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Thursday, March 22, 2012

"Missing books" and other books of Walther by CPH (Part 2)

After researching for my previous blog post the confusing situation of the "missing books" Essays For The Church by C.F.W. WaltherI was going to give CPH a call to find out if perhaps they still did offer these 2 volumes even if not listed on their website (or any other website in the world of booksellers)!  But as I was about to search for the phone number of CPH, I noticed a comment arrived from Rev. Paul T. McCain, Publisher of CPH, saying that I should have contacted CPH before my previous blog post to get the latest update.

At least now I do not have to make that phone call. And I was glad to hear that CPH has not decided to quit publishing Essays For The Church.  Whew! But why would CPH not sell online the old format until the new format is published?

I have found since my last blog post that there does seem to be one place where you can still purchase the previous edition of Walther's Essays For the Church online -- from the Fort Wayne seminary bookstore - link here. (Item 531011WEB; as of 8/3/2012 -- this link is broken, thanks CTS.). As far as I can tell, it can only be found by using this link because it does not seem to be in any of their catalog listings of books.  Better buy these before they are replaced by CPH's new format... but hopefully there will not be any abbreviation of these extensive essays.  Again, why would CPH not sell online the old format until the new format is published?

I decided to research the coding systems for these books, the ISBN and OCLC numbers and here is what I found:

You will notice that for some strange reason, the ISBN numbers for the 2 volumes of Essays For The Church were duplicated with 2 other books published by CPH.  And this appears to be the reason why the wrong covers are displayed in virtually all web listings of these books (except the Fort Wayne web bookstore).  It is unfortunate this error had to happen, especially on the most extensive English publication of Walther's essays.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

The other point made by Publisher McCain in his comment is about a new "consistent set" of the books of Walther.  But the new format for CPH's books by Walther are somewhat confusing.  How so? Because the initial web images of all the new books have titles in big letters "Selected Writings of C.F.W. Walther", but only after clicking through each selection and then clicking again can you see the printed cover title of Walther's book, e.g. "Convention Essays" or "Letters", etc. Although I am thankful CPH still publishes Walther, yet I do not have much praise for this.

Another difficulty is that of "Concordia On Demand" which means "Print on Demand – Please allow 2-3 weeks for delivery".  That means apparently they will digitally print these per order and so they cannot ship them from stock immediately.  Although I can see the advantage for their setup and inventory costs, yet this is not the same as their "popular" books that they highlight, for example The Fabricated Luther: Refuting Nazi Connections and Other Modern Myths by Uwe Siemon-Netto (CPH, 2007).  One wonders whether "Print On Demand" books will ever be offered anywhere else but by CPH.

What other problems and comments do I have on CPH (and the LC-MS) and their books of Walther?  I will cover this topic in my next post.

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