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The cost of a book in Boston

My wife and I have a lot of books.  About a thousand, in fact.  Not as many as some, but more than many others.  So many books we have, in fact, that we’re making a baby to help shoulder the load of reading them all.

The baby apparently comes with needs beyond books, though, and we’re currently rearranging the house to make room for those needs that take up material space.  Baby clothes, for example.  And that’s forcing us to come to grips with exactly how many books we’re housing, and that line of thinking led me to wonder exactly how much we’re paying to store the books (nevermind purchase them).

So.  We have a three bedroom flat in the greater Boston area.  Wandering over to Craigslist and grabbing the first 1000 listings, I find the average asking price for a three bedroom apartment in the Boston area.  $2,913.88, as it happens.

Then I do the same for an average four bedroom.  $3,325.29 as of the moment.

So if we were renting an average three bedroom in the Boston area and found ourselves so bursting at the seams with books we needed a bigger place, we could move to a place with an extra room for an extra $400 a month or so.  Sounds about right.

Let’s say it’s an average-sized room, perhaps 10′ x 11′, so 110′ of wall, less about 11′ for a door, couple of windows, and (ha!) a closet.  So 100 linear feet of wall space.

Counting up a few shelves of books around the house, I find that each book averages about 1″ of shelf space, give-or-take.  And our bookshelves are six shelves high.

So that extra $400 a month, assuming we use all the wall space for bookshelves and stick a work table or something in the middle of the room, gets us space for another 7200 books.  That’s about 5.5¢ per book per month, or 67¢ per book per year.

So a decade of storing a paperback costs us as much as the original book cost.

Hm.  Time to get sliding library shelves.  Or a more compact baby.

Posted via email from ert’s posterous

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