The book market in Ming Qing China can be studied with four types of information : book prices,cost of printing,book collections,andextant imprints .Each typeof information has its own utility and limitations .It is advisable to use this information appropriately .Knowledge of their specific values and disadvantages will prevent erroneous conclusions . From an iota data on book prices and records of book production,we can reconstruct the range of book prices and cost of book production in the Late Ming Period . From the Wanli Period on,a newly printed single volume book priced at mid-to low-range would not be higher than one tael of silver .Readers had many choices for books priced at the range between0 .1 taeland one tael .Books priced belowone tael were affordable not only to wealthy merchants and the gentry but also to poor literati and ordinary artisans . Imprints had become a common commodity ordinary people could afford to buy . As the economy expanded,urbanization accelerated,and educational opportunities increased,printed books circulated widely throughout the empire .