The curious difference between books and wine

As I continue my 18 month-long indulgent devouring of leading business and personal development books, I’ve come to realize that there are some fun similarities (and one curious difference) between books and – one of my other favorite pastimes – wine.


Both are widely available in a range of prices, colors, qualities and levels of fame.

Both are graded harshly in the New Yorker.

Wine selections can range from “easy drinking” to “complex”, as can books.  Some books are a great read, with one key thought spread over 160-odd pages, enjoyable, but not overly thought provoking. (more of a “got it, moving on” mentality).  Others have layer upon layer of insight and value, drawing you back to them over and over to dig deeper and discover new treasures.


Here’s the difference – in wine, you pay for that premium.  In books, you don’t.  A hard cover book is a hard cover book, typically ranging from $25 to $35.  Charge more than that, and you’ll need a pretty good reason why.  Why?  Why are wine drinkers so much more open to price fluctuations than readers?  All I can think is that it comes down to supply and demand.  But don’t strong authors and brilliant books – one’s that reward us so lavishly for our time – worth more than the easy read?  There are best sellers of both types, so we can’t even say that they make up for their brilliance in volume (since both categories potentially benefit from that).

I don’t typically ask to pay more, but in some cases I really feel like we’re getting a deal.



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