This is my stepfather, Jim. Some days ago, Jim was enjoying a beverage at his favourite Leamington watering hole when he was approached by a friend. A friend called Woody.
In the course of the usual chit-chat, Woody let it be known that he was in possession of a brand-new grinder, and not only that, but a good grinder. A $100 grinder. And not only that, but Woody had somehow landed two of these lovely machines, straight out of the box, no less.
Interesting, thought Jim. I sure could use a new grinder.
Before Jim could say much about Woody's good fortune, his friend abruptly changed the subject. "I hear Chad has written a new book about Lake Erie," he coyly offered. "I'd sure like to get my hands on a copy."
Quickly, Jim did the math. The book has a cover price of $24.99. Woody's extra grinder was worth $100. That's a $75 difference -- by no means small potatoes. (An aside: my folks, being big-hearted people, keep a stack of Lake Erie Stories in their home, and have been highly successful in selling it to anyone who will listen to their well-honed pitch.)
It was crunch time. Jim decided to lay his cards on the table: "How about I trade you a copy of the book for one of those grinders?" he stated bluntly.
Woody smiled. It was a done deal, and a perfect deal, because both sides got exactly what they were after. Woody stopped by my parents' house a few days later; a book was taken, a shiny new grinder was left.
News of this deal made my Saturday. Of course, it has my full blessing. I hope Woody is well into his new copy of Lake Erie Stories by now. Perhaps he even keeps it in his workshop.
In fact, I am prepared to go one step further. In order to give my readers full bang for their literary buck, I openly encourage the swapping of pre-read copies of Lake Erie Stories. So, if you decide to try to move yours, and are successful, please report back here and let me know how you make out (particularly if you do better than an awesome new grinder).
Call it "Books for Grinders." Striking a blow for both literature and capitalism (and, following from that, home improvement).