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

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  9,533 ratings  ·  1,823 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
Hardcover, British, 128 pages
Published April 5th 2012 by Constable and Robinson (first published 2012)
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Kéž by vyšlo v ČR, verze 2015
37th out of 394 books — 585 voters
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Best Humorous Non-Fiction
2nd out of 237 books — 160 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
Petra X
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?

This was freaking funny, guys, flipping hilarious. It's, very simply, a collection of ridiculous things that customers say in bookshops, but it made me giggle and lol and just, the roflcopter flew while reading this.
Aj the Ravenous Reader
Nov 08, 2015 Aj the Ravenous Reader rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: readers
Recommended to Aj the Ravenous Reader by: myself
I haven’t read a non-fiction book in a long time. I’m so happy I picked this one! It’s a fun, fast read complete with comical illustrations.

I used to imagine book selling was the happiest, most relaxing job in the whole wide world. I was terribly wrong! I thought I was already weird but the level of weirdness of a lot of people who go to bookstores is wow, just unbelievable!

Now, I know I can never work at a bookstore. I’m too soft for the job. Lol! This is the perfect stress reliever or readin
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
Deborah Markus
Things from this book I actually heard while working at a bookstore:

"Where's your true fiction section?"

(To this day I have no idea what the person meant.)

"You must get so much time to read, just sitting here surrounded by books."

(I once had a customer assume I'd read everything in the store. It was a relatively small bookstore rather than one of the big chains, but still -- not cool to be indignant that I haven't read every title we stock.)

"I'm looking for a book for my son. He's only seven but
Liz* Fashionably Late
What kind of people do you find in a bookstore? Smart people? Intellectuals? Old ladies? People looking for a bathroom?
Time changes and with time, people. For me, libraries and bookstores are sanctuaries. Great places to breath, talk and recommend books. But I'd never in my life had thought it would be a a place to crack up with weird people and their weird questions.

CUSTOMER: Hi, I just wanted to ask: did Anne Frank ever write a sequel?

CUSTOMER: Yeah, but Voldemort killed Cedric, who’s playe
No, I’ve never worked in a bookstore, but I did work in libraries for over 30 years so I couldn’t resist this collection of the weird things that customers say.

I second Neil Gaiman’s sentiment when he said this regarding Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops

So funny. So sad…Read it and sigh.”

Some of the comments made me laugh right out loud, some were really mean-spirited and yes, some were sad and some just left me scratching my head. I focused on the funny, which most are. If you’ve got an
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
Raeleen Lemay
Reading this just reinforced the notion that approximately 75% of the questions asked in bookstores are ridiculous.

Hunger For Knowledge
Short thoughts for a quick reads: Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops and More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops.

These both books were enough fun to entertain my busy day. Few of the stories were rather hilarious, many the way I had no hard time to imagine them happening.

At first, I was a little bit worried that I might be reading ideological pamphlets, the kinds that would make us good people to shake our heads and roll our eyes because someone out there doesn't want to read fiction
ممنون از دوستانى كه ريويو نوشتن و باعث شد كتاب رو دانلود كنم و بخونم.
كتاب مجموعه خاطراتى طنز آميز از كتابفروش ها با مشترى هاى عجيب و غريبشونه. بيشتر ديالوگ هايى چهار پنج خطى هستن و گاهى طولانى ترن.
اين هم چند وقت پيش براى من اتفاق افتاد، وقتى كتابو مى خوندم يادم اومد:
مشترى: كتاب ديوان سهراب سپهرى رو داريد؟
فروشنده: منظورتون هشت كتابه؟
مشترى: نه، ديوانش.
فروشنده: سهراب ديوان نداره، شعرهاش همينه.
مشترى (با حالت حق به جانب): ندارى بگو ندارم. چرا الكى حرف مى زنى؟ (با عصبانيت خارج مى شود.)
فروشنده (گيج شد
Review can also be found here @ my blog My Little Corner For Books

This book is so HILARIOUS!! It's super short, super funny, super awesome and you should go read it!! 4 hilariously awesome stars! Just a little less than 120 pages, could read in 30 minutes! Definitely recommend, in case you hadn't figured that part out when I recommended it to every one of my friends on GoodReads! :) I really, really enjoyed it!

