coverThe report – see previous post – let’s call it the Shoot Ourselves in the Cultural Foot Report, no no sorry, that’s shockingly biased. Let’s call it the Too High Book Prices? Report – a medium-long document of 240 pages (inc. five of references) written, naturally, in felicitatious bureaucratese.

Eg: Books differ from many other ‘everyday’ consumption items in that, in addition to the enjoyment, knowledge and other benefits received directly by the reader, the reading of a book can create broader benefits for members of the community. (6.1)

Of course, understandably, sometimes the writing does get a little turgid:
Further, the expansion of the books production industries over recent decades has attracted and held productive resources, notably skilled labour and capital, that have thereby been unavailable for use in other industries. (7.3)

Then again, report writing is a government-protected industry so its writer/s need never worry about reader interest and sales. Anyway, it’s much too much to annotate at one go – hopefully I’ll be able to eke out some commentary on various passages day by day. You know, like a Thought for the Day. I’m sure everyone is just dying to read all about it…

For now I rather enjoyed the Commission’s writers’ delicious reference to another commission report* in describing the benefits of books (6.2):

In discussing the nature of cultural value, Throsby identified the following aspects of value as potentially being embodied in, or flowing from, an item of cultural value:

  • aesthetic value — beauty, harmony
  • spiritual value — understanding, enlightenment, insight
  • social value — connection with others, a sense of identity
  • historical value — connection with the past
  • symbolic value — objects or sites as repositories or conveyors of meaning
  • authenticity value — integrity, uniqueness.

*Throsby, D. 2000, ‘Conceptualising Heritage as Cultural Capital’, in Australian Heritage Commission, Conference Proceedings Heritage Economics: Challenges for heritage conservation and sustainable development in the 21st Century, Canberra, 4 July, pp. 10–17

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