There's an Irish pub in Louvain-la-Neuve (of course - where is there not?) and I popped in this lunchtime for a quick coffee to buck me up before spending two hours talking about Beveridge, Butler and Bevan. The decor includes bookshelves piled, higgledy=piggledy, with old books - mostly novels I've never heard of by authors whose names mean nothing to me, but also an accounts book for a business in Belfast in the 1910s, some history books, and a biography of John XXIII produced during his lifetime. The effect is rather as though someone had emptied a couple of boxes of their gran's books all in a pile. And among them was a 1938 edition of Murder in the Cathedral (first published 1935).
My late 1980s Faber paperback edition, full of marginal and interlinear notes for A-level English Literature, looks considerably tattier than this third edition hardback, so I asked at the bar: "Would you be willing to sell me one of the books?"
Reply: "They're not for sale, they're for decoration."
Question (holding up Murder in the Cathedral): "So you wouldn't be willing to let me buy this off you?"
Reply: "No, sorry. But you can borrow it if you promise to bring it back. Or another old book to take its place."
And the deal was done.