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Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops (Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops #1)

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  6,227 ratings  ·  1,201 reviews
This Sunday Times Bestseller is a miscellany of hilarious and peculiar bookshop moments:
'Can books conduct electricity?'
'My children are just climbing your bookshelves: that's ok... isn't it?'

A John Cleese Twitter question ['What is your pet peeve?'], first sparked the 'Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops' blog, which grew over three years into one bookseller's collect...more
Hardcover, British, 119 pages
Published April 5th 2012 by Constable and Robinson (first published March 27th 2012)
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another fantastic gift from laima.

years ago, i read Overheard at the Bookstore, and since i was new in the bookstore career, i laughed appreciatively. now that i have been employed here for what seems to be more than half of my life, my laughter towards this latest book is fueled by a sort of desperate recognition and tinged with melancholy.

oh, my bookstore sisters and brothers, come to my sweet embrace. i was going to start a section in my writing for my tales from the stacks, but instead, i a...more
Petra Xtra Crunchy
Updates 14, 31 January 2014

14. Two people from the French cruise ship just walked in (didn't close door. Born in a barn). The guy asked me if I spoke French and then asked me in English if I knew where he could buy cigarettes. I told him a supermarket. He said no, no, people said here. I said I don't sell cigarettes. So he produced a little pack of cigarette tips. I said I don't know who sells those. Then he made a motion of rolling cigarettes and smoking. I said, you want to buy joints, weed?...more
Dang. Some of the books that are out there are just weird...

But it figures, since the customers that are visiting bookshops are often equally weird. Weird Things Customers Say In Bookshops proves just that. It contains a collection of the most peculiar and hilarious things customers have said in bookshops from all over the world. I could ramble on about how hilarious (and shocking!) this book is, but I could also pick a few random dialogues, so you get to decide for yourself. Enjoy!

Customer: I'm
MJ Nicholls
Nov 26, 2012 MJ Nicholls marked it as getting-even
It isn’t safe to go into the second-hand bookshop anymore. Risk it if you must. If you do, there will be some discerning wag with a pen, notepad and an Eng Lit BA Hons waiting to transcribe verbatim your illiterate idiocy to make easy toilet-book cash. Perhaps you thought Shakespeare was a power forward for the Harlem Globetrotters. IDIOT! Or that Joseph Conrad wrote Lucky Jim? BUFFOON! Or maybe, in your blind illiterate stupidity, you asked the cashier if they had any copies of Useless Lees by...more
From time to time I get emails through that purport to be saying lovely or cute or witty things that children/students/Lawyers/policeman/dogs/raw vegetables etc etc are supposed to have said or written in different situations. They are regularly funny and clever and i enjoy reading them but I as equally regularly read them with a heavy pinch of salt. For every genuinely funny thing that is recorded there are oodles that I cannot believe were ever really said. They are created, made up. This in i...more
Customer: Do you have a true crime section?
Bookseller: Yes (takes customer to section)

a few minutes later customer moves to the front door with a book in his pocket

Bookseller: Are you going to pay for that book?
Customer: No
Bookseller: (takes book from customers pocket) Please don't come back
Customer: Does this mean I have to bring back all of the other books I've taken?

Customer: Do you sell mobile phone top up cards?
Bookseller: No, we're a bookshop, we only sell books
Customer: Not...more
VAROVÁNÍ: nečtěte tuhle knihu, pokud se nechcete zasmát. hodněkrát. nahlas.

CUSTOMER (having read the blurb to Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief aloud to his son): Excuse me, is this book based on a true story?
BOOKSELLER: It’s about an American teenager discovering he’s the son of Poseidon by accidentally vaporising his maths teacher.

CUSTOMER: Do you have this children’s book I’ve heard about? It’s supposed to be very good. It’s called ‘Lionel Richie and the W...more
Muahahaha....Finished this in just one sitting, and I had a really good time of laughing my ass off.

