... how is the store to know you haven't just stolen it from a nearby store or even their own store and want a credit ?
...I also might have weighed the 1/2 hour of hassle against the sale of 8 books.
She DOESN'T SAY that she went to the counter "with 8 new books and one to return". What we have here are assumptions based on "facts not in evidence"...All major retailers have procedures in place to handle this simple item and she was buying additional items at the time she asked.
When you are returning something you go straight to the counter. Many larger stores won't accept a return unless checked and marked at the door as a return. Otherwise, what is to stop you from buying something, then going into the store, grabbing one off the shelf and then "returning" it, thus getting it for free?!!
Let's face it - I don't think that either "side" is going to see the other side, and the harder someone tries to justify a position the further out the limb they're going. Let's just agree that we disagree, close this thread and get back to having a life!