Most recent conversation as far as I can recall.
Me "Have you got any copies of Boswell's Life of Johnson?."
Owner "Who's it by?"
Me "Errr... Boswell, James Boswell."
Me thinking 'wtf?' but saying "Errr... well... I'm looking for a particular volume of a 1884 edition."
Owner looks at me blankly.
I'm completely wrongfooted by this but I babble on "I'm looking for volume 2, published by Bell. Err... 1884?."
Owner "I wouldn't split a set."
Me "Oh I wouldn't ask you to, but if you happened to just have volume 2 on its own or with one or two odd volumes from the edition?"
Owner "I haven't got any editions."
BINGO! That's all he had to say in the first place.
I'm thinking of going back and asking for something else, now I'm prepared for oddness I can have some fun.