The book which contained the $800 in crisp new $100 notes

What would you do if you found $800 in crisp new $100 notes inside a book in a secondhand bookshop? Would you keep it? Turn it in? Look around to see if anyone was watching you? Riffle through the pages to see if there was more?

This particular customer turned it in. Nice to know there are still people who do that. The volunteers reported the discovery to me. As manager of ESRABOOKS secondhand bookshop in Modiin, I was in a quandary. How on earth could I find the donor? What to say?

The book in question, Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth, was not exactly new. While it is popular among only a select group of readers, it could have been donated years ago. In fact, one of our volunteers quipped that she probably would have turned down the donation as the market for the book was so narrow.

I posted messages on every possible outlet, with a photo of the book’s cover, asking if anyone who had donated the book to our shop should please call me. To my surprise, I did not have long to wait before the first call came in from New Jersey, USA. “I think I did…..” Not good enough, especially when he said he might still have the book at home in Modiin. The second call held more promise, and I was persuaded when she said, “We hide money in books all the time!”

How was she so sure it was her book?

“Absolutely mine,” she said.

We made an arrangement to meet and when she saw the cash, tears came to her eyes. She said “My mom gave me this money for each one of the children’s birthdays. “She was so grateful, she kept her promise to donate ten per cent of the money. A check for NIS288 was subsequently received to benefit the children in Neve ESRA, Modiin’s afternoon care center for children at risk.

As someone once said, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”. Glad the money found its owner, and happier still that the owner shared her bounty with us.

This is surely feel-good month….

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About the author

Cynthia Barmor

Cynthia came on Aliyah from Cape Town, South Africa on Nov.10th, 1968. She is a high school graduate and has a diploma in Diagnostic Radiography. In south Africa she worked as a Radiographer at Gro...

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