Granted I don't know much about Objectivism at all yet..I am reading my first book by Rand so if I am wrong here please let me know, but from what I understand....
That the characteristic in question: dishonesty (which is obviously a big deal since one of the 7 virtues is honesty) is dependent on the condition of the contextual actions being legal or not. This is clearly, to me anyways, incorrect. Law does not necessarily = something by which you can judge the ethics of an action, and dishonesty is certainly a characteristic attributable to a persons ethical decisions within a given context. It seems to me that suggesting that one can only act dishonestly in a legal exchange (an explicit legal contract) creates, necessarily, the implication that it is in fact okay to misreprestent your true intentions if that condition is not met. Regardless of the other parts of the discussion, that seems to me like a position very opposed to objectivist thought as I understand it.
There may be different considerations in moral judgment in a situation based on what is a law and what is not, what we are speaking about and the conditions of that event (context) but that does not mean that simply because there was not an explicit legal contract that there was no dishonesty, which is an ethical vice and is therefore suggesting ones actions were inappropriate, even if they weren't an explicit breaking of contract it certainly means that the book store owner is fully right for morally condemning the person if he is aware of his dishonesty and therefore can also choose to take action against him in the form of banning them from the store or refusing to fulfill the explicit agreement of allowing the book to be returned. I probably explained this in a more lengthy and complex manner than was necessary but I am new at this. So I think rationalbiker was probably right here as far as the book issue is concerned and its implications.
This seems like a given to me, I don't really understand why this point would need to be made. Nonetheless that doesn't make the action proper in the realm of morality. As well all know, we should do our best to be moral individuals and to judge others appropriately when they act immorally, as such.
Also, as a personal comment saying "oh hell no" <-notice the strength of the statement means it certainly would be the polite thing to explain ones reasoning to the person in question (Mindy) but it certainly is not something required, and therefore RationalBiker is correct that if she feels she is, personally, owed some kind of explanation she has full right to exact a personal opinion of RationalBiker given that this event has occurred, but that does not change the fact that he did not have to answer and that the expectation in itself that he should is on shaky ground.