Worth Twenty Quid?


Worth Twenty Quid?

All bookshops used to have a cheap box out the front to clear stock and tempt passers by; sometimes they were more profitable than the goods inside.

Some in the book trade may remember M, a chancer with a good eye for business. One day M comes into the shop and says, "Do you know a novel called We? By some Russian bloke."

"Yevgeny Zamyatin," says I.  "That's the geezer. Any good?" "Important book, inspired Huxley, Orwell," says I. "Got to be worth twenty quid, then," says M. "Yes, I'd pay twenty quid for it, M." And M produces a very spruce copy, fine dust wrapper, from under his coat. "Nice copy, M," says I. "Where did you find it?" "In the 50p box outside your shop," says M. 

Clive Boutle (Boutle & King)