Sometime you really want a book, but you cannot find the damn book anywhere! This is the case of Competitive Programming 3, which friends of mine referred to me many times, so I decide to give him a try.
First place where normally I look for books is A., but no luck there. Then I search on minor retailers in Poland or somewhere in EU, I did found on sale the book but at an astronomical price, I don’t want to spend astronomical price tough. Finally I ended up on the book official site where I learned that one should buy the book by ordering a new print from Lulu!
Eventually an eBook version of the book is available for download at the price of 12GBP/17USD, eBooks are not good for technical books, so I do not even consider this as and option.
At the end I ordered a new print from Lulu, the price for the book plus shipping cost is about ~43USD, not that bad. Lulu is a print on demand service, where you can order books not normally available in other stores or not available at all in the commonly used channels. You may also put on store your own book if you have one, the book will be available in Lulu.
That’s actually cool, but sadly I haven’t written any book so far.
The overall procedure took about three weeks, from the webpage I got the information that the book is ready after about a week since I submitted the order, I selected the cheapest shipping option and I had to wait two more weeks for the book to be delivered.
The book is very dense, this has nothing to do with Lulu but with the way the authors formatted the text, this is not an issue of any kind for me, but for some people this may be a problem.
What I noticed immediately is that the printing quality is not exactly as good as I would like it to be, in the next pictures I will try to show you what I mean, unfortunately my phone camera automatically adjust the contrast and the definition of the photos, making a little hard to see the problem I’m talking about.
In the next image I will try to show the issue by comparing the book from Lulu with an usual book:
The definition is a little low, the blacks are much like a faded gray, which combined with the small font makes the book a little hard to read, I noticed some eyes fatigues after a while, this normally do not happen with regular books, definitively the font size is to small.
This is not going to stop me from reading the book of course, actually the only way to get your hands on it for a legit price is using Lulu, so I have no other choice than reading what I got, nevertheless I would prefer a little higher printing quality for that 43USD.
Will write a post about the quality of the content if one of the next post, stay tuned!