*I was given a review copy of this book but this in no way has affected my thoughts
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
“I tell you something, you must get some odd requests, working here.”

“Is this book edible?”

A very entertaining collection. My favorite is the one with the Twilight-Wuthering Heights-Harry Potter mix. Hilarious!

Highly recommended!!
Rachel Maniacup
This book is a compilation of actual conversations between booksellers and costumers in bookshops. This book is brilliantly hilarious with funny illustrations that made this one even more entertaining.

Here are some examples:
COSTUMER: Do you sell ipod chargers?

COSTUMER: Do you have any books on
the story of Easter?
BOOKSELLER: I'm sure we do,yes
COSTUMER: Excellent! Something with
lots of chicks and rabbits
would be great,thanks!

COSTUMER(Holding up a Jamie Oliver cook
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
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
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?

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
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.
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)
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
Mar 09, 2015 FeReSHte rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to FeReSHte by: سرقت شده از قفسه کتاب های طنز شایان جان :دی
کتاب مجموعه ای بود از خاطرات کتابفروش های مختلف از مکالماتی که با مشتری های نابغه !!! تو کتابفروشیشون داشتند و خوب به دلیل بیش از حد نابغه بودن این مشتری های عزیز قراره که مثلن این کتاب در کنار واقعی بودن ،طنز هم باشه.طنزی که من رو زیاد به خنده وادار نکرد چون نمی تونستم وجود این همه نبوغ رو در بشر امروزی باور کنم...باورش سخته کسی بره تو کتابفروشی و دنباله ی خاطرات انه فرانک رو بخواد...یا دنبال کتابی با امضای شکسپیر باشه...یا درکنار کتاب بافتنی از کتابفروش کاموا و میل بافتنی هم بخواد...یا تنها نش ...more
"Do you have anything written by Jane Eyre?"

This is an actual quotation from Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops. The book is mainly a collection of genuine questions recorded by the proprietors of two independent bookshops, plus a few other extras. Some are laugh-out-loud funny, some are unbelievably cheeky or bordering on criminal. What do you think about a person who goes into a bookshop every morning out of the rain while she waits for her bus. Is that OK? Well, perhaps it is. But if she
This was a bittersweet read and I can’t see why people rate it 5 stars, except the booksellers themselves, and I’ve worked as a bookseller for some time. A few of the conversations between bookseller and customers were of patronizing nature which was annoying. Saying that you have never heard of James Joyce … is as shocking as spiting on the floor and announcing your support for slavery and racism, despite the obvious unimportance of your tastes in leisure-time activity to just about anything. L ...more
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
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
Cik Aini
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?
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
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I liked so much!! 1 2 Nov 19, 2015 03:46PM  
Goodreads Librari...: please combine these editions! 3 27 Jan 11, 2015 07:07AM  
UK Amazon Kindle ...: Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell 11 54 Jun 15, 2012 01:52PM  
  • The Library Book
  • The Customer Is Not Always Right: Hilarious and Horrific Tales of Customers Gone Wrong
  • My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read, and Shop
  • F for Effort: More of the Very Best Totally Wrong Test Answers
  • A Universal History of the Destruction of Books: From Ancient Sumer to Modern-Day Iraq
  • At Home with Books: How Booklovers Live with and Care for Their Libraries
  • Forgotten Bookmarks: A Bookseller's Collection of Odd Things Lost Between the Pages
  • I Work at a Public Library: A Collection of Crazy Stories from the Stacks
  • Buku Ajar Koas Racun
  • The Book of Lost Books: An Incomplete History of All the Great Books You'll Never Read
  • The Word Made Flesh: Literary Tattoos from Bookworms Worldwide
  • Damn You, Autocorrect!: Awesomely Embarrassing Text Messages You Didn't Mean to Send
  • My Ideal Bookshelf
  • Howards End Is on the Landing: A Year of Reading from Home
  • A Passion for Books: A Book Lover's Treasury of Stories, Essays, Humor, Love and Lists on Collecting, Reading, Borrowing, Lending, Caring for, and Appreciating Books
  • Buried in Books: A Reader's Anthology
  • Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading: Finding and Losing Myself in Books
  • The Public Library: A Photographic Essay
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 about Jen Campbell...

Other Books in the Series

Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops (2 books)
  • More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops

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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?” 106 likes
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