This Harriet post by Kenneth Goldsmith provides one of the most remarkable book-related stories I’ve ever read; the main text is by Keith Waldrop, and begins:
On Wednesday, May 23rd, 1973, Robert Ashley and I went to see John Barton Wolgamot. We met and talked to him in the lobby of the Little Carnegie Cinema, of which he was the manager. I hold on to this date, because so many moments I would like to pin down are imprecise or uncertain.
For instance, I do not know when Wolgamot was born. At the time we met, I got the impression he was in his sixties. Tall and thin, in a black suit with a velvet collar. He was an old-fashioned spiffy dresser, a bit too aristocratic to look right on fifty-seventh street — except, perhaps, down at the end of the block, in Carnegie Hall.
Sometime in the summer of 1957, I had stumbled onto his book, In Sara, Mencken, Christ and Beethoven There Were Men and Women. I am given to scratching around in second-hand book stores. My brothers had recently started a used car lot in Danville, Illinois, and a crony of theirs ran a second-hand book store. Naturally, I scratched around in it.
As I went along the shelves, Wolgamot’s book — odd-shaped, wider than tall — caught my eye. The publisher’s name, like the author’s, was John Barton Wolgamot. At a glance, I could make nothing of it. I put it back.
I went away. But it stuck in my mind, the book with the odd shape, and I went back and (actually on my third visit) I bought the book. It was, after all, only fifty cents.
I won’t spoil the story for you by summarizing any more of it, but I would have had a strong suspicion it was all made up except that I found it via this Ask MetaFilter question from somebody who had actually seen the book and was trying to find out what it was. Also, the full text (along with prefaces by Waldrop and Ashley) is here (pdf). As for the odd-looking name Wolgamot, it’s a variant of Wohlgemuth.