My immediate family and I are really into reading and have acquired many books over the years. We do not have a problem with giving or getting used books as long as they are in decent condition.
A few years ago in the month of August, I visited some friends and we went into the local Goodwill store. The minute I walked in the door, I saw something. Try to imagine when Clark Griswold found the perfect Christmas tree out in the woods, glowing. It was like that. The item was a book about John Deere tractors. Used, but in good condition. My Dad is a huge fan of John Deere tractors, along with other brands (the real ones and the toys), and agricultural history. I thought it would be a perfect Christmas present for him, and it was only 3 or 4 dollars! Since he had quite a collection of books in this subject area, I wasn’t sure if he had this particular book, but I was willing to take the gamble. I came home and showed the book to Mom, and she was sure that Dad did not have this book.
Fast forward to November, when Dad came home from the National Toy Show in Iowa. He had his new treasures scattered on the living room floor, like a kid at Christmas. Among all of the scale models of varying sizes, what should I find? That book! The condition of it was about the same. I ran to my room to double check, and sure enough, it was the exact same one. I was so disappointed! I went back out to the living room and Dad was showing us all of his new toys. When he came to the book, he was so giddy about “getting such a good deal on it for 10 dollars.” I let the cat out of the bag and told him that I got it for a better deal at 3 or 4 dollars. He was actually extremely impressed. He told me to go ahead and give it to him for Christmas and that he would sell the one he bought to his brother, who had also been interested in the book. So it all worked out in the end.
The funny part is that we have a repeat of this situation again this year. I had been eyeing up a certain cookbook and added it to my Christmas list. I had found it on Amazon for roughly 18 dollars. We receive a mail order catalog (we view this as our generation’s version of the Montgomery Ward) and this cookbook was 10 dollars.
I went into our local bookstore with a friend a few weeks ago and found this book on the bargain shelf for 4 dollars! Despite me telling my friend that he is not to allow me to buy anything, I bought one for me along with one for my Mom (she expressed interest in it when we were looking at the catalogue), and one for my sister. I figured since Christmas was still quite far off, Mom and Dad hadn’t placed their catalog order.
Later that night, my Mom was walking by and saw me removing this cookbook from my Christmas list. She asked why. I told her I bought it that day for a really good deal. She asked how good of a deal. I told her. She was impressed, but admitted that she ordered it from the catalog several weeks ago. She asked if I got any more since it was a really good deal. I admitted that yes, I got one for her and one for my sister, and had intended on using them as Christmas presents. My Mom said that it was absolutely fine to still wrap it up for her, even though she knows. Now she is debating if she should return the ones she purchased or keep them and give as wedding shower gifts.
Thank you for staying to the end; I know it got a little long. Thank you Jeanne and E-Hell readers for the wonderful site and always excellent advice. I hope all of you have a great holiday season with little craziness, although I do love reading the crazy stories. 1106-15