- The Cambridge Guide to the Theatre – £39.90 on Amazon
- A Biographical Dictionary of Dissenting Economists – £175 on Amazon
- Encyclopedia of World Trade from Ancient Times to the Present – £354.71 on Amazon
- Debrett’s People of Today 2012 – not available on Amazon (2008 edition £76.50)
- Reader’s Guide to British History – £285 on Amazon
- Encyclopedia of Women’s Autobiography – £133 on Amazon
- Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary – £29.91 on Amazon
- Encyclopedia of Postmodernism – £155 on Amazon
- Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science – £1330 on Amazon
- The Penguin Biographical Dictionary of Women – 1 penny on Amazon (secondhand, plus £2.80 delivery charge)
I put the last one in for balance (honest!). These are ten reference books, chosen “blind” (I had no prior knowledge of the prices), and the Amazon-quoted prices as of today, 30 July. They are all rather specialised, but that’s the point.
When you want a book with in-depth coverage of a subject, where will you turn? I use Amazon a lot. But at these prices, for these kinds of titles, I think I might turn back to where I found them in the first place – Credo Reference, one of Westminster Libraries’ exclusive ‘Online Resources’, which are free to use for library members.
By the way, there are 600 reference books on Credo Reference, 200+ on Oxford Reference Online, and 120+ on Gale Virtual Reference Library, all available free for members via our 24/7 Library. Not having to venture out into the melée that is the first weekday of the Olympics might be another big plus!
For other ways to max out your library service, see our previous posts on the subject. And if you do happen to have £2579.03 rattling around, my holiday fund is a bit low at the moment!