Thursday, 9 June 2011

weird things customers say in bookshops #4



[Due to the forthcoming book release of 'Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops', I've removed some of the 'Weird Things...' quotes from this blog. 


You can still find some here and here, and you can find all the information on the book over here]. 


Thank you. xx

39 comments:

  1. This is the best yet!!!! GENIUS!!! Should be published, and it'll be the ideal book to send my uncle who has mild depression - I defy him not to laugh out loud. I actually fell off my chair, I was laughing so much, and am still chuckling to myself ...twenty minutes later.

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  2. Man: Hi, could you recommend a book for me?
    Me: Sure. What kind of thing are you looking for?
    Man: Well, I was let out of prison this morning, so something not too heavy would be nice.

    Just brilliant.

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  3. Totally agree with Vivs, this would make a fantastic book!

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  4. Oh dear, Natural Harvest... 0_o

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  5. I'm afraid "that sperm cookbook" really exists:

    http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/natural-harvest---a-collection-of-semen-based-recipes/5198959

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  6. I know *points to top of post*

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  7. Brightened my day, once again.

    Must try a few of these in my local bookshop to see if I get the same, considered response.

    Thanks, Jen - you are a star!

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  8. Have always found that, many times, people are very amusing, even when they don't mean to be.

    Love that the ex-convict wants to buy a book first thing after being released!

    Spent some time in a bookstore yesterday but everyone kept their mouths shut. :)

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  9. As ever, almost but not quite literally unbelievable :)))

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  10. Oh yeah, sorry, reading too fast.

    For what it's worth I always vaguely wondered if Black Books was inspired by a visit to Highgate's bookshops as it seems a cross between Ripping Yarns on a chaotic day and Fisher & Sperr when John Sperr used to refuse to let customers in unless they knew exactly what they wanted.

    (Or Bernard Stone's old shop in Lambs Conduit St also seemed pretty close at times.)

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  11. This is terrible. I'm supposed to be writing my own blog about writing and I'm hooked on these and laughing like a drain.

    Stop it! Or publish it as a book. Or something.

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  12. Just discovered your wonderful blog! Thanks for the laughs and the inspiration. Wish I'd known about "Ripping Yarns" when I visited London last fall. Will have to get there on the next trip. (Hopefully I will not provide fodder for these posts!)

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  13. Overheard at a bookshop at the Amsterdam airport: do you have that book by Tolstoyevski?

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  14. Your post is great. I owned a bookstore, and heard many similar things over the years. I had one customer who wanted to buy a shelf of books--didn't matter what as long as they had nice spines. Another customer wanted the 'new book, with the red cover'. Didn't know the author or title, but it had a nice red cover. I'm not in the business anymore :)

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  15. Absolutely hilarious.

    Good job and congrats on being featured on Huff Post.

    http://www.ManOfLaBook.com

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  16. "Will Hemingway be reading his, "The Old Man and the Shotgun" as planned next week?" Overheard in a Des Moines Book O' Rama store.

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  17. Are you absolutely sure you aren't making these up?

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  18. Great!!! It just gets funnier and funnier! (It ought to amaze me at how stupid people can be, but it never does.)

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  19. Firstly, Ripping Yarns is my favourite bookshop in the world! Growing up in Muswell Hill & developing a passion for out of print children's books, that shop was my haven for years!

    Bookshop customers are weird. I worked in Ottakars (RIP Ottakars...) for a couple of years and encountered some classics - like the guy who asked us to print off a list of all the available English dictionaries we could order in, so he could pray over it and God could tell him which one to buy. (After an hour of printing, we told him to pray over the dictionary section.)

    The worst customer story I ever heard was truly, truly gross - involving bodily functions, CCTV & a bookshop:
    http://lizclutterbuck.blogspot.com/2008/02/bookselling-reverie.html

    Doubt he'd have got away with that in Ripping Yarns!

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  20. Weird, yes, EXCEPT the one who gets out of jail and heads for a bookshop. I mean, that's kind of wonderful and crazy at the same time.

    It's not Shawshank... but it's still a great moment.

    Enjoying your blog.

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  21. As long as there are bookstores, we will have these sorts of stories.... Thanks for sharing yours!

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  22. Brilliant stuff. So glad to have found your blog.

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  23. People are amazing and I enjoyed the laugh thank you!!

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  24. Thank You for the laugh great material here! WIll follow to get my regular dose of customer created laughter.

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  25. i can attest (as can anyone who has actually ever worked in a bookstore or eavesdropped in one) that she is not making this up. it's just the brilliant ones who remember to put them down on paper. thanx for the chuckle.

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  26. Nice. I work at a bookstore, too.

    The following exchange recently occurred at work while I was sitting at the information desk:

    Man: Hi. Do you have books on pregnancy disorders?

    Me: Well our pregnancy section is right back here.

    Man: You see my wife has been having a hard time getting pregnant--

    Woman: Yeah. Something with my uterus--

    Man: Could you help us figure it out? [Goes into further detail.]

    Me: Ummm... let me stop you right there. I was an English major. Maybe you ought to consult a professional.

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  27. Hey! This post and your blog made it to Kirkus Review!! They just posted your link on FB. Yayyy!

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  28. Outstanding. :-) I find myself wondering if I know the person with the bicycle...

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  29. these are so great lol I work in a bookstore (worked in 2 now) and we never fail to get the "do you have a non-ficiton section?" me:it depends what you're looking for, everything that's not fiction is non-fiction like cooking, fishing, art...customer:"no no no, you didn't answer my question- do you have a non-fiction section?"

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  30. This is so, so funny. May I link to your "Weird Things... Bookshops" post on my blog? I absolutely must share this!

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  31. Hi Zoe, please do that would be lovely. x

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  32. It made me very curious to know which book you advised the ex convict ! I mean, what can you advise reading after time in jail ?....

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  33. I love that you recommended 'I Really Want to Eat a Child'. I read it to school children on class visits all the time!

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  34. 1984 comment reminded me of - Customer showing me a text message from her son with books he needed for school.

    Text read "of mice and men - 1984 "

    Customer says "Am not sure why he want's such an old edition, but I'm sure a more recent one will do"

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