Why Are Sondheim’s Books So Expensive?

lukeworsham
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Why Are Sondheim’s Books So Expensive?#1
Posted: 5/24/20 at 2:47pm

Curious as to why Sondheim’s books (Finishing/Look I Made) are so expensive? I’m seeing copies going for hundreds on the internet even though they don’t appear to be rarities and are less than 10 years old.

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Why Are Sondheim’s Books So Expensive?#2
Posted: 5/24/20 at 2:57pm
The first volume is out of print. The second can be purchased for a reasonable price on Amazon.
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Why Are Sondheim’s Books So Expensive?#3
Posted: 5/24/20 at 3:04pm

You also pay for durability. They're hardcover, made out of good sturdy paper, tight binding. Those books will probably outlive me.

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Why Are Sondheim’s Books So Expensive?#4
Posted: 5/24/20 at 8:23pm

I have both original copies, but something told me a year or so ago to buy the "Hat Box." I kept it sealed, and I'm glad I did, it's going for a lot of money now.

Updated On: 5/24/20 at 08:23 PM
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Why Are Sondheim’s Books So Expensive?#5
Posted: 5/24/20 at 11:34pm

I picked my 2 on Playbill on sale($15.00) yonks ago.

AND I picked up a ( Finishing the Hat) on a discount table at a locak bookstore and gave it as a gift . AND it was to someone I don't even like. No good deed....

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Why Are Sondheim’s Books So Expensive?#6
Posted: 5/25/20 at 4:55pm

I received  (used) copy of Finishing the Hat as a gift a few months ago, and another friend bemoaned the fact that she couldn't find it anywhere for less than triple digits.  It seems like it would be a fairly popular book among musical theater fans so I'm actually a bit surprised it's out of print.

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Why Are Sondheim’s Books So Expensive?#7
Posted: 5/25/20 at 10:24pm

I'm guessing most libraries have a copy, so I don't really see the point in owning it? But Sondheim has a strong fanbase, so anything out of print will fetch a higher price.

I've just gotten obsessed with Be More Chill, and toyed with the idea of buying the OCR on vinyl for the larger booklet. It's out of print and going for $500 a pop. Yeah, I'm not paying that.

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Why Are Sondheim’s Books So Expensive?#8
Posted: 5/25/20 at 10:51pm

joevitus said: "I'm guessing most libraries have a copy, so I don't really see the point in owning it? But Sondheim has a strong fanbase, so anything out of print will fetch a higher price.

I've just gotten obsessed with Be More Chill, and toyed with the idea of buying the OCR on vinyl for the larger booklet. It's out of print and going for $500 a pop. Yeah, I'm not paying that.
"

Target states it carries it online for $30.99.  Also Barnes & Nobles in yellow vinyl for $34.99.  Worth checking out.

Updated On: 5/25/20 at 10:51 PM
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Why Are Sondheim’s Books So Expensive?#9
Posted: 5/26/20 at 12:33am

Thanks, but I'm pretty sure that's the Broadway recording, which is still in print and does sell for that much on Amazon or Ebay. But will still check it out just to see.

Updated On: 5/26/20 at 12:33 AM
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Why Are Sondheim’s Books So Expensive?#10
Posted: 5/26/20 at 1:21am

joevitus said: "Thanks, but I'm pretty sure that's the Broadway recording, which is still in print and does sell for that much on Amazon or Ebay. But will still check it out just to see."

I'm confused.  I thought you wanted the OCR, which is the original cast recording, on vinyl.  Are you referring to the off Broadway cast recording on vinyl?  Your terminology is incorrect.

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Why Are Sondheim’s Books So Expensive?#11
Posted: 5/26/20 at 1:39am

ArtMan said: "joevitus said: "Thanks, but I'm pretty sure that's the Broadway recording, which is still in print and does sell for that much on Amazon or Ebay. But will still check it out just to see."

