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So, let’s experiment!

March 13, 2010

Has anyone ever wondered who orders books off those order forms found in the back of paperback books? Or…more specifically…has anyone ever wondered what would happen if say someone were to order some books that were clearly underpriced since the order form was printed in, um, 1969?


I’ve been wondering that too.

When I finished the book Bridge at Andau (Hungary), I flipped over to the last few pages and discovered a little order form for the World of John Steinbeck — a “deluxe” boxed set of Steinbeck’s most celebrated works. Well, of course, what bibliophile wouldn’t want that gift at the stunning price of $5.75? My healthy-reasonable brain thought, “Well,  in 1969 it was $5.75, but who in their right mind would send away for it now?” And then a light-bulb went off, a scheme hatched. Me. I would. I did. And I’m waiting to see what will happen.

I filled out the order form, wrote my check for 5.75 (plus the .10 per book for shipping and handling), addressed it and sent it off to Bantan Book Inc. Department John Steinbeck. I debated about whether or not to disguise my handwriting — make it look more old-ladyish. Or if I should have written it with my left-hand to make it look like maybe I didn’t know it wasn’t 1969 anymore.

Either way, I’m super excited for my John Steinbeck World Deluxe Set. Or whatever correspondence Bantam Books has prepared for morons like me.

Hopefully we will have our answer as to what happens if someone sends in a book order from 1969…in about 4-6 weeks.

The advertisement that started it all...


2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jessica permalink
    March 13, 2010 9:38 pm

    Kudos for being smart enough to blur out your checking account info in that pic, Shelbi!

    I also eagerly await Bantam’s reply. They still exist, but as a subsidiary of Random House, and I doubt they are still at that address, but I guess we’ll find out!

  2. Missy Toupal Hart permalink
    March 13, 2010 10:32 pm


    That’s all I’ve got.

    Oh, and I hope they send the books. If so, I’m so going to order some myself. Maybe not Steinbeck, but something light and fluffy out of the back of a monthly mystery.

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