Sunday, August 19, 2012

Size equals Value?

I've come across a number of reviews for various books where the main reason given for complaints or a low rating has to do with the length (in pages) of the book as compared to the price.  That is, the price should be less for a (relatively) low page count.   I've tried to think of another place where this logic is present in the minds of at least some consumers of the product.   The Mona Lisa is a relatively small painting compared to, say, The Blue Boy.  I'm sure less paint was used.   Do critics mention this when comparing the two works of art?

Early rock bands, in the days when radio ruled, sometimes struggled to cut their songs back to 3 minutes.  Too long and the band risked losing air time to shorter works that allowed for more commercials.  Today, individual songs are less expensive to purchase than an album.

Television shows seem to have strict requirements;  no deviations allowed for longer or shorter.

With movies, unless it is Lord of the Rings, continuing for more than two and a half hours risks being deemed to be dragging.   The upcoming The Hobbit is being divided into three movies, presumably resulting in more revenue.

With food, some all-you-can-eat buffets focus on quantity perhaps to the detriment of quality, but I have seen some expensive gourmet dinners wherein the  artistically arranged components leave plenty of 'white space' on the plate.  They may also leave the diner still hungry.

I remember reading once that early writers were paid by the word.  I believe that is still the practise with some magazine articles and short stories.   One author gave that as the reason that his heroes required five shots to 'get the guy'.  Each 'bang' was another five cents.

What is your opinion?   Should size or length (in time) be a determination of price and if so, to what extent?

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