Internet denounces a woman who would not return a rare book sold by mistake: “Return it”

A post on Reddit has gone viral after a woman claimed she refused to return a book the owner had sold her “by mistake”. The post has gone viral and many people believe that the poster is solely responsible for the situation.

Redditor u/NightTrain915 shared the post to the “Am I the asshole” subreddit on January 25. The original poster (OP) titled the post, “AITA for refusing to return a mistakenly sold book owner after buying it?”

The OP goes on to explain that it’s a 29-year-old woman who is “a shopper with a passion for sales and being part of different social media where people sell stuff.”

A woman, who happened to be a friend of the Redditors, put up 20 books for sale for $5. The PO responded to the advertisement to purchase the books, and she proceeded to collect the books in question at the agreed price.

The Redditor continued: “Later that night I get a call from the lady that she accidentally sold her husband’s first edition [of] Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck 1st printing. She tells me that her husband is livid and this is creating marital discord with their marriage. I tell him that I will look into the situation and give him an answer.”

According to Biblio.com, Grapes of Wrath was first published by Viking Press in 1939. A signed copy of such an edition can fetch upwards of $20,000. The first UK edition was printed by William Heinemann the same year, and they often sell for over $5,000 for a signed copy.

The PO explained what was happening to her parents, and she revealed, “They said under no circumstances would I return the book. It belongs to you ethically and morally, and you have no obligation to return it. “

The Internet challenges a woman who would not return a rare book sold by mistake. Here, a rare book is open on the table.
KOT63/GETTY

However, the Redditor’s husband disagreed with the parents, and the OP relayed that he said it was a mistake, and that she “will lose your friendship for a $1,000 book accidentally sold”.

But the OP took his parents’ advice and kept the book. She asked, “AITA for not returning the book and losing the friendships? She then kicked me out of her WhatsApp group of items people sell, and [I] can no longer buy on this platform.”

The post has been upvoted 6,300 times so far, and many people believe the poster is the one wrong in this scenario.

“YTA [you’re the a**hole]’ said one Redditor. ‘Just because you’re legally in the clear doesn’t mean it’s ethical.’

However, some thought the book was fair and square to the friend’s husband. “It belongs to the husband who didn’t even participate in the sale,” someone mentioned.

Another user agreed that the OP was the a**hole in the situation, adding, “It wasn’t even his book for sale.”

Some think the OP should return the book. “YTA,” someone said. “Yeah, give it back. Unless you prefer money over decency.

Another can’t “understand” how the OP could think this was the right course of action. “How would you feel if you made a mistake and your ‘friend’ [I use the word loosely] who took advantage of it and who refused to help you rectify it? they asked. “You paid 25 cents for the book. FFS, give it back.”

Some have commented that this was not the OP’s first AITA post. “I was wondering if they were real,” said one user. “They’re weird, but don’t quite fit the usual troll criteria.”

One person called the amount of money the OP paid for $20 “essentially a donation”. They also added, “You return the book and $5 for 19 books is still an amazing deal. YTA.”

Another raised his own point. “Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should,” they said.

While yet another mentioned that “the right thing” would have been to return the book to her friend. “She accidentally sold it to you,” they also added.

Newsweek contacted u/NightTrain915 for comment.

Lucas E. Kelly