One of the perks of having a job that requires you meeting lots of people is you'll realize there's many different people out there. There are hilarious people, weird, funny, funnily weird, nice, etc.

From this book, now I know there is customer...

-that's naive and funny

(view spoiler)...more
Yes. From Faulkner to this. I read everything. Okay, almost everything. But lately, I've been enjoying these little jewels that are freaking hilarious. I fell in love with Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops only by looking at the cover (I just admitted that I judged a book by its cover, again). “Do you have any books by Jane Eyre?”. I just knew this one was going to be a funny read.

I love humor. It is an essential part of life that helps you to bond with people (or avoid people), to recove...more
Raeleen Lemay
Reading this just reinforced the notion that approximately 75% of the questions asked in bookstores are ridiculous.

Literary Ames {Against GR Censorship}
Customer: 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...

This little book is full of the weird, the wonderful and the hilariously funny things customers say in bookshops. The cover is beautiful and I love the little illustrations alongside the quotes, especially this one:

Favourites that aren't in the book, from the website:

a customer reading a book about the nativity.
Lisa Vegan
May 09, 2012 Lisa Vegan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: book and bookstore lovers; people who work in or own bookshops; as a gift book
Recommended to Lisa by: Clay
This was so worth importing from England, and it was worth the money to me too, even though I’m buying basically no books these days. Even though it took barely any time to read, it provided me with many laughs and smiles. Much of it is hilarious.

The one about the kid’s nightmares was what I read first. So funny. Then I read it cover to cover, quickly.

The illustrations are cute but I didn’t really need them.

What’s truly scary is not even how ignorant many people are, but how rude, how unethical...more
British poet and author Jen Campbell has compiled a book of hilarious and strange comments made by book store customers.

Here is a sample....

CUSTOMER: What kind of bookshop is this?
BOOKSELLER: We're an antiquarian bookshop.
CUSTOMER: Oh, so you sell books about fish.

CUSTOMER: (holding up a Jamie Oliver cookbook):
Would you mind if I photocopied this recipe?
BOOKSELLER: Yes, I would.

CUSTOMER: Do you have Agatha Christie's Death in Denial?

CUSTOMER: Do you have a crafts book on how to build a gun?

For anyone who thinks we make the stuff in this book up...we don't.

I'm a bookseller and we don't. I have been asked for the "english translation" of insert-title-of-English-language-classic-here (Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, The Scarlet Letter, Shakespeare, Tom Sawyer, etc.) more times than I can count. I have been asked to find a book that was "blue" and "nonfiction" (with no other joke). I have seen customers trim their toenails in our cafe. I have been asked for a "fiction...more
Ummu Auni
Oh my God! This is so hilarious. I was holding myself not to squeal a laughter since I read this in the middle of the night.

Customer: Excuse me, do you have any signed copies of Shakespeare plays?
Bookseller: Er... do you mean signed by the people who performed the play?
Customer: No, I mean signed by William Shakespeare.
Bookseller: .....*headdesk*

Customer: (holding up a copy of a Harry Potter book): This doesn't have anything weird in it...does it?
Bookseller: You mean, like, werewolves?
Sandee (Nikolai Lantsov's Queen)
So I've been working as a customer service rep for almost 5 years already. wow. didn't realize it has been that long. it also says something about my age though... damn. And I would have to say, that I've met (okay not met, more of talked) some interesting people. I've only worked for two contact centers; one of them would be the publishing company I'm currently working for and the other was for an automotive company which I was an employee for three years.

Although I haven't worked for a booksho...more
An amusing stocking-filler, but very quick and light. It works better as a Twitter feed, or just dipping into the book occasionally.

On second thoughts, read Mark's review and feel guilty because "they are being offered to us not as witty and amusing and clever things people have said but just feeding us an opportunity to laugh at people rather than with. To belittle the stupid or the 'ill-educated'."