I'm confused. I thought you wanted the OCR, which is the original cast recording, on vinyl. Are you referring to the off Broadway cast recording on vinyl? Your terminology is incorrect.
"

 

I don’t know anything about BMC’s vinyl releases, but reading joevitus’s posts above, I’m assuming they’re talking about the cast recording from the original production at Two Rivers theatre. If, in fact, that’s the recording he’s referring to, then it’s technically correct to call it the “original cast recording” as it came before the Broadway cast recording. 

 

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Why Are Sondheim’s Books So Expensive?#12
Posted: 5/26/20 at 2:20am

^^
This.

My "terminology" (what silly, pedantic language) is accurate. The Twin Rivers recording is the Original Cast Recording. It's listed as such, and it's the recording of the first production ever. The Broadway cast recording (from three years later), is designated the Original Broadway Cast Recording. 

Only on this board...

Updated On: 5/26/20 at 02:20 AM
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Why Are Sondheim’s Books So Expensive?#13
Posted: 5/26/20 at 7:49am

joevitus said: "^^
This.

My "terminology" (what silly, pedantic language)is accurate. The Twin Rivers recording is the Original Cast Recording. It's listed as such, and it'stherecordingof the firstproduction ever.The Broadway cast recording(from three years later),is designatedthe Original Broadway Cast Recording.

Only on this board...
"

<<edited by BWW staff>>, I was only trying to help you locate something you were trying to find.  Won't make that mistake again. And since we are talking about "only on this board"...pompous ingrates do exist. Now get, before I really lose my temper with you.

Updated On: 5/26/20 at 07:49 AM
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Why Are Sondheim’s Books So Expensive?#14
Posted: 5/26/20 at 8:59am

I've purchased three copies of Finishing the Hat. 

One from eBay, one from Chartwell and one from Penguin Random House. 

The one from eBay claimed they didn't have the book in their inventory and refunded me my $40. (The listing is still up, however.) 

I ordered my copy from Chartwell for $45 on May 9th and haven't heard anything about it being shipped, I'm sure COVID is delaying them. I haven't requested a cancellation. 

Finally, ordered my copy from Penguin Random House on May 21. After I placed the order, I was told it was "backordered." When I emailed them, they said that they're expecting more copies, "anyday now." Still strange that it didn't mention it being backordered when I was looking at it online. 

I sure wish they'd make a kindle version. 

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Why Are Sondheim’s Books So Expensive?#15
Posted: 5/26/20 at 11:30am

Wow that is so surprising.

Grateful I knew they had to be mine as soon as they came out and rushed to get them immediately
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Why Are Sondheim’s Books So Expensive?#16
Posted: 5/26/20 at 11:50am

JBroadway said: "ArtMan said: "joevitus said: "Thanks, but I'm pretty sure that's the Broadway recording, which is still in print and does sell for that much on Amazon or Ebay. But will still check it out just to see."

I'm confused. I thought you wanted the OCR, which is the original cast recording, on vinyl. Are you referring to the off Broadway cast recording on vinyl? Your terminology is incorrect.
"



I don’t know anything about BMC’s vinyl releases, but reading joevitus’s posts above, I’m assuming they’re talking about the cast recording from the original production at Two Rivers theatre. If, infact, that’s the recording he’sreferring to, then it’s technically correct to call it the “original cast recording” as it came before the Broadway cast recording.


"

JBroadway, Thanks for your input.  I was going by Target's worded description of the vinyl they are selling online as OCR.  Although the picture is of the Broadway cast recording,  they are calling it OCR.  Target's mistake. Since I have no knowledge of a Two Rivers recording and saw OCR, I thought I was helping.  IT should have been clearer in what it was looking for. But that's what happens when you  try to help somebody.

Updated On: 5/26/20 at 11:50 AM
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Why Are Sondheim’s Books So Expensive?#17
Posted: 5/26/20 at 12:04pm

ArtMan said: "JBroadway said: "ArtMan said: "joevitus said: "Thanks, but I'm pretty sure that's the Broadway recording, which is still in print and does sell for that much on Amazon or Ebay. But will still check it out just to see."

