Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Pricing Poll on the book Math from 3 to 7, by Alexander Zvonkin

A few months ago, I was able to read a draft copy of Math from Three to Seven, by Alexander Zvonkin. I loved it. But I didn't buy it, because it was $50. Now it's $42 at Amazon, but that's still too much for me.

Someone involved with the publishing of it (but not able to make pricing decisions herself) asked me if it would help if the book were a bit cheaper. The publisher will sell it in bulk at 60% of list, which is $30. I wonder if we could get them to lower the price more, if they knew how many people would buy it at a lower price.

I've set up a poll to ask how many people would buy it at $30 (which we can probably arrange somehow), and how many would buy it at $20. This price is just a pipe dream for now, but the information would be useful to my colleague, who is trying to get the AMS to understand the different market they've entered. The same problem seems to exist with the MAA. I reviewed Rediscovering Mathematics last April, which was also too expensive for my budget. University professors buy MAA and AMS books at those prices for their research, but math enthusiasts need lower prices. We are also a bigger market.

If you have any interest in Math from Three to Seven, please click here to take the survey. Thanks.

Paul Zeitz who edited the English translation of this book (originally published in Russian), said in his introduction:
As anyone who has taught or raised young children knows, mathematical education for little kids is a real mystery. What are they capable of? What should they learn first? How hard should they work? Should they even “work” at all? Should we push them, or just let them be?

There are no correct answers to these questions, and Zvonkin deals with them in classic math-circle style: He doesn’t ask and then answer a question, but shows us a problem — be it mathematical or pedagogical — and describes to us what happened. His book is a narrative about what he did, what he tried, what worked, what failed, but most important, what the kids experienced.

This book is not a guidebook. It does not purport to show you how to create precocious high achievers. It is just one person’s story about things he tried with a half-dozen young children. On the other hand, if you are interested in running a math circle, or homeschooling children, you will find this book to be an invaluable, inspiring resource. It’s not a “how to” manual as much as a “this happened” journal. ... Just about every page contains a really clever teaching idea, a cool math problem, and an inspiring and funny story.


  1. Survey done! I hope you'll post on your blog if we're doing a group order?

  2. I'll definitely post here if some means of getting the book at $30 is arranged (whether bulk order, or something else).


  3. I think $20 is expensive (I would just try to get it at the library) but I will buy just about anything for my Kindle if it's under $10.

  4. Are the publishers aware there is a huge home school community that would be interested in this book if it were priced at $15-$20? Math books like this shouldn't be reserved for the upper-crust elite. :) Lower the price and let's get this book into the hands of the math hungry masses! C'mon let's move some books!! Please keep us posted and I thank you for your efforts!

  5. Dear Mrs. Z, the poll I conducted did not show a huge demand. My hope was that it would. I should still follow up with my contact about this... And I *think* that if they reduced the price, the demand would grow and grow. But they haven't had a compelling reason to do so yet.


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