A BOOKSELLER has been praised after he found £850 in cash in an envelope amongst a box of novels sold to his shop, and dutifully returned it to the owner.

Harry Sykes sold the books, which belonged to his late father Hugh, to the History Bookshop in Bourton-on-the-Water, not realising the cash was inside.

On finding the money, shop owner Graham Nelson returned it to Harry the following day.

Harry said he had been clearing out his dad’s house and having seen an advert on the shop’s website offering to buy large collections of unwanted books, he had invited Graham over.

“He was extremely professional and offered a very fair price,” said Harry, whose father’s collection totalled more than 200 books.

“He even offered to take the books he didn’t want to the charity shop for me.”

Harry said he had first had the books looked over by an auctioneer who told him none of them were of interest for auction.

“They weren’t worth anything. A lot of them were old paperbacks, only worthy of the bin,” said Harry.

“Some were history books, there was also a lot of fiction. Books by Stephen King. A lot of the sort of stuff you’d buy at WHSmith’s to take on holiday,” he added.

He said that only two of the collection were of “special interest” to Graham but he agreed to take them all for £75, with the intention of keeping around half.

“The following day I get a call from Graham saying he found some money my father had hidden in one of the books – 10 times the value of the whole collection, which was sealed in a clear bank envelope,” said Harry.

“He wanted to return it to me at my house for zero cost and without any recognition for his time, kindness or honesty.

“After some persuasion he eventually agreed to accept a finder’s fee. The world would be a better place if there were more people like Graham,” he added.

But Graham modestly played down his role saying: “It wasn’t a big deal. As far as I’m concerned I bought his books not his money.

“It’s amazing what people leave in their books.”