Cost of books in 1947? $0.25 to $2.50 http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:AmericasBestComics220...
$1.50 / $3,000 = 0.05% of income in 1947
$7.99 / $49,777 (2009) = 0.016% of income in 2009
Some other costs in 1947:
Average Cost of new house $6,600.00
Average wages per year $2,850.00
Cost of a gallon of Gas 15 cents
Average Cost of a new car $1,300.00
Loaf of Bread 13 cents
United States Postage Stamp 3 cents
Men's Sweater $8.50
Bulova Men's Watch $52.50
The typesetting part, that is knowledge based, was completly transformed by computers. And all those machines for the task disapeared.
And in the printing part, that is a physical process, you still have similar machines. Although there were optimized and modernized.
As it is used in that film, straight up, I assure you, it reflects sexism. And "boys" referring to soldiers isn't symmetric. How can I convey it... hmm...
"Men" as used here are tough, full adults. "This man does ..." means we're talking about someone plausibly a head of household. He's an individual. He's a complete adult.
"Girl" as used here means we are talking about females who aren't quite kids but neither are full adults. By default a "girl" is young and unmarried and in some ways fragile. She might be older and married but its a little sad she's still working then and, anyway, at most she's a mother hen to the girls who are younger and more typical of the group.
A fully (recognized as) adult woman in the workplace might be a "lady" or a "woman" depending on role and context. She could be "fine woman" and you oughta settle down and show some respect if you want to get anywhere in this organization. If youre gonna act like that why don't ya just head downstairs to the chat up the girls in the secretarial pool. Learn your place.
The jocular "the boys in this unit take a smoke break while the tanks get cleaned and readied for the next advance..." is a sign of camaraderie. It doesn't (like "girls") signal that they are juvenile, per se, it signals that they're an anti-hierarchical tough team. "girls" back then could be stretched to that same connotation but usually wasn't, especially in a non-wartime workplace.
I think recently, since anyone can publish stuff any old junk cheaply on that scale, that the quality of books has declined.
But of computers enter the text and then the printing is still done by cast metal, you could have an interesting business.
I am sure that will be more expensive, but will people be willing to pay a premium?