Friday, April 19, 2013

Weird things costumers say in bookshops

People do say weird things anywhere. And you probably wouldn't believe what kind of things they can say bookshops, unless you work there. Writer and bookseller Jen Campbell collected some of them (her own experience or other fellow booksellers) in two books called "Weird things costumers say in bookshops" and "More weird things costumers say in bookshops". Here is a little sample:  

Customer: "Hello! I’m searching for a book. I’m not sure of the publisher but it’s really great and I just have to read it again."
Bookseller: "Sure. What was the title of the book?"
Customer: "Well, the thing is, I don’t really remember."
Bookseller: "OK, then how about the author?"
Customer: "I don’t know his name."
Bookseller: "Right."
Customer: "But he was definitely European…"
Bookseller: "OK."
Customer: "It was non-fiction. Some kind of study. Probably."
Bookseller: "Right."
Customer (looking expectantly at the bookseller): "Come on, you must know the book I mean!"
Customer: "Urgh. Shakespeare. He’s everywhere, isn’t he? You can’t escape him. I wish he’d do us all a favour and just die."

Customer: "I’d like to return this Where’s Wally? book please."
Bookseller: "Why?"
Customer: "Because I’ve found him."

Customer: "I need a really awful book to give someone I hate. Any recommendations?"

Customer (buying a copy of Gulliver’s Travels): "I’m thinking of going travelling, so I thought I’d give this a read to give me ideas of places to go. He seems to have gone to some really crazy parts of the world!"

Girl (pointing to a cupboard under one of the bookshelves): "Can you get to Narnia through there?"
Bookseller: "Unfortunately, I don’t think you can."
Girl: "Oh. Our wardrobe at home doesn’t work for getting to Narnia, either."
Bookseller: "No?"
Girl: "No. Dad says it’s because mum bought it at IKEA."

Customer (holding up an art book): "Wow, Picasso must have gone out with some really ugly women."

Customer: "Pride and Prejudice was published a long time ago, right?"
Bookseller: "Yep."
Customer: "I thought so. Colin Firth’s looking really good for his age, then."

Customer (to her friend): "I only like books that I can really believe happened, you know? Like Twilight."

Costumer: "Where is your e-books section?"

Customer: "In which section would I find a book on the workings of the internal combustion engine — suitable for a three-year-old?"

Customer: "Do you have audiobooks on sign language?"

Child: "Mummy, who was Hitler?"
Mother: "Hitler?"
Child: "Yeah. Who was he?"
Mother: "Erm, he was a very bad man from a long time ago."
Child: "Oh. How bad?"
Mother: "He was like... he was like Voldemort."
Child: "Oh! That’s really, really bad."
Mother: "Yes."
Child: (Pause) "So... did Harry Potter kill Hitler, too?" 

Customer: "I don’t like biographies. The main character pretty much always dies in the end."

Woman (holding a copy of a WeightWatchers book in one hand and The Hunger Games — a science fiction novel — in the other): "Which of these dieting books would you recommend?" 

Customer: "If I had a book store, I’d make the mystery section really hard to find."

Customer (to her friend): "What about this book (holds up a copy of The Hobbit)?"
Friend: "No. I don’t want to read that. It’ll spoil the film."

Customer: "I’d like to buy a book for my wife."
Bookseller: "Sure, what sort?"
Customer: "I don’t know. Something … pink? Women like pink stuff, right?"

Customer: "Do you have any books signed by authors who are likely to die very soon? I’d like to make an investment."

Customer: "Where’s your true fiction section?"

Customer: "I’m looking for that book, Romeo And Juliet. It’s about a fight between the DiCaprios and another gang."

Customer (holding a signed copy of a Jacqueline Wilson book): "I want to buy this book — but not this copy because someone’s written in it."
Bookseller: "That’s the author’s signature!"
Customer: "I don’t care who’s written in it. I just want a clean copy!"

Customer: "Hi, I’m looking for a Bible for my mother but I’m not quite sure who the author is."

Customer: "Did they make a film edition of the Bible when The Passion Of The Christ came out? You know, the text of the Bible but with Mel Gibson on the front cover?"

Customer: "Will you be getting Tolkien in for a signing soon?" 

Boy: "When I grow up, I'm going to be a book ninja."
Bookseller: "Cool! What do book ninjas do?"
Boy: "I can't tell you. It's top secret."

Customer: "Where in the book does it tell you how many pages there are?"

Customer: "I’m looking for a book about the Holocaust. But I don’t want it to be a sad book."

Young boy: "You should put a basement in your bookshop."
Bookseller: "You think so?"
Young boy: "Yeah. And then you could keep a dragon in it, and he could look after all the books for you when you're not here."
Bookseller: "That's a pretty cool idea. Dragons breathe fire, though. Do you think he might accidentally burn the books?"
Young boy: "He might, but you could get one who'd passed a test in bookshop-guarding. Then you'd be ok." 

Customer (holding up a book): "What’s this? The Secret Garden? Well, it’s not so secret now, is it, since they bloody well wrote a book about it!"

Bonus: Weird things costumers say at book signings (Jen Campbell):

Woman: "Can you tell me where the children's section is?"
Jen Campbell: "I'm afraid I don't work here - I'm just here signing books today."
Woman: "Well... what use is that?!"

Man: "You should follow my wife around; she say stupid things all the time."
Jen Campbell: "Really?"
Man: Yeah. "Not necessarily in bookshops, just in life."
Jen Campbell: "Oh."
Man: "Yeah. Like, she thinks I poisoned our cat. But I didn't."

Man: (picks up a copy of 'Weird Things...' and reads the front out loud): "Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops, by Jen Campbell."
Jen Campbell: "Yep."
Man: "You wrote this?"
Jen Campbell: "I did."
Man: Cool. "What's your name?"
Jen Campbell: "...Jen Campbell."
Man: "And what's the book about? Is it a thriller or something?"

Woman: (walks up to me, holding up a copy of 50 Shades of Grey): "Will you sign this for me?"
Jen Campbell: "... I didn't write that book."
Woman: "But the sign says that you're signing books today."
Jen Campbell: "Yes... I'm signing the book that I wrote" (indicates book)
Woman: "Just that one?"
Jen Campbell: "...Yes."
Woman: "Not this one?"
Jen Campbell:"...No."
Woman: "Oh, that's odd." (wanders off)

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