Two Dollars for History

“I’m selling this for two dollars.” And I bought it for two dollars.

But I knew I couldn’t have paid any more to ease the pain of a man selling off the last seven years of his life running a small bookshop (The Alley Bookshop) in downtown Middlebury, Vermont. He has about a week left to get rid of thousands of books and CDs in his humble shop that characterizes the New England small town charm. I bought “Famous Chinese Plays,” a collection of 33 translated and edited Chinese operas. The book was published in 1937 and the price listed inside the cover $45-95 on the internet and $30 in-store. Indeed the lowest listed used price on Amazon.com is $105. The man who sold it to me said he acquired the book in a large purchase from a university professor seven years ago. Inserted in the back of the book is a playbill from the “Yeh Yu Chinese Opera Association” performance on Saturday, January 9th, 1960 at the High School of Fashion Industries at 225 West 24th Street in New York.

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