About this blog

This blog originally started as an experiment to put a ‘pound’ value on our use of the public library service in Warwickshire. It was a list of all the books Damyanti, Owen and Bryn had borrowed from the library in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, since joining in 2009. However, it is now developing into somewhere we can record not just a list of books and prices – which represents a very shallow view of value – but also our experience of books.

We plan to keep updating this blog with both library loans and books we have bought.

The context for the original blog was the cut of approximately 27% to the Warwickshire Library and Information Service budget between 2011 and 2013 (£2million from an overall budget of £7.4million). For more information see Facing the Challenge on libraries on the Warkwickshire County Council website.

We calculated the cost of buying the books we borrowed over about a year and a half as follows:

Number of Priced Books: 230
Total for Priced Books: £ 2,075.00
Avg. Cost per Book: £ 9.02
Est. Cost all books borrowed in approx 18 months: £ 3,762.07

The average cost per book alone challenges any glib assertions that ‘books are cheap’.

This blog was created by Owen Stephens and Damyanti Patel using data from the Warwickshire Library and Information Service and Amazon (UK). For the gory technical details, see this blog post.

You can find us on Twitter as @ostephens and @damyantipatel.

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