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Fly Fishing by J.R. Hartley is sought after once more

Our friends at BookFinder.com have released their annual “BookFinder Report” on the 100 most sought after out-of-print books in America. I enjoy looking at this list each year because it features everything I love about used book shops in one tidy list. A nice mix of nearly forgotten fiction, old manuals that are superior to any modern reprint and cool art books that have fallen through the cracks.

Each book on the list has a story behind why it was published and why it eventually fell out-of-print, and BookFinder.com’s blog features a great story about the title Fly Fishing by J.R. Hartley.

It also brought a smile to my face seeing Fly Fishing by J.R. Hartley show up in the list. This, of course, is the book that anyone who lived in the UK in the 1980s would remember from the now classic Yellow Pages TV advert which featured an man traipsing around London’s used book shops looking for an old book, only finding success with the telephone directory.

Neither the book, nor the author, existed at the time of the when Yellow Pages created this commercial. So why, you may ask, is this book found in the BookFinder.com report?

The beauty of this whole scenario is that in 1991 a spoof memoir by the fictional Mr. Hartley was published due to the popularity of the ad, and now the spoof is the out-of-print book which is sought after. It kind of reminds me of the time paradox in Terminator, only with used books instead of cyborgs.

I love it.

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