[Overheard in a secondhand bookshop.]
— I must say, I have a bone to pick.
— Oh yes? What’s that?
— Well, you see, I’m looking for your John Le Carré titles and you don’t seem to have a single work! I must say I’m very surprised. Very surprised.
— I’m sorry to hear that you haven’t had any luck finding him. Did you try our general fiction?
— Yes, I did. I tried the general fiction. Nothing.
— And I’m guessing you were looking in our thrillers section?
— I was, I was. He is undergoing something of a renaissance at the moment. Didn’t you know that? I’m surprised that you don’t have his work on display. Front and centre!
— Yes, well, I’m afraid that when a writer is popular we don’t tend to get many sellers approaching us with their books. They hold on to them. Sometimes they reread them, sometimes they think they are more valuable than they are. We tend to get offers when the author is no longer in the spotlight, strange as it might sound.
— I suppose I could wander into a general bookshop, but I’m poor, you understand. Don’t you have a spy section? An area for spy stories and the like? It’s a very popular genre, you know.
— I’m afraid we don’t have a spy section here.
— Well, that’s an oversight if you ask me. It really is a very popular genre.
— Have you tried looking for Le Carré in the crime section? Perhaps he’s incognito.
— No, I hadn’t thought of that. Let me go and see.