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Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops

(Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops #1)

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3.79  ·  Rating details ·  22,534 ratings  ·  4,623 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 collec
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Hardcover, 119 pages
Published April 5th 2012 by Constable and Robinson
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 ·  22,534 ratings  ·  4,623 reviews


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Petra-masx
Jun 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Updates 16 A nightmare about to happen. A woman from a Disney cruise ship came in and said she was trying to promote local businesses. She was going to do a treasure hunt and wanted to tell people they would have to find the first word on a certain page in a book and write it in their "passports" she would give them a big clue as to the title. (Pirates of the Caribbean, of course). Then when they had completed all their clues, the first ones back would get prizes and all would get a free Caribbe ...more
karen
May 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Dita
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Dita by: Rachel
“Do you have the children’s book I’ve heard about? It’s supposed to be very good. It’s called, “Lionel Richie and the Wardrobe”.

I laughed out loud so many times reading this book.

Some of the questions these bookshop employees were asked were so shocking it made me wonder, not for the first time, how some people manage.

Or as my husband often says to me (out of earshot) of our know-it-all son who is often found loudly proclaiming misinformation, “How does he not fall over more?”
Sean Barrs
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: book nerds
It’s amazing how little non-readers know about the world of fiction. And it’s amazing how so many people can go their entire lives only having read the books they studied in mandatory education. I just don’t get it. The things these people miss out on.

Some of these people wondered into the bookshops Jen Cambell worked at and asked some rather stupid things.

Some of my personal favourites are:

"Where's your true fiction section?" (Isn't that an oxymoron?)

"Do you have anything written by Jan
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LilyCReads
3rd one finished.. I wanna read all the tiny books today so i don't have to worry about the reading challenges, and just focus on the 2 bigger books :)
Ariel
Jul 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

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.
Nat
Aug 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This particular book has been on my radar for awhile now, so I was extremely glad to finally having read it.

Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores is a celebration of bookstores, large and small, and of the brilliant booksellers who toil in those literary fields, as well as the myriad of colorful characters that walk through the doors everyday.

My favorite quotes (and illustrations) taken from the book:

description
“CUSTOMER (to her friend): What’s this literary criticism section? Is it for books that c
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MischaS_
May 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: e-book, funny, english, pb
This was really cool, fast and fun to read. It makes you laugh and smile all the time. And sometimes, it makes you feel a bit sad. When some people were surprised that they have to pay for the book they or their children damaged I was so angry! Guys, wake up! Just because books means nothing to you, doesn't mean that books are nothing!

Every time Twilight was mentioned I felt a bit strange. I'm starting to think, that that book changed a lot of people.

A story that I've witnessed just recently:

A
...more
Florencia
Nov 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
From Faulkner to this. I read everything. Well, almost everything. But lately, I've been enjoying these hilarious little gems. I fell in love with Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops only by looking at the cover (I just confessed I judged a book by its cover, again). I mean, Do you have any books by Jane Eyre? I knew this one was going to be a funny read.

I love humor. It is an essential part of life that helps you bond with people (or avoid people), recover from difficult times, see lif
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Nataliya
Nov 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
“CUSTOMER: Have you read every single book in here?
BOOKSELLER: No, I can’t say I have.
CUSTOMER: Well, you’re not very good at your job, are you?”

Books are awesome. As I’m prone to do, I’ll quote Sir Terry Pratchett here: “A good bookshop is just a genteel Black Hole that knows how to read.” I spent my childhood browsing every bookstore in the small town where I grew up and making weekly trips to the library.

We book readers and bookshop and library patrons are clearly a superior subspecies o
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Suzanne
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was so funny! I want to come across some doozies like these when I'm working in my Uni Library! Just to see if I can keep a straight face, or if I can have an appropriate comeback. There are more books in the series and this is a good thing if I can come across things like these:

Cust: Do you have a book of mother-in-law jokes? I want to give it to my mother-in-law as a joke. But you know, not really a joke at all.

