Resisting the urge to point out the lettering on the door, I just put on my best warm smile and nodded.
She looked around nervously and said, “I don’t have much money for…”
Keeping the smile, I replied, “Why don’t you just tell me what the problem is—the first hour is free.”
A small smile replaced some of her confusion. “I’m trying to decide on a book to buy and there are so many to choose from. And, like I said, I don’t have much money so I want to spend it wisely.”
“Any books in particular?”
“Yes, mysteries. That’s why I came to you. I thought you might be able to recommend something.”
I folded my hands on top of the desk, leaned forward, and said, “I can do better than that. I do have one to recommend, but why not read the first chapters before you spend your hard-earned money?”
She looked at me with a gleam in her eye. “I can do that?”
“Yes. The first chapters are free—just like my first hour. If you like it—and I think you will—then spend your money. And let me know what you think of my suggestion.”
She took one of my cards, thanked me, and said she hoped to see me again. I hoped she would too. It could be the start of a long and beautiful friendship.