The book company owned their owned storage units. There were only two, but the amount of space they had was huge, like workshops. Inside them were shelves that were neatly packed with books.
After Li Du and the others arrived at the units, he realized that there was no need for the bug, because the doors were opened and free to enter. However, there were security guards watching, so they were not allowed to touch the books.
When he saw the scene, Hans said, "Li, youre right. Before every auction, we should come early and do some research. It was definitely the right choice this time."
Li Du smiled, but he was cursing inside. It was not easy to profit off of items that the others could see. He had lost one of the main use of his bug.
Walking into the large unit, they were hit with a smell of ink, as well as the scent of paper from the books; they mixed to form a unique smell.
Godzilla creased his eyebrows and started fanning his face. Hans asked, "Whats up?"
He twisted his mouth and said, "The smell of books is bad."
Li Du took in a deep breath, and said, while shutting his eyes, "I feel like this smell is nice though? Its been a long time since I smelled thisits great!"
The books in the storage unit were nearly all brand-new. Some were packed in boxes, some were wrapped with craft paper, and others were simply bound with string.
Staring at all the stacks of books, Li Du asked, "How will these things be auctioned?"
Hans said, "According to section. Look carefully at the floor; the sections are marked out with different letters of the alphabet."
Li Du tilted his head down to see, and indeed, sections were marked out on the floor. They were like those on a sports court, with lines and columns. The different sections also had symbols indicating what genre of books was there.
To some extent, the bug could still display some of its prowess. With the books stacked together and sealed in boxes, it was difficult seeing what kind of books they were at a glance.
Different books had different values. Overall, books with signatures were worth the mostespecially the limited editionsfollowed by hardcovers, and then lastly were paperbacks.
Hans brought them directly to the section for social sciences books. He said in a quiet voice, "This will be one of the primary battlefieldsthere could possibly be some antique books here. If we manage to get the antique books, well make a killing."
Li Du asked, "Isnt the second-hand section the location where the antique books would have a higher chance to be in?"
Many shops would sell used goods, and a bookstore did the same; they had second-hand books sections.
Hans shrugged, "Of course, of course. But do you think the people running the bookstores are that dumb? The antique books would have been picked out before, when the bookstore was still in operation, and sold individually."
"Would they raise the price in the social sciences category?"
"No, but for social science books, even some newer books are considered antiques. For example, like the Philadelphia Medical Encyclopedia, published twenty years ago. Normally, no one would want to buy one of these, so they would have remained in stock."
Li Du let the bug burrow into the stack of books. What he first saw was Religions: The Wisdom and Charm of the Worlds Seven Major Religions. There were many such books, with over hundreds of them in this stack.
The next stack of books was philosophy related. One of them was titled, The Monk and The Philosopher, written by a French author. Those also didnt have much value.
Li Du took a quick glance at all of them, and found that most of them were of little value. Titles like, The Troubles of a Prisoner, and, History of Christianity, and, Liberalism and Its Enemies were in the stack.
He shook his head and said, "Big Fox, I think we should try our luck with the childrens books, and in the novels section. I feel that those books could at least be sold as normal retail. These books on humanities and social sciences? Theyre crap!"
Hans said, "Alright, lets go see. I hope your suggestion hits the mark."
The novels section was the largest section. It was full of famous works like the Harry Potter series, A Song of Ice and Fire, Lord of the Rings, and a whole set of Michael Crichtons Jurassic Park series.
The bug didnt serve many purposes in such an environment. Although he managed to find some valuable books, the energy expense was too much. After searching for a short while, Li Du called back the bug.
Hans asked with anticipation, "Buddy, did you find out which books have the most value?"
Li Du shrugged helplessly, "I cant really make anything out. Well just have to auction with our guts."
A day later, the book auction commenced.
The auction this time had drawn a lot of attention. Borders had announced the auction on their website a month ago, and in June they started advertising in newspapers. A few hundred people had showed up!
When they arrived at the storage unit, Li Du was stunned by the crowd. People were elbowing their way around. "Sh*t, this many people?"
Hans felt his scalp crawl. "D*mmit. Seems like several school libraries have sent their people over. What do they want? These are just books, worthless books!"
Since they were already here, they could only obediently register and wait for the auction to start.
Li Du had planned to enter the storage again to check things out. Then, someone suddenly rushed over and shoved him, shouting, "Son of a b*tch! You still dare come to Phoenix?"
Using the bug to manipulate time, he easily dodged the oncoming palm. Turning his head to see, he realized that it was the long-faced man, Anthony.
Li Du reflexively pushed Anthony away, and said, "Whatare you going crazy for? Is there something wrong with your brain?"
Anthony ground his teeth and shouted, "You set me up! D*mn you, b*stard, you set me up! Im going to kill you-you"
His last word was meek because the expressionless Godzilla stood behind Li Du.
The security guard came forward to calm the situation down, and placed himself between the two parties. He warned, "No quarreling, and even more important, no fighting! Or else well kick you guys out!"
Hans pointed at Anthony and said to the security guard, "Fellas, please recognize properly that this guy is nuts. He just came up and attacked us. Were the victims here, okay?"
The security guard looked at Anthony with a grim expression. Anthony felt wronged and shouted, "I was setup by him! I was setup by this d*mn Chinese man! Everyone be careful! This son of a b*tch specializes in setting people up! Ive lost 50,000 dollars because of him!"
Li Du shoved him away and asked, "Whats he going crazy about?"
There was a treasure hunter at the scene; he said with a laugh, "Anthony had followed you and bid on a unit for over 50,000 dollars, right?"
"That unit was worthless, so he had a huge loss. Lucas, that dumb buffalo, went mad with rage, and forced Anthony to split the loss with him. This fella lost 20,000 dollars, so he keeps telling people that you set him up."
Li Du couldnt contain his laughter. "Storage auctions always carry a huge risk. How can there be a profitable business without the chance of losing money? Hes an incomprehensible idiot!"
He glanced at Anthony with disdain, but the appearance of Anthony had created a positive effect as well: no one would dare to fight with him over the goods. Apparently, everyone was afraid of following in Anthonys footsteps.
Li Du had some time on his hands, so he went inside to check once again.
This round, he found a problem!