Cust: Do you have a copy of 'Atonement'? But not the film cover, please. Ke
...more
Lori
Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Cute, usually funny, sometimes not. It will give you some laughs and smiles, some groans and side-eye.
Some of my faves:

Customer: "If I had a bookstore I'd make the mystery section really hard to find."

Customer: "Do you stock Nigella Lawson under 'sex' or 'cooking?'"
Bookseller: "It's a tough call, isn't it?"

Customer: "Do you have Harry Potter, book seven, part two?"
Bookseller: "Book seven is just one volume."
Customer: "But the movie has two parts, so there must be a second book. They don't just
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Aj the Ravenous Reader
Nov 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
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 readi
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PorshaJo
Cute book. A bunch of weird, but mostly dumb things people say in bookstores. Obviously some of the dumber things were said by non-readers. Example: Customer: Do you have any books by Jane Eyre?

I think this one would work better as a book you pick up here and there and read a page or two. Reading it all at once, it seemed to loose something along the way. I have another book like this, but about travelling, and I pick it up here and there for a laugh.
Carol
Nov 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
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
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Bionic Jean
May 27, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Bionic Jean by: Pink
"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
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Carol
People really do say the craziest things in bookstores as you will see after reading this fun-filled work of humor.

A few of my favorites:

"Where is the true fiction section?"

"Do you have any books by Jane Eyre?"

Do you have Fiddler on a Hot Tin Roof?"

"Would you mind if I photocopied this recipe?"

Overall, a good little side-read with some cute illustrations, but expected a bit more bang for my buck(s)!

Majenta
Jun 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Too short!!!! Funny illustrations. 4 1/2 stars.
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
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Kat
Oct 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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'
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Warda
Dec 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
THIS WAS SO FUNNY!!!

It’s a good thing customer service exists because the amount of stupid people came out with was bizarre. And there’s no way you could’ve pointed out their stupidity in a polite manner.
How have the booksellers survived? It’s like the customers were asking you to get angry.

You know that saying, that there’s no such thing as a stupid question? Well, we’ve been lied to! This book proves it.

Humans are amazing. I adored this so much! I know it’ll be something I’ll flick through
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Manny
Jan 13, 2013 rated it it was ok
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.
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
...more
Amalia Gavea
Jul 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
An excellent, outrageously little treasure of a book. It makes you feel justified to have lost every scrap of faith in humanity...
Diana • Book of Secrets
Apr 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Customer: If I came to work here, would I get a discount at the liquor store next door?" (Ah, sure.)
***
Customer: Do you have any books by Jane Eyre?" (If only!)
***
I had a very brief career as a bookseller just after college, so reading this book was a fun reminder of some of the weird things customers say. :-) A funny, quick read. (Borrowed from the library, though I should have bought it from a bookstore!)
Exina
Jan 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor-funny
“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!!
...more
Mark
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
Toby
May 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: funny, non-fiction
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?
Bookseller:...

Customer: Do you sell mobile phone top up cards?
Bookseller: No, we're a bookshop, we only sell books
Customer: Not
...more
Freckles
Apr 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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: Yes.
BOOKSELLER: So, no.

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
Grace
Jun 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It's so good finding out I'm not alone in dealing with weird customers.
I used to work at a stationery store and had a couple of weird customers but not too many.
I also worked at a shoe store that had it's fair share of strange customers but for some reason, the customers that come into a bookstore are on another level. A lot are downright rude, many I don't understand how they function and some I assume have to be pulling my leg, they are that ridiculous.

Here's some of the weird customers I expe
...more
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​Jen Campbell is a bestselling author and award-winning poet. Her short story collection The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night is published by Two Roads, her children's picture books, Franklin's Flying Bookshop, Franklin and Luna go to the Moon, and Franklin and Luna and the Book of Fairy Tales are published by Thames & Hudson. Her poetry collection The Girl Aquarium is published b ...more

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Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops (2 books)
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Articles featuring this book

Perhaps we're biased, but we believe books are the perfect gift for any occasion. And it doesn't have to be stressful...
82 likes · 23 comments
“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.
CUSTOMER: Really?
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.”
203 likes
“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?” 168 likes
More quotes…