Monday, December 22, 2008

No Escape

I was driving home from work a couple of days ago - having worked hard all day polishing my leather and pricing my portfolios, when the 6pm news came onto Radio 4.

Bearing in mind that this is the National news, I was somewhat irritated to hear my friends at Oxfam getting the following 2 minute news item.

Apparently a shop managed to sell a copy of Sylvia Plath's "Ariel" for £350. After a discussion about the bookshop, there were quotes from Oxfam saying how this was a vast amount of money and would do a tremendous amount of good for the poor of the world.

Quite apart for the tiny percentage of this that will get anywhere near any needy recipient - since when did the sale of a £350 book make the main National news of the day ? I wish I had their marketing and PR department - no wonder it costs them 15% of charity income.

Department Store

"Are these Christmas Decorations for sale ?"

"No madam, they are our Christmas decorations"

"What about this Buddha Statue ?"

"No madam, just the books are for sale"

"So its only the books then ?"

"Yes Madam"

"That's a pity" as she walks out.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tarzan and the Irritating Idiot

"Do you have any tarzan books ?"

"Yes sir, we have early editions here, they are £4 pounds each"

"Oh good - well that's good to know. I won't buy them as I have brought something recently."

Not a chance in hell !


Quoth the merry chap, clutching a book he had brought from a charity shop (pah)

"I know you do internet sales... Would you wrap this up and post it to my brother, its his christmas present".....

No prizes for guessing my response.

more wasting of time

"Hello, I have been searching for a book for 50 years, it's Ballantyne, the Gorilla Hunters. I had a copy as a boy. When I left for national service, my mother gave it away. I've been looking for it ever since - I doubt you will be able to help me, nobody has been able to."

"Yes sir, we have a 1907 copy here, in excellent condition for £4"

"Oh have you......"

Can anyone fill in what happened next ?

Mission Accomplished

"Hello, Do you stock miniature books"

"Yes Madam, they are in this cabinet here..."

"Oh I don't want to look at them. I am going to see my aunt at Christmas, and I want to be able to tell her I looked for them."

Walks out of shop into Dante's 13th circle of hell (reserved for timewasters).

Monday, December 08, 2008

Rubbing it in Even More

Most people who know me, are aware that Oxfam are my least favourite charity (at least in part because of their rampant destruction of the book trade). The local Oxfam Bookshop have almost managed to bankrupt us, but I am still hanging on in there. I had two conversations with the manager of the bookshop.

In the first, he was bemoaning his lot - having to deal with so many donations of useless books - "And they know they are useless - they shouldn't be donating them to us - we only want saleable books". Apparently I didn't understand how hard it was dealing with this each day. I pointed out, that most of the people donating to him, have already tried to get money from me for the same books, and are outraged when I can't pay for them - so yes, I understand, but think he is being ungrateful. As a seriously struggling bookshop, we would love to be able to take several hundred pounds of income each day from purely donated books - but sadly - we have to pay for every book we get.

The second phone call was because a woman had arrived with a pile of saleable books - but they didn't have room to take them in. I thought he was about to suggest we received them - but no, he wanted to know if i had the phone number for another book charity that operates on the towm - as he felt they were good enough for them to make a fair bit from them.

My face feels as if it has been well and trully rubbed in it !!!

Lost in Translation

A woman walks into the shop, and asks for Mike Mc somebody. I tell her that we have no-one of that name.

"But you must have. i was listening to Radio Four, and they were saying how this chap worked for Connected Books of Salisbury, and that he was very good at finding rare books".

"No madam, there is no bookshop of that name here - we are now one of only two bookshops in the whole County."

"It must be here - I was listening very carefully"

"Madam, do you like that perhaps they were talking about a gentleman from a bookshop in Salisbury Conneticut ?"

"Oh no - I wouldn't make a mistake like that.