Booklovers beware

After losing Ottawa man's 18th century poetry tome, Canada Post offers two books of stamps as compensation

The Ottawa Citizen reports on the plight of part-time psychology professor/full-time book collector David Bentley, whose decades-long quest to complete a rare collection of Alexander Pope’s poetic works seemed on the verge of triumph when he found the elusive second volume up for sale on the website of a rare book dealer in France. One $170 electronic transaction later, the book was winging its way to Ottawa, but when it didn’t turn up, Bentley turned to Canada Post for answers, only to discover that it had been “misdelivered” to a likely somewhat puzzled recipient, address—and identity—currently unknown. Although the post office did offer to launch an investigation into the missing mail, it informed Bentley that the Bordeaux-based bookseller would have to initiate, and pay for the claim, which seems unlikely. “While I know that nothing can replace the rare book,” the apology to Bentley concluded, “I am enclosing two booklets of stamps for your future use.” All in all, it’s hard not to share Bentley’s view: “I hate my natural misanthropy being confirmed,” he told the Citizen—a sentiment with which Pope would doubtless heartily agree.

Ottawa Citizen

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