Also, see comment 5 by Petra X:
"I have people who come i...more
Chelsea Grindstaff
I spent 4 years working in a bookstore. I had the craziest requests from the craziest people. This book has some of the funniest/stupidest/most outrageous things that people have said in bookstores. I've had people ask me some of these very questions.
I laughed my way through this book. It reminded me of some of my crazy moments as a bookseller. I recommend this to anyone who has worked in the retail industry and/or loves books.
I have to say this was such a joy to read; as a book lover I really appreciated all the weird things customers say in bookstores. I would love to be a bookseller for many reasons but to experience this kind of silliness would really make my day. Well worth a read. You will get some great laughs from these customers with ones like;

“Do you have this children’s book I’ve heard about? It’s supposed to be very good. It’s called Lionel Richie and the Wardrobe.”

“Do you stock Nigella Lawson under ‘Sex’...more
Kasia S.
This was on hilarious read, I mean it’s funny but then you realize that it’s not fictional, that people actually asked and said all the things you read and it gets even funnier once you get to wrap your head around all the genius floating out there…I’ve worked in retail in late teens to very early twenties but never in a bookstore which is a shame…reading this makes me wish I had a time machine so that I could have experience such brilliance in my own face… just a few bits from the book, some ge...more
Idle Hippo

Waduh, ini mah mau gak jadi inget kejadian ato tepatnya tragedi ronggeng dukuh paruk tentang seorang customer sotoy yang yah.. begitulah. mau gak mau bersyukur kejadian2 yang ada di buku ini terjadi di inggris hahahahaha
*sujud sukur*

intinya berisi pertanyaan2 aneh dari pembeli yang yah katakanlah absurd dan sebangsanya yang bikin ngakak seperti misalnya

CUSTOMER: Do you have any pop-up books on sex education?

CUSTOMER: Do you have a book with a list of careers? I want to give my daughter some insp
Susan Johnson
This is so funny and yet so sad. Tequilla Mockingbird? Joe Steinbeck? 1986? At times I didn't know if I should laugh or cry.
Emma Sea
Just wanna say, the customer who was upset because book #4 in a series was out of stock and they'd taken the day off work to read it: that is not weird, that's completely normal. And that's why e-books, baby.
Too many of them felt as though they were just padding. But I did like the guy who came in looking for the sequel to Anne Frank's Diary.
Dec 04, 2012 Ren rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Yang lagi stress
Recommended to Ren by: asdewi
My 110th book and with this one, finally I finish my challenge!! XD

With thanks to A.S. Dewi to provide a good laugh for this morning and afternoon :))

Baca ini pas gw lagi magabut. Alias manajer2nya pada ga di kantor semua, kikikikikkk. Salut buat Jen Campbell yang ternyata seumuran gue (!). Bisa nulis buku, bisa merangkum segala keanehan pelanggan dan konsumen di toko bukunya (Edinburg dan Ripping Yarns), dipuji Neil Gaiman, dipuji banyak orang, pastinya masih jadi penjaga toko buku juga kan sam...more
I love this collection of weird things people say in bookshops -- I could contribute, since I spend quite a lot of my time in bookshops, and oh god, the stupid things I've heard people say/ask for. Like the woman who tried to return a book because she broke the spine and all the pages started falling out. Or the time I heard a guy breaking up with his girlfriend because he was so weirded out by her basically treating Fifty Shades of Grey as the gospel.

Obviously not very substantial, but funny, a...more
Adela C.
Well this was a lot more fun than I thought it would be. There are some pretty weird... and dumb people out there and it is only natural they find their way into bookshops one way or another. Some for the silliest reasons.

“CUSTOMER: If I were to, say... meet the love of my life in this bookshop, what section do you think they would be standing in?”

