Most book dealers state they take books in “good” condition. Some customers have an interesting definition of “good.” Many of these arguments on “why won’t you buy this hideous book?” end up with the customer arguing “but its a good book!” and telling you all about the wonderful story and how it moved them. This is all well and good, but when the book is missing both covers and smells of cat pee, you generally don’t want it, no matter what the contents are like. If it’s a truly rare manuscript entirely valuable for its writing, then perhaps you can learn to love the smell of urine… but it never is. How hard the person argues “but it’s a good book!” is inversely proportional to how valuable it is. The person with the coverless Danielle Steel that you can smell from six feet away is the one that wants to argue about value.
Sometimes you wonder how they missed just how awful it was. If they’ve clearly tossed all the loose books in a box and you find one the dog ate, that is understandable. Or one in the box has a warped cover from coffee. Everybody misses one or two. It’s the ones that bring you an entire box that appears to have had a nest of incontinent weasels in it that you wonder about. Why are they bringing it to you? Do they really think you’ll buy it?
The boxes that smell clearly of mildew are the most perplexing. I’m not super sensitive to mildew, but have had customers come in with boxes that made my eyes water and nose clog from six feet away. How the heck did they pick it up and carry it around without noticing? How did they drive over in a car without dying of respiratory failure?
But really, this is all a lead up to showing you a picture of an awful book. I’m unsure of the original source, it’s just been all over the internet recently. No explanation of where it was found. I have nightmares that this book will arrive at the store. “But it’s a good book! It’s The Good Book!”
NO, I DON’T CARE HOW “GOOD” IT IS, IT’S GROWING MUSHROOMS!!!
I have personally had people bring in books covered in visible layers of mold “fur”, but never actual mushrooms. But I’m sure a mushroom covered book will show up one day…