I'm confused. I thought you wanted the OCR, which is the original cast recording, on vinyl. Are you referring to the off Broadway cast recording on vinyl? Your terminology is incorrect.
"


I don’t know anything about BMC’s vinyl releases, but reading joevitus’s posts above, I’m assuming they’re talking about the cast recording from the original production at Two Rivers theatre. If, infact, that’s the recording he’sreferring to, then it’s technically correct to call it the “original cast recording” as it came before the Broadway cast recording.


"

JBroadway, Thanks for your input. I was going by Target's worded description of the vinyl they are selling online as OCR. Although the picture is of the Broadway cast recording, they are calling it OCR. Target's mistake. Since I have no knowledge of a Two Rivers recording and saw OCR, I thought I was helping. IT should have been clearer in what it was looking for. But that's what happens when you try to help somebody.
"

When you "try to help someone" you don't accuse them of being wrong, and you don't threaten them with "getting angry" if they keep commenting. Don't worry, I reported you to the mods. 

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Why Are Sondheim’s Books So Expensive?#18
Posted: 5/26/20 at 12:05pm

You are all scaring me, as I am in the process of moving, and I haven't come across my copies of the two books, and was thinking about replacing them if I can't find them...Damn. Hopefully they turn up!!

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Why Are Sondheim’s Books So Expensive?#19
Posted: 5/26/20 at 12:20pm

So these two books that have been sitting on my desk shelf since my friend who worked at Knopf gave them to me for free in 2010 are worth around $300 together? Nice, but I think I'll keep them around Why Are Sondheim’s Books So Expensive?

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Why Are Sondheim’s Books So Expensive?#20
Posted: 5/27/20 at 12:11am

scripps said: "So these two books that have been sitting on my desk shelf since my friend who worked at Knopfgave them to me for free in 2010 are worth around $300together? Nice, but I think I'll keep them around Why Are Sondheim’s Books So Expensive?"

$300? From what I'm seeing, you can at least get $1,000 for the set. AT LEAST.

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Why Are Sondheim’s Books So Expensive?#21
Posted: 5/27/20 at 1:24am

OffOnBwayHi said: "scripps said: "So these two books that have been sitting on my desk shelf since my friend who worked at Knopfgave them to me for free in 2010 are worth around $300together? Nice, but I think I'll keep them around Why Are Sondheim’s Books So Expensive?"

$300? From what I'm seeing, you can at least get $1,000 for the set. AT LEAST.
"

For real? At least I know I can pawn my set if I need some quick cash.

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Why Are Sondheim’s Books So Expensive?#22
Posted: 5/27/20 at 5:18am

The overseas editions (with the photos of SS on the cover) seem available fairly affordably

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Why Are Sondheim’s Books So Expensive?#23
Posted: 5/27/20 at 7:36am

The bundle was $40-$60 on Amazon for years. (I know because I kept debating about finally buying it.) Then, suddenly, the price shot up.

I finally ordered them separately a little while ago. It cost me a little more than $50 total. I didn't check the printing. I just want them to read and reference on a whim. 

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Why Are Sondheim’s Books So Expensive?#24
Posted: 5/27/20 at 8:40am

Why would Finishing the Hat be out of print? That seem shocking to me, considering it's only 10 years old and by such a prominent person. Expensive to print, perhaps?

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Why Are Sondheim’s Books So Expensive?#25
Posted: 5/27/20 at 12:56pm
It may depend on where you buy it from as well. Besides Ebay, some sites let people sell things. Like on Amazon, it will list the seller if it isn't them. I know sometimes listings like that can be priced absurdly because people believe they can make that money.

Now, if the listings are specifically from Amazon or another retailer, I have no clue why they would be asking for money in the hundreds of dollars range.
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