13 Comments

  1. A bit cloying. A random stranger who likes to read will be rewarded with an anonymous christmas gift. The idea being presents to strangers when you can not see the result of your charity are suposedly nobler because you aren’t doing it for recognition nor for any good feeling to yourself.

  2. She found a book she believes people should read, but probably don’t. She put some money in it to benefit the next person that actually reads the book. She’s hoping it makes a merry Christmas for such a one.

  3. The bill should have been hidden a little better, so that it would not be immediately obvious.
    P.S. I recently read a piece about a bookstore that had finally sold a book that had been on its shelves for over 20 years.

  4. Decades ago I worked for the college publisher Prentice Hall as a rep in London. My main account was Foyles, on Charing Cross Road, which then was massive (more revenue for us than all Scotland) but archaic, with no stock control system and no returns system. That was part of its “charm”; people would come from all over the world and browse for unusual stuff.

    One aspect of its creaky stock management process was that publishers had to stock check their own books and build up their own reorder suggestions (which were almost always signed off on, assuming you were a reputable firm who didn’t take the piss). I used to spend up to two days a week there. So you got to see the shelves in detail… I remember one 4-volume set of engineering books (not ours) taking up at least a foot of shelf-space that had prices written in pre-decimal currency (£sd aka pounds, shillings and pence).

    Decimalisation came in in 1971 and I had Foyles in my territory 1983-85 or so, so those books had sat there at least 12 years, quite possibly 20. At the same time we had books like, for instance, Kernighan and Ritchie’s slim C-Programming Language that sold for £20 and Foyles could get rid of about 100 a month at that time. In a pile it would take up less flat space than the 4-vol set. So in one shop there were two sales areas about a foot square, and only about 10 yards apart, one turning over £20-25,000 a year, the other turning over nothing in about 15 years!

  5. The English teacher at our school (whose last name was Story) would, after his ‘Detective Literature’ class, put dollar bills in books in our library, then give out clues to the students. Of course, he never told US he was doing this, so it would be like a herd of locusts descending upon the library . . . and I sometimes found a dollar or two during inventory at the end of the year.

  6. In 1975 I came across copies of “Flotsam” and “Arch de Triomphe” (Eric Maria Remarque) in my college library. They were deep in the stacks on the top floor. Neither had been checked out since 1959. I admire Remarque and wanted those lonely books for myself. So, I opened the window, dropped the books onto the ewe bushes below, breezed through the book detector and, with only a few scratches, recovered my plunder. To this day they occupy a place of honor on my bookshelves – I can see them as I type this comment.

    That trick wouldn’t work in the new library as none of the windows open.

  7. Someone who is looking for a self-help book in the library is probably feeling bummed out, so finding a bit of money in it will probably help cheer them up.

  8. I hope I don’t offend anyone who has done something like this because it really is a nice gesture, but instead of a random stranger who might be doing fine in life, why not give money to a charity where you know it will go to someone who needs it? Or even a homeless person that you see.

  9. “*coff-exceptitsthetypeofbookacartoonistthinksanintellectwouldreadratherthanoneanyactuallywould-coff*”

    More accurately, what a cartoonist would expect the audience to recognize as something with a specific property rather than something that actually has that property.

  10. Narmitaj: “I worked (for) Foyles”

    Trivia of the day, the name of “Foyle’s War” TV series comes from this bookstore.

  11. Really?? I just read a book written by the author of ‘Foyle’s War’, and when I saw the name on the bookstore, I immediately thought of the series, but never knew there was a real life connection. Thanks – I love trivia like that!

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