Wednesday, January 07, 2009
Pay It Forward
Today I was in Borders Books buying a few more tomes before returning to Bishkek. I was in the history section holding two large books when an older gentleman approached me. The books by the way were Michael Geyer and Sheila Fitzpatrick, eds., Beyond Totalitarianism: Stalinism and Nazism Compared (New York: Cambridge University Press), 2009 and Ben Kiernan, Blood and Soil: A World History of Genocide and Extermination from Sparta to Darfur (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2007. He asked me if I intended to purchase the books I was holding. I informed him that I did indeed intend to buy them. The man then told me he was going to do me a favor. Not wishing to be rude I politely listened to him. He took out a sheet of paper with official Borders writing on it and said he had a discount of 40% on any single book purchased. He said he would give it to me if I later did a favor for a stranger. I readily agreed and he handed me the sheet. The book by Kiernan cost $40, so I saved $16. When I get back to Bishkek I will be on the look out for a complete stranger to help.