Recently the American College of Physicians published the results of a monumental undertaking that produced a list of books and journals titled "A Library for Internists."1 The list was compiled by using scores of consultants to provide a consensus of opinion about what periodicals should be available for physicians serving as general internists or in one of the many subspecialties of internal medicine. Among the conclusions of the report was the following:
A basic library for the general internist might include at least one of the books and journals listed in each of the fields of internal medicine and, preferably, should also include one book and one journal for reference on each of the other specialties and related clinical disciplines.
To comply with that recommendation, each general internist would purchase 41 books at a total cost of $1,299.20. Assuming the average width of a textbook to be 6 cm,