In Praise of Expensive Books

I've been looking for Lonely Planet's Cambodia as I'll be headed to that country soon, and I can't find it. If I want a bootleg instead of the real thing I can have that for $3-$10, depending on where I buy it. Photocopies of books are everywhere, at every traveler's destination in Vietnam. In Hoi An it's hard to find real, legitimate books. In desperation for something to read, I picked up a photocopy of Bill Bryson's Down Under [Amazon Link] for $4.50 - he's highly recommended and very popular on the backpacker trail. Perhaps it's scanned and laserprinted rather than photocopied, I'm not sure. The copying of both the cover and the text is poor, and very annoying to read. With the Lonely Planet copies it's very difficult to read the maps (they have multiple shades of gray). With the Bryson, every period has become a comma and the text is crooked on the pages. My biggest concern aside from the readability is the durability: for the Bryson it doesn't really matter, but I beat the crap out of my guidebooks.

I would rather pay the money for a legit copy of LP - all morality and legality aside, it's easier to read and has a spine that will last more than a week. But it's kind of nice when legality and practicality line up.

Update: After a month of searching, I did manage to find a used copy of the most recent Lonely Planet Cambodia in a small book exchange in Nha Trang. It was $8, more than the copies, but well worth it.