Saturday, November 3, 2007

The $3500 book - don't get it dirty.

So I went to Half-price books, yesterday, my 2nd favorite book store and to be honest where I buy most of my books (it's half-priced come on!).

I went in mainly to pick up a free newspaper that is distributed over there. As I was browsing a guy and his wife/girlfriend approached the 'buy-back counter there'.

The book-buyer/clerk was very professional and said " How can I help you today?!" In a cheery voice.

This guy says "I'd like to sell a book" in a matter-of-fact kind of tone. Standard fare so I didn't pay much attention - at first.

The book-buyer politely asked "can I see what you have?' or something to that effect.

At this point this guy asks "How clean is your counter?"

The book-buyer struggled for answer to this odd question and eventually said- "well , it is relatively clean but, we do buy several books here every day"

This guy says - mind you, raising his voice so the whole store could hear him - he says "Well how often do you get $3,500 dollar books in here!"

The book-buyer of course says " well not very often"

This guy says "That's right so I need you to make sure you take extra special care with it"

The book-buyer assured him that he would. I honestly wanted to start busting out laughing (to admit I did chuckle a little) and say to the guy:

'That must've been some really good book salesman! or an idiot with cash to burn or quite possibly a mixture of the two'

But instead I looked over and saw a hard-cover book that was 1' x 2' and had it's own personal carrying box. And a plastic sleeve.

I didn't quite catch what the book was but in the end the book-buyer there explained that he didn't feel he was experienced enough to give the guy an accurate price that he would buy the book back at. He asked the guy to come back later in the week when a more experienced book-buyer would be there.

When that guy left - I could over-hear the book buyer's chuckling amongst themselves but didn't hear them say anything overtly negative about the guy. I think they might have mentioned that book had something to do with Medical terminology or something but, that (overweight) guy (with a Harley-Davidson logo cap) did not look like a Doctor nor did his companion look like a well-heeled trophy wife.

I guess I have several questions for this guy:

  1. Are you a Doctor? if so, why do you live in my lower -middle-class neighborhood?
  2. If you made the investment of $3,500 in mind-boggling or oddly-specific knowledge, why would you 'sell' that knowledge to a half-priced bookstore where the most you will get back is maybe 25% of the purchase price, if not less.
  3. Do you think people will respect you more if they know how much you paid for your crappy book? (I personally went from no opinion to complete lack of respect)
  4. Why did you have to be such a jerk to the book-buyer?
I'm sure I would have other questions too if I had time to pick his magnificent mind but, I guess ultimately I wonder how valuable are bound books anymore? With the wonder that is the Internet, just about any piece of knowledge, with the exception of secret-society knowledge (Morals & Dogma comes to mind) is already out there for easy reading.

The most I have ever heard as far as book prices is probably in the $200-300 range for College and University class books which is really just a scam (in my opinion) between college book publishers and College bookstores.

Of course there are out-of-print books that can be auctioned off but this was NOT one of those books judging by the cellophane wrapping and the cover - my guess is that it was published in the past 10-15 years.

The most I've ever considered paying for a book is about $100 for an unabridged dictionary. Am I wrong for thinking $3,500 is a little much for just about any book published in the past decade or so?


Rick Ross said...

nope lol

Reggie said...

Thanks Rick, I don't feel like I'm the only one now.