So I was browsing on Amazon, looking for Roger Ebert books, as you do, and I found this. Words cannot describe the speechlessness I’m feeling right now.
First of all, I don’t understand why it’s £500,000. It’s from 25 years ago and is almost new. Being almost new should be enough to knock its value down by a few grand. To say nothing of the fact that it’s by Roger Ebert (who I like, don’t think I’m knocking him), rather than one of the conventional masters of the literary form. I’m sure there are original copies of Arthur Conan Doyle books that go for less than this. I’m pretty sure there are Gutenberg Bibles and Shakespeare First Folio pages that go for less than this.
Another thing I don’t understand is why, after shelling out half a mill for a 25 year old book, you then have to pay £2.80 delivery fees. For £500,000 I expect the seller to come to me and throw something else into the deal. I mean, once he gets the money into his bank account, he would be a millionaire as the book is coming from America. He would have to get down on his knees and present me the book like it’s a relic of the saints, while I give him the nondescript briefcase (as opposed to the sack with a dollar sign on it) containing the money. In fact, if I was buying a book for 500 grand, I’d want him to buy me a house that I could live in and a separate house to store the book when I’m not reading it. I want a criss-cross laser grid guarding the book from secret agents at all times. Call me crazy but nobody’s going to insure it for as much as the buyer shells out for it (I expect them to assume it’s a prank call and record it for training purposes) so you’d need some protection for it.
I love books, but I think the idea of paying £500,000 for anything other than the most desirable collector’s item is ludicrous and preposterous.