I think this book is a good example; many hobbyists have some covers they would like to learn more about rate info on and a digital version is much easier to search, sell, and distribute.
Don, did you really think this comment through? This is a serious question here, did you? Seriously there are valid reasons many folks collect, "just stamps" instead of postal history.
All of the books, magazines, sheets and the like which discuss the various rates and fees for US mail matter are all digitized now and FREE
, most through the support of the book's author, Tony
. The annual USPOD Postal Guides are over at Stamp Smarter for example, the dailies are on line as are the PL&Rs here: http://www.uspostalbulletins.com/
While I have a complete run of the Annual and Monthly USPOD Postal Guides as pdfs, I do not know where they are located on line. But with a thumb drive of around 64 MB, they can be copied, if you want them all for Stamp Smarter. Send me an address to use at my SCF email and will send a thumb drive.
That way the
hobbyists who have a casual interest
in postal rates and history already have FREE digital access to the 100s of thousands of pages of postal information, right? They do not need the book any more.
Now I am surprised that you did not mention the rate information Tony did publish as a digital format. It too is available via the APS. Tony did it that way since printing it as a book or as part of a rate book was prohibitive and excluded from his International book. One CD contains the compilation of all of the international parcel post rates (and APP too I think) for the period the book covers. I did not have an issue using the hard copy I got years ago from Tony (the cost of photocopying was not cheap). Alas it was stolen or destroyed by criminals. But I have not replaced it with the digital version (yet) I just use the original source digitized publications.
Nothing stops one from buying the book, slicing the pages out and running then through a pdf producing copier for ease of searching, especially when reviewing covers at a stamp show. But paper book or not, the Rate books are a vast improvement over the 100s of thousand pages of material one needs to handle to get the same answers. My time is worth money and the time the paper book saves is worth multiples of cover price of all the editions put together.
FWTW, Don, your comment made me think back to a time in my career when I was asked to provide "an executive summary" of a document on a particularly complicated topic. I did.
I was immediately chastised for the long document and was strongly advised to do as I was told or face discipline (seems my guy was getting pressure from his gal). I quickly provided a new e-mail for which I quoted via copy-paste the title, "An Executive Summary of...." and attached the same PDF under which I wrote, As I indicated many times this was a complicated subject and that the attached is the 213 page Executive Summary as provided us. While I did not find it a quick read, I can agree that it is a fine summary covering the salient highlights appropriate for and expected within an executive summary. No further replies received.
Later in a hallway exchange, I got a smile, a shaking head and a "sorry for doubting you" and confirmation he got as much enjoyment sending a 213 page Executive Summary as I did. That is government for you.
Consider the US rate books are an executive summary of sorts which still requires the novice or student to refer to the original documents in some areas, such as carrier and non-carrier offices regarding "first class letters, local" rates. And, unlike the original documents, it presents examples for guidance and understanding. It well deserves,
even in paper versions.
I also remind you the reason I joined the SCF, I, an expert in just US Parcel Post, needed help in determining the dates and rates of the when Canada first started domestic insurance on parcel post matter. I had an artistically beautiful domestic Canadian parcel post rate calculator that I wanted to date as it had no copyright notice nor patent date. http://goscf.com/t/76499
Now if there was a Canadian rate book on par with the US rate books, I would buy it or them. Until then, I just post questions. That method also worked for the OP on this thread.
Lastly, I wish the OP finds a drop or local rate registered letter with return receipt for the same 20 cents but when normal letter rate is three cents but local is just two. We here on SCF will be happy to confirm it as such.