The new Clayden, Greeves and Warren, all 1234 pages or it, arrived yesterday — Hosanna ! No, I haven’t read it yet. The most important thing to keep in mind about what follows is that it’s half the price of the first edition. I paid $130.99 for the first edition 4 years ago and $65.87 for the new edition.
Physically it’s a smaller book
First Edition Second Edition
Weight 6 1/8 5 1/2 pounds — hardly bedtime reading
Thickness 2 1/8 1 5/8 inches
#Chapters 53 43
Paper Dull Shiny
Tallness 10 3/4 10 3/4 inches
Width 2 3/4 1 5/8 inches
Text height 9 inches 9 inches
Pages 1512 1234
Margin 2 3/4 2 1/16 inches
Font size slightly smaller (and a bit easier to read)
Clearly, the new edition contains much more than half the material of the old one, so you’re getting quite a bit more for your money (even neglecting inflation since you bought the first edition which could be as long as 11 years ago). The exercises at the end of each chapter have been moved to the internet, so figuring 2 pages/chapter for them, you should subtract 106 pages from the 1512. In addition, the authors contracted the last 4 chapters of the first edition (some 130 pages), but they’ve made them available online. This makes the number of pages in the two editions quite comparable.
Even though the print is smaller there are fewer characters per line (due to the 9% reduction in line size It’s nearly impossible to count the number of text lines per page, because every page has a drawing of a structure or a figure, or a table on it (which is why preparing the print edition took so long).
The first few pages of chapter 17 of the new edition “Elimination reactions” are almost identical to Chapter 19 of the old one. Gven the fact that the figures are identical on the first two pages of the chapters as are the first 8 paragraphs interspersed between them, how much space does all this take up? Just under 2 pages in the first edition and just over 2 pages in the second. Hardly quantitative, but you get the idea. The new edition has a lot of online support (in addition to the problem sets) such as interactive 3 dimensional animations, which was not present in the first edition.
All in all, about the same amount of material at half the price. Hopefully this is because Oxford University Press sold so many of the first edition that they could cut the price in the hopes of selling even more. It’s called the economy of scale, and occurs even in that former bastion of Fabian Socialism. Bertrand Russell must be turning in his grave.