Christmas, Chanukah, and Kwanza are coming, and it appears you can buy copies of the new edition of my investment guide at Amazon for 25% off. Buy three or more and you can select free shipping, too. Surely you have three friends or relatives who like money? Three colleagues or employees looking to save $1,000 a year to stretch their paychecks? What about the grocer who serves you all year long? And the guy with three fingers in the butcher department? It’s not certain the book will arrive in time for the big day, whatever shipping speed you choose – the official pub date is January 3. But generally books are available well in advance of publication date. How about your kids’ teachers? Shouldn’t you buy copies for them? And that nice man who drills your teeth? Dentists love investing. Buy one for him. You think your dentist wants a fruitcake?


When I clicked to buy one myself, I noticed that Amazon now allows you to search on the 2002 edition, which has apparently been digitized in some way. Just scroll down to the green SEARCH INSIDE THIS BOOK box. I typed ‘Malkiel’ and 2 seconds later there was a complete list of the references to Burton Malkiel in the 2002 edition. Click one of them, and a second later there is the page, with Malkiel’s name highlighted. And you can read the next two pages and the previous two pages as well. This is the clever way Amazon keeps you from reading the entire book for free. But that’s no problem – just search on (for example) ‘money.’ Up will come a list of virtually every page in the book. Read the first, on Page 3, and the two pages previous and following (i.e., pages 1-5) . . . then go to one on page 8, and the two pages previous and following (i.e., pages 6-10) . . . and on through to the end. If you want to do this with a book like Moby Dick, just search on ‘whale.’

It would appear you can do this for lots of books. What’s the Matter with Kansas is yours at Amazon for $14.40 . . . but if you search on words like, oh, say, ‘Kansas’ and ‘liberal’ you should be able to read most of the book for free.

Where, oh where is the clickle?!

At a penny a page, even, that would be $3 for a 300-page book – $1 for the author, who risked his life and spent the best years of his life writing this book for you (he was almost swallowed by a whale! he was almost blown to smithereens by a tornado!), $1 for the publisher, whose team of editors and publicists, art directors and marketing staff all have young children to feed, and $1 for Amazon, which made all this possible in the first place..


Ho, ho, ho.

Tomorrow: Safe and Secure.


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