The reading public (by s. leacock)
In other words he had guessed at a glance that I was a professor. The manager of the biggest book store cannot be deceived in a customer. He knew I would hang around for two hours, get in everybody's way, and finally buy the Dialogues of Plato for ten cents.
He despised me, but a professor standing in a corner buried in a book looks well in a store. It is a sort of advertisement.
So it was that standing in a far corner I had an opportunity of noticing something of this up-to-date manager's methods with his real customers.
"You are quite sure it's his latest?" a fashionably dressed woman was saying to the manager.
"Oh, yes, madam, this is Mr. Slush's very latest book, I assure you. It's having a wonderful sale." As he spoke he pointed to a huge pile of books on the counter with the title in big letters – Golden Dreams.
"This book," said the lady idly turning over the pages, "is it good?"
"It's an extremely powerful thing," said the manager, "in fact it's a masterpiece. The critics are saying that without exaggeration it is the most powerful book of the season. It is bound to make a sensation."
"Oh, really!" said the lady. "Well, I think I'll take it then."