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    Adventures of a rare book dealer (and former small bookshop owner).

On A Book Buy Last Week

Written on February 28, 2007

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SCENE: After buying thirteen boxes of general bread-and-butter-stock books at someone’s home.

SHE: We’re not interested in selling these, but we were hoping we could get your opinion about [this] set.

ME: Well, that’s a very nice set; not one I’m familiar with, but I’d imagine it’s held its value rather well.

[My eye catches something...]

ME: Is it okay if I pick up that Catcher in the Rye?

SHE: Yes, but it’s a second printing.

ME: No. It’s not. This is the first edition, though it is in a second-state jacket.

SHE: Oh, is that better than a second printing?

ME: Significantly. You should really have this insure…

SHE: Did I tell you I grew up with the Salingers?

ME: …

SHE: Yes, we lived in the same building. His mother, I called her Aunt Miriam, she was a dear friend of our family. I remember once walking along Fifth Ave. with her and Sonny…

ME: You don’t have any letters from Salinger, do you?

SHE: From Jerry? No…But I do have some from Aunt Miriam.

ME: Do any of them mention him?

SHE: I don’t think so.

ME: You should check.

SHE: Would those be worth anything??

ME: Yes.

SHE: I do have pictures of him, though.

ME: Of Salinger??

SHE: Yes, as a boy. We played together often.

ME: …

SHE: Could those be worth something too?

ME. Um, yes. Could I see them?

SHE: They’re in storage.

ME: Storage?

SHE: Yes, you know, in one of those self-storage places…

ME: You need to get those out of there.

SHE: Oh dear…

ME: Like I was saying before, do you have insurance? Did I mention I offer appraisal services for insurance purposes…

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One Comment

  1. Comment by K:

    Crikey! Keep us updated if she comes back!

    March 4, 2007 @ 1:55 pm