Hello everyone! I hope you’re all having a nice transition from summer into the cooler days of fall. I’m not a big fan of looking outside at 6:30 and seeing dark skies already, but there’s not much I can do about that. However, I have no issue with sucking down caramel apples like they’re going out of style!
Today’s topic is the exciting story of how I was almost rich for about five minutes. As you may or may not be aware, my husband and I like to go to estate sales (bigger and better than rummage sales…usually it’s a whole house of treasures for sale) and we hunt for cheap items that might be worth big money.
Don’t scoff at me! While it’s true I’ve never uncovered any gold bars hidden under the bed, I have made some decent discoveries. I found a vintage jumper for $1 that I sold for $50 on Ebay. We’ve sold vintage belt buckles, wolf statues, books, shoes, and much, much more.
Let’s back up to the part where I said I sold books. No, I’m not talking about antique first edition tales from the 1800s. I have NO idea what any of that is worth. But I’v e sold popular series by authors whose names you would know. (Stephen King, James Patterson, etc). Unfortunately, my husband assumes I know a lot about the author world since I started writing romantic comedies in 2016. I hate to let him down, so I might pretend to know more than I do. Such is the case with the awesomely fantastic book I found last weekend.
It’s my husband’s job to find the estate sales in the newspaper and on Craigslist…and it’s my duty to carry my phone and search the Ebay app for all the crap he finds in the houses that he deems ‘priceless.’ Most of it normally comes up in a search as being sold for $2.83 so I make him pass and PUT THE ITEM BACK. We usually separate to scour the house in a kind of ‘divide and conquer’ method. This is what led me to a box of books in a room that appeared to be an office. A few ‘Harry Potter’ books immediately caught my eye. Yes, I’ve read the series, watched bits and pieces from some of the movies, and gone on the rides at Universal Studios. Yes, I’ve had a butterbeer (regular AND frozen. I got brain freeze. But I digress.). I was not interested in the Potter books for myself, though. My stepson (he’s 24) is a diehard Potter freak. He’s read every book a zillion times and owns every movie on DVD. He’s a teacher who lends the books to his students, and he told me to snap them up if I can get a bargain because sometimes his books vanish and don’t return. No problem! I’m all about helping kids get books, right? Absolutely!
So I grabbed two Potter paperbacks (Books 3 and 4, which is totally irrelevant but I’m telling you anyway) and then I saw something that took my breath away.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
Do you know what that is? I did.
When J.K. Rowling released her first Harry Potter book in the UK, it was called ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.’ The name was changed to ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ when it came to America. I immediately knew three things: this book is rare, it could be worth $$$, and my stepson will kill me if I do not purchase this.
I grabbed that book and held it tightly to my chest like it was lost treasure from the City of Atlantis. I sandwiched it between the other two Potter books and clung to them like I was drowning at sea and they were my life preserver.
I ran to find my husband and said, “We have to go NOW!”
For some reason, I was paranoid that the people running the sale would discover my treasure, rip it out of my hand, and say, “No way, honey! That’s not for sale!”
We managed to pay and I calmly walked to the car and immediately called my stepson. This is our unedited conversation:
Me: You are not going to believe this!
Him: Hmm? I’m asleep. (It was nine in the morning on a Saturday)
Me: Wake the hell up! You are not going to BELIEVE THIS!
Him: Hmm? What’s the matter?
Me: You know how you told me to always get Harry Potter books? I’m at an estate sale and guess what I just got?
Him: A Harry Potter book?
Me: Yes…I found a book…maybe you’ve heard of it? Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone?
Him: Holy Shit! BUY IT! I DON’T CARE WHAT IT COSTS! JUST BUY IT!
Me: I already did. I’m in the car with it. It was fifty cents.
Him: Holy Shit! WHAT DOES IT SAY ON THE INSIDE?
Me: Bloomsbury press, UK, 1997, Joanne Rowling.
Him: HOLY SHIT! What if it’s a first edition? Those sell for dollar amounts in the FIVE FIGURES!
Me: Okay…I’ll take a pic and text you the inside copyright page.
We freaked out back and forth on the phone for a good ten minutes before his research yielded some results. Yes, the book goes for five figures if it’s a limited first edition hard cover from a certain date. If it’s a paperback with a typo on page 58, they go for the low three figure dollar amounts. He was still convinced it was worth about a hundred bucks since it was an early printing.
I got home and really checked Ebay. There was an earlier printing selling for approximately $7.84, not including shipping.
So…yeah. Not getting rich that way. But it was sure as hell exciting for about ten minutes.
In case you were wondering…yes, I had to give the book to my stepson, no, he’s NOT selling it, and yes, we’re very easily excited in my family.
There you have it folks, another day in the life of Grace Risata.
If you’re looking for something ELSE to read (besides my story of heartbreak involving riches cruelly taken from me), you might be interested in my newest release, Teaching the Dom…currently priced at only 99 cents on Amazon:
If you’re looking for something FREE to read, you might want to check out my short story, My Dirty Bet, on Amazon:
If you’re looking for something batshit crazy to pre-order, you might want to check out my friend’s new release that goes live on Friday: The Cock in Me by Julian Napier. It’s hilarious and highly recommended. I’m not saying that because he’s a nice guy, I’m telling you it’s definitely worth a read. I laughed my ass off.
If you’re looking for something FREE and NOT batshit crazy, you might want to check out this story: