I Was Only Borrowing It

, | Kent, England, UK | Right | January 15, 2015

(I volunteer in a charity second-hand bookstore where all our stock comes from donations. A woman comes into the store.)

Woman: “Excuse me, do you have ‘The Book Thief?’ I can’t remember who wrote it.”

Me: “Um, I’m not sure. Let me check.”

(I ask a coworker, who knows the author. Once we have this we go to the fiction shelves, where the books are in alphabetical order by author.)

Me: “Sorry, we don’t appear to have it.”

Woman: “Oh, no! I need a used copy. I borrowed one off my friend and she wants it back, but my husband accidentally gave it to a charity shop and he can’t remember which one.”

Me: “We can have a look out the back, as we’re currently sorting out some stock.”

Woman: “Would you? Thank you.”

(I go out the back where shelves of books ready to go out are sitting. They are not in order so it takes a few moments to search, but luckily we have one.)

Me: “Got it!” *I hand it over*

Woman: “Thank you so much! This may even be the copy we donated.”

(We head to the till and she offers to pay as we are a charity.)

Me: *as she leaves* “Tell hubby it cost £20 to buy it back!”

Woman: *laughing* “Oh, he’ll be paying for this for a long time!”

(It was only afterwards that we realised the irony in losing a book called ‘The Book Thief!’)

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