Internet Calls Out Woman Who Wouldn't Give Back Rare Book Sold by Mistake: 'Give It Back'

A Reddit post has gone viral after a woman claimed she refused to give back a book the owner sold to her "by mistake." The post has gone viral, and many people think the poster is the one at fault in the situation.

Redditor u/NightTrain915 shared the post to the subreddit "Am I The A**hole" on January 25. The original poster (OP) titled the post, "AITA for refusing to give back a book owner sold by mistake after I purchased it?"

The OP goes on to account that they are a 29-year-old female that's "an avid buyer of sales and being part of different social media where people sell items."

A woman, who happened to be a friend of the Redditor's, put 20 books up for sale for $5. The OP replied to the posting to purchase the books, and she proceeded to pick up the books in question for the agreed-upon price.

The Redditor continued: "Later that night, I receive a call from the lady that she accidentally sold her husband's first edition [of] The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck 1st printing. She tells me her husband is livid, and it is creating marital discord with their marriage. I tell her that I will look into the situation and get back to her with an answer."

According to Biblio.com, The Grapes of Wrath was published for the first time by Viking Press in 1939. A signed copy of such an edition can garner more than $20,000. The first edition in the U.K. was printed by William Heinemann in the same year, and they frequently sell for more than $5,000 for a signed copy.

The OP explained what was going on to her parents, and she revealed, "they said under no circumstances do I return the book. It is ethically and morally yours, and you have no obligation to return it."

Rare book open
The internet is calling out a woman who wouldn't give back a rare book sold by mistake. Here, a rare book is open on the table. KOT63/GETTY

However, the Redditor's husband didn't agree with the parents, and the OP relayed he said it was a mistake, and she will "lose your friendship over $1,000 book accidentally sold."

But the OP went with her parents' advice and kept the book. She asked: "AITA for not returning the book and losing the friendships? She subsequently threw me off her WhatsApp group of items people are selling, and [I] can no longer buy on that platform."

The post has been upvoted 6,300 times so far, and numerous people think the poster is the one in the wrong in this scenario.

"YTA [you're the a**hole]," a Redditor expressed. "Just because you're legally in the clear doesn't mean it's ethical."

However, some thought the book is fair and square the friend's husband's. "It belongs to the husband who was not even involved in the sale," someone mentioned.

Another user agreed that the OP was the a**hole in the situation, adding, "It wasn't even her book to sell."

Some think the OP should return the book. "YTA," someone said. "Yeah, give it back. Unless you prefer money over decency."

Another can't "fathom" how the OP could think that was the right course of action. "How would you feel if you made a mistake and your 'friend' [I use the word loosely] that benefitted from that refused to help you rectify it?" they asked. "You paid 25 cents for the book. FFS, give it back."

Some brought up the point that this isn't the OP's first AITA post. "I was wondering if these are real," a user said. "They're bizarre, but don't really fit usual troll criteria."

One person called the amount of money the OP paid for 20 bucks "basically a donation." They also added, "You give the book back and $5 for 19 books is still an amazing deal. YTA."

Another brought up their own point. "Just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should," they said.

While yet another mentioned "the right thing" would have been to return the book back to her friend. "She accidentally sold it to you," they also added.

Newsweek reached out to u/NightTrain915 for comment.