This week the Boing Boing blog published some great quotes from the web site of The BookMine, an old and rare book dealer, which has been collecting funny conversations with customers and would-be customers
Do you buy books?
Yes. What do you have?
Yea. Books you read.
Ok. But I am not sure what it is you have.
I just said. Reading books. Do you buy them?
No. Thanks for calling.
Are these books old, or do you make them look old?
We have a special spray that makes new books look old and old books look new.
Can I get some?
No, my distributor only sells to book dealers.
I am looking for a certain autobiography, but I don't know who the author is. Can you help me?
That might be difficult!
(customer standing on top of an old, oak library ladder)
If I was your attorney, I would make you get rid of this ladder.
If you were my attorney, I'd push you off it!
Are these books for sale, or do you just collect them?
I found a book "---" on your web site. It was written by my Uncle. I was wondering why it is so expensive? ($50)
It was inscribed and signed by him.
Why should I have to pay for his autograph? He's my Uncle, not yours!
(sigh... and no, she didn't buy it)
(Older gentleman calls)
I see you have a book titled "---" listed on your web site for $200
I am the author.
That book originally sold for under $20
How can you justify that?
Charging so much!
That's what it's worth. Look it up on Bookfinder
You will make more on the book than I did
I guess I should feel bad about that! If it makes you feel better, you could adjust for inflation (30 years)
It just doesn't seem right
It's the free market at work. You shouldn't have written such a good book
If you're a numismatic book author, that last one might hit home.
The same movie plays out over and over again. Author writes book. Author sells book. Author is lucky to break even, or at least to not lose his shirt. Author's book goes out of print. Author's book starts selling for ten times the original price. Everybody else makes money selling the book. Author makes bupkiss.
So where were all these buyers when the book first came out?
If I've done anything right as a numismatic bibliophile, it's been to always buy a copy of a book right when it comes out. Sure, maybe I could get it cheaper in the aftermarket. But maybe it won't be available, either. Time and again I've bought numismatic books that end up having low print runs and eventually jump to values several times the original price.
So here's a hint, buckaroos. If you have any interest at all in early U.S. coinage, scroll up to the article about George Fuld's new book on the Getz coinages, and order one. I did.
To read the complete article, see:
The BookMine - Stupid Quotes
Wayne Homren, Editor
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