Bookride presents an enjoyable series of anecdotes about crabby booksellers.
One must not forget the Birmingham dealer, who on being asked for a discount for books would tear them in half in front of the customer. What particularly irked him was the phrase 'What can you do on this?' A red mist would descend and he would reply 'I'll show you what I can do on this...' and tore up the book. One imagines that this was selective, possibly only books under £20. Not a wise business stratagem but probably quite satisfying...This bookdealer reminds me of my beloved friend Loretta. About 10 years ago she had a garage sale. Carla and I were there and we watched as some guy tried to talk her into selling an ashtray, priced at 25 cents, for a dime. Loretta wouldn't budge, and the guy kept pestering her. Finally Loretta whacked the ashtray on a table, breaking it in two. "I said no!" she told the guy. The expression on the guy's face is one of my fondest memories. Yet more Bastards with Bookshops
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. His new book is Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects