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10 Months | A Bookseller’s Diary

10 Months | A Bookseller’s Diary


I got a call Monday that has bothered me since. A woman I’d bought some books from called and angrily said, “I sold you some first editions. You gave me $3 apiece, and I want to know what you sold them for.” I told her if I paid her $3, I would price the book at $9 or $10.

“Do you remember the titles?” I asked. She didn’t “I’d give you the books back if you tell me the titles.” No dice. “You know that a lot of first editions aren’t valuable, right?” I asked.

And she said, “I want you to know I’m on to you.”

“What do you want me to do?” I asked.

“I just want you to know that I know what you did. Goodbye.”

I looked up when I’d bought her books. It was 10 months ago. Ten months she stewed about this, finally reaching some kind of point where she had to call. Ten months is a long time to carry around pent-up anger. I wondered what finally made her call.

Today was another house call. A woman was selling her parents’ books. I asked her what she wanted, she didn’t know, so I made her an offer, and after some back and forth, we made a deal. When I got home, a $20 bill fell out of the first book I opened. I called her, told her about that, and suggested she check for cash in all the remaining books. If you hide money in one book, my experience is you will hide it in another. I put the $20 in the mail.

It would be weird if she waited 10 months, then called to thank me.

– Dan Danbom
Printed Page Bookshop
printedpagebookshop.com | facebook.com/PrintedPageBookshop

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