Tales of cranky book sellers


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