Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

“Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores”

You’re enjoying a visit to your local bookstore and you hear another customer say:

“So where do all these books come from? Do you get them from Amazon?”

If you don’t see why that’s weird to say, you’ve missed out on a few years of change in our Book World

So, see, there’s this young lady, Jen Campbell, who’s published a bit of poetry and short stories and works at an antiquarian bookshop in North London (Ripping Yarns) and she’s had another book published, Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores, and that quote about Amazon is from the book :-)

And, here’s a blurb from the Amazon page for her book:

“‘What is your biggest pet peeve?’ — This simple Twitter question posed by John Cleese inspired bookseller Jen Campbell to start a blog collecting all the ridiculous conversations overheard in her bookstore, everything from ‘Did Beatrix Potter ever write a book about dinosaurs?’ to ‘Did Charles Dickens ever write anything fun?’ Anyone who has ever worked in retail will nod knowingly at requests like ‘I’ve forgotten my glasses, can you read me the first chapter?’ Or the absurdity of questions like ‘Excuse me . . . is this book edible?'”

Even better, Jen is working on a sequel

So, if you’re a bookseller or librarian (or, you know one) be sure to check out how to send Jen Campbell some of the weird things overheard in bookstores or libraries!

Here are a few more weird comments from Jen’s bookstore customers:

“Do you have any Robin Hood stories where he doesn’t steal from the rich? My husband’s called Robin and I’d like to buy him a copy for his birthday, but he’s a banker, so…”

“I’m just going to run to the store to do the weekly food shopping. I’m just going to leave my sons here, is that okay? They’re three and five. They’re no trouble.”

“If my daughter wants to buy books from the teenage section, do you need to see some ID? It was her thirteenth birthday this weekend. I can show you pictures of the cake. You can count the candles.”

And, here’s a weird conversation from her book:

Customer: “Do you have ‘Dr. Who and the Secrets of the Hidden Planet of Time’?”

Bookseller: “I’m not familiar with that one. Hang on and I’ll check our system for you… I’m afraid I can’t find it in our database or a reference to it online. Are you sure you’ve got the right title?”

Customer: “No, not at all. I don’t know that it actually exists.”

Bookseller: “What do you mean?”

Customer: “Oh, I was just driving to work yesterday and I thought up the title and I thought, ‘Now that sounds like the kind of book I’d like to read,’ you know?”

What a Whoot :-)
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5 responses to ““Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores”

  1. Elizabeth Nicole October 22, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    So funny! :D I think someone should compile a list of funny hotel reviews…last week I was booking a hotel from and I read some super-duper silly ones. “Stay in this hotel if you enjoy your things being stolen.” and “I appreciate this hotel’s dedication to preserving the town’s history…blah blah…The hotel is 100 years old. I wish the mattresses weren’t too.” Lol! Sometimes ordinary people are brilliant—even when they don’t aim to be. :)


  2. Pingback: Two Words Left Out of Most of The Book World’s News . . . | Notes from An Alien

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