Ok we’ve always heard that a good place to meet people is bookstores, the library, etc….
Well, yesterday, I spent several hours at Half Price Books. They have a “nostalgia room,” which is about the size of a large walk-in closet. In there, they house mostly rare paper items, a few magazines, some sci-fi paperbacks, and inexplicably, several stacks of National Geographics. I, of course, was there for the rare paper items.
I was kneeling down flipping through a box full of antique postcards and artwork and a man came in. Honestly, he didn’t seem to be looking for anything in particular. Just sort of browsing. The room is crowded with 2 people, so I adjusted and moved out of the way, murmuring “excuse me” as I kept flipping through my papers.
It went like this:
He asked me “Anything good in here?”
I looked up (in mild irritation, I admit) and said “Depends what you’re looking for.”
Him: Well what’s that you’re looking at?
Me: Antique postcards, photos, and illustrated plates from children’s books.
Him: What do you do with those?
Me: (Yay! Hey he really wanted to know! I love talking about what I do with them, so I told him what I do with them….in detail)
Him: You’d really pay $5 for an old postcard (chuckle chuckle)
Me: (stony-faced) I once paid $80 for one, accidentally (and told him the story about paying with a credit card for several cards, getting 2 hours down the road before looking at my receipt, etc…)
Him: Whoa did you sell it?
Me: Well no. I wanted it. I have it encased and displayed.
Him: So you like old books too?
Me: I actually used to be a rare book dealer to supplement my income as a single mom.
Him: You still single?
Him: How come you ain’t still doing it?
Me: Book-selling is very time consuming and I love it, but I got a better paying job and it was no longer the best investment of my time. (And I proceeded to tell him everything that’s involved in dealing with rare books. Yay! I love it when people ask me about the details of book-selling. But what a question for him to ask….just imagine the detail I went into)
Him: (eyes glazed and changing topics) You gonna really buy these torn out pages of kids books?
Him: You gonna sell them
Me: Well no…I want them. Nothing I buy here could be re-sold for profit. They know what things are worth, too, when they price them. Exception being you can get a lot of first editions….
Him: (interrupting me) Well I don’t see the point of collecting anything if I’m not making any money.
Me: (stony faced) That is the furthest thing from my mind. (cool smile)
Silence. I went back to sifting through my papers. When I looked back up, he was gone.
Frannie said that I’m NEVER to tell anyone all of those things again LOL. She said it made me appear to be the most boring person on the planet. I’m like…..he asked detailed questions???? He really did want to know! haha!
Anyhow, get this! About an hour later, I saw him asleep sitting on a bench near the reference section! ‘Nuff said.