Our Systematic Theology course on Wesleyan theology started today, and one of the prescribed books is "Good News to the Poor: John Wesley's Evangelical Economics". We do have some copies in the SMMS library, but with certain books it is better to have one's own copy. Unfortunately, a drive to three Christian bookshops in Pietermaritzburg proved fruitless, since none had stock.
But while we were about it, we decided to enquire about pricing for the "New Interpreter's Bible Commentary". Not just the one-volume version (I have one of those), but the "real McCoy" - the 12-volume version, which our lecturer (Pete Grassow) mentioned was a "bit expensive" but a worthwhile investment nonetheless. Needless to say, the booksellers didn't have this in stock, either.
I then went onto website loot.co.za, who I'm told are the cheapest in SA. "Good News" was R241.00, including postal delivery - a reasonable chunk of change, but not too bad when compared to most academic books. But the price for "Interpreter's" was a jaw-dropping R5,924.00!
This is equivalent to four times my seminarian's monthly living allowance (plus a bit of extra change), so either I don't eat for four months (no snide comments, please, Pete), or alternatively, like Dion, I'm going to have to start harvesting kidneys to pay for my "tools of the trade" - unless there's some kind benefactor out there :-)