So I take it's a pretty interesting life being a bookseller. Maybe it's annoying when they all come in and put stupid questions, but at the end of th...more

(phone rings)
CUSTOMER: Hi there. I have a complaint I’d like to make.
BOOKSELLER: I’m sorry to hear that; what seems to be the problem?
CUSTOMER: My daughter’s been having nightmares about The Gruffalo.
CUSTOMER: What are you going to do about it?
BOOKSELLER: Well, I hasten to add that I have never heard of a child having nightmares about The Gruffalo before. It’s certainly not meant to be a scary book, and I’m sure the person who recommended this bo
A crowded United Airlines flight was canceled. A single agent was re-booking a long line of inconvenienced travelers.

Suddenly, an angry passenger pushed his way to the desk. He slapped his ticket on the counter and said, “I HAVE to be on this flight and it has to be FIRST CLASS.”

The agent replied, I’m sorry, sir. I’ll be happy to try to help you, but I’ve got to help these folks first; and then I’m sure we’ll be able to work something out.”

The passenger was unimpressed. He asked loudly, so th
A book for those ardent readers, passionate collectors and curious souls who linger around bookstores just for the fun of it. Going to a bookstore is like a religious ceremony which is sacred as well as painful for them at the same time. Painful for the reason of the space and resources to accomodate the treasure found.

It's innocent fun with a tinge of that holier-than-thou attitude that I as a devout reader carry. My sadistic bones were fed well, I tell you.

[Added Later- Want to order somethi...more
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UK Amazon Kindle ...: Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell 11 48 Jun 15, 2012 01:52PM  
  • The Library Book
  • Damn You, Autocorrect!: Awesomely Embarrassing Text Messages You Didn't Mean to Send
  • The Customer Is Not Always Right: Hilarious and Horrific Tales of Customers Gone Wrong
  • Bibliotopia: Or, Mr. Gilbar's Book of Books & Catch-All of Literary Facts & Curiosities
  • Forgotten Bookmarks: A Bookseller's Collection of Odd Things Lost Between the Pages
  • My Ideal Bookshelf
  • My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read, and Shop
  • F in Exams: The Funniest Test Paper Blunders
  • Buried in Books: A Reader's Anthology
  • At Home with Books: How Booklovers Live with and Care for Their Libraries
  • I Work at a Public Library: A Collection of Crazy Stories from the Stacks
  • Fast Forward
  • The Book of Lost Books: An Incomplete History of All the Great Books You'll Never Read
  • The Books They Gave Me: True Stories of Life, Love, and Lit
  • Judging a Book by Its Lover: A Field Guide to the Hearts and Minds of Readers Everywhere
  • The Novel Cure: From Abandonment to Zestlessness: 751 Books to Cure What Ails You
  • The Etymologicon: A Circular Stroll through the Hidden Connections of the English Language
  • The Most Beautiful Libraries in the World
Jen grew up in a small village by the sea in the north-east of England. After studying English Literature at Edinburgh University, she moved to north London to sell books and write stories. She works part-time at an antiquarian bookshop.

Jen's first book, Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops, was published in 2012 and was a Sunday Times Bestseller. The sequel, More Weird Things Customers Say in...more
More about Jen Campbell...
More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops The Bookshop Book The Hungry Ghost Festival 100 Poem Challenge Jawbreakers

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“CUSTOMER: Hi, I just wanted to ask: did Anne Frank ever write a sequel?
BOOKSELLER: ........
CUSTOMER: I really enjoyed her first book.
BOOKSELLER: Her diary?
CUSTOMER: Yes, the diary.
BOOKSELLER: Her diary wasn’t fictional.
BOOKSELLER: Yes... She really dies at the end – that’s why the diary finishes. She was taken to a concentration camp.
CUSTOMER: Oh... that’s terrible.
BOOKSELLER: Yes, it was awful -
CUSTOMER: I mean, it’s such a shame, you know? She was such a good writer.”
“CUSTOMER: I read a book in the sixties. I don’t remember the author, or the title. But it was green, and it made me laugh. Do you know which one I mean?” 60 likes
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