12 June 2006 by Published in: Civil War books and authors 7 comments

On Saturday, Susan and I visited a local independent bookseller. They actually have a much better selection of Civil War books than any of the local Barnes & Noble stores (I hate Barnes & Noble. However, that’s another rant for another day). Also, the best customers that Ironclad Publishing has are the independents, so I go out of my way to patronize the independents wherever and whenever possible, just because I feel compelled to support those who support us.

Being an independent bookseller, they also have a lot more latitude to focus on things of local interest and on local authors. However, I was unprepared for what I saw when I walked into the store on Saturday. There, in a very prominent position–an end cap–was an entire shelf dedicated to nothing but my work, with a little shelf tag that indicated that I was a local author. There was a second shelf tag, indicating that the book on Stuart’s Ride was forthcoming soon. I was blown away by this…I had no idea that my work was being featured to prominently in a town that has little interest in history as a general rule.

They had about half of my titles there, more than I had expected. I was, however, very surprised not to see a copy of the Monroe’s Crossroads book on the shelf, so Susan asked about it. The clerk said that he was certain that they had a copy of the book in stock, that he had just seen it recently. He looked, and, sure enough, no book. So, he went and checked on the computer, which indicated that it had not been sold and was still in inventory. We looked all over history and local interest, and even in the newly-arrived stuff that was waiting to be shelved, and we couldn’t find the thing anywhere.

The clerk concluded that the book had been the subject of a ten-finger discount. That somebody would shoplift one of my books absolutely blew me away. It simply never had occurred to me that someone would want one of my books enough to steal the thing. It hit me as bizarre and surrealistic, all at the same time. I’m not often left speechless, but on this occasion, I nearly was. I had no idea what to say about it, and I still don’t quite know what to make of it.

That I’m never going to get rich doing this sort of work is something I realized long ago, and it’s something I’m comfortable with. Therefore, it’s just bizarre that somebody would steal one of my books. I thought only best-selling authors had that happen. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Comments

  1. Tom
    Mon 12th Jun 2006 at 11:32 pm

    Eric – I once had a friend that worked at a Christian Bookstore and told me that one of the things that he was most suprised at when he started was the amount of theft the store had. Here a store dealing strictly with God, was constantly ripped off. Man is certainly a strange beast.

  2. Tue 13th Jun 2006 at 1:43 am

    Another employee might have been reading it in the bathroom ala George Costanza with the art book at Brentano’s. Your cavalry books might be just as relaxing as impressionist art.

  3. Tue 13th Jun 2006 at 9:18 am

    Tom,

    Okay, you got me there. That is definitely more bizarre.

    Eric

  4. Tue 13th Jun 2006 at 9:19 am

    Drew,

    LOL. Good point. Good material to take a dump by. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Eric

  5. Tue 13th Jun 2006 at 9:46 am

    Actually, Mr. Wittenberg, don’t feel so complimented. I stole the book to put under the short leg of my kitchen table. I looked all over the store until I found one the perfect thickness, and your… what did you call it… Monroe’s Crossroads book was the perfect size. Table’s nice and level now!

    Maybe when I get a chance, I’ll read it. Then again, maybe not.

    Light-finger Louie

    ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Tue 13th Jun 2006 at 9:52 am

    LOL. I figured that there had to be a good explanation for it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Eric

  7. Tue 13th Jun 2006 at 1:06 pm

    Oddly enough, that episode of Seinfeld was on in syndication in the St. Louis area last night. “I’m sorry sir, this book is flagged…”

    LOL

    Brett

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