any book that’s binding did not last the life of a book. I pondered this and asked, "Just how long should a book last?"

Do you measure this by the # of checkouts? Do you measure it by time on the shelf? Do you measure it by the ratio of little brothers and sisters in the home? Does it vary for schools like mine that have just marginally become Title 1 and are receiving tiny amounts of funds for books? Does the life shorten when they use substandard paper? Some of the titles I have recently touched are apalling to handle. I can predict we won’t get 10 circulations before the pages wear out. Other titles have 120 circulations.

What is the industry standard?