Analyzing Prices of SQL Server Books, New & Used

SQL Server

While on a road trip, Richie stopped by a used bookstore (or would that be used book store?) and made an amusing observation about the relative value of different SQL Server books. I just had to go look at Amazon for some research.

I’m listing prices below, but keep in mind that when you click, the prices and inventory may have changed.

Pro SQL Server 2022 Administration by Peter A. Carter: new $54, used $50 – there’s not much of a discount here because few 2022 books have been bought so far, and the topic is still fresh.

Pro SQL Server 2019 Administration by Peter A. Carter: new $52, used $38 – the book is older, so it’s in more hands, and more people are ‘done’ with it and willing to sell theirs on. I’m not sure the demand is lower for a 2019 book given the high market adoption rates for 2019, but that might be the case. Some people might just always want the most recent version even if they’re not using it.

Pro SQL Server Administration by Peter A. Carter (released 2015): new $70, used $28 – why might an older book be more expensive? Well, there just aren’t many left that are brand new, so the new price is high. Amazon’s clingin’ on in the hopes someone’s going to collect old books, I guess.

My gut tells me that makes sense: new book prices go up as they age, and used book prices go down. Let’s try another series – Grant Fritchey’s Query Performance Tuning series.

If you think Grant peaked in 2014, dear reader, I would beg to disagree.

How about Itzik Ben-Gan’s excellent T-SQL Fundamentals series:

I’mma be real with you: I bet the vast majority of us could learn a lot from a 15-year-old T-SQL book by Itzik Ben-Gan that just cost us $1. In fact, I bet by the time you read it, the used ones will have sold out to other people who want an incredible bang for their buck, so I’d better include a screenshot for proof:

Truly old-school readers of this blog will doubtlessly ask, “Well, Brent, isn’t there a specific used book you’re not mentioning?” Okay, yes:

But, uh, I think you’re still better off with Itzik’s for $1. That is a steal.

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