Friday, 19 August 2011

Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops #8

I hope you are all enjoying this revamp of the summer which seems to be upon us. I plan to dance merrily around London town tomorrow. Perhaps with a mojito. & Next weekend I'm off to Edinburgh to visit the lovely people from my old bookshop, and to give Neil Gaiman a massive hug for blogging about 'Weird Things.' That will be fun, too. I'll blog about that when I get back.

So, if you missed it: I have a book deal for 'Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops' - hurray! I have now completed the manuscript - hurrah!.

Thank you, too, to all booksellers who sent in their own 'Weird Things' for the 'Top Weird Things From Other Bookshops' at the back of the book. I've picked out the ones I really like, and I'll be getting back to you all when I've had confirmation from the right people.

So, now, we're discussing illustrators, which is awesome. As for release dates, I don't have a firm date yet but I think we're looking at early 2012 for the UK/Aus/NZ edition.  My agent and I are also sorting out the pitching of the book for the States and various places in Europe. So, it's all exciting stuff! When I have more news, you'll be the first to hear about it. You can also keep up to date by 'liking' the official facebook page.

In the mean time, I thought I'd leave you with a couple more 'Weird Things.' I've left you without them for a fair while now.

Have fun!


[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


  1. These are golden, you could write a book with just these:D

  2. It has been too long! :P People who like this may also enjoy Orwell's essay "Bookshop Memories".

  3. Hi Jason, yep, I saw that The Orwell Prize on Twitter had been tweeting my 'Weird Things' and his bookshops memories in the same tweet. Definitely worth a read.

  4. Well, Jen, to the Parisians, cheese souffle is almost exactly like M&Ms.

  5. I would LOVE an illustrator for this project! Are you accepting freelancers and what is your email?

  6. I'd like a bookstore that delivers, too, especially when it's 24 below. I don't suppose you thought to quote them your bad weather delivery fee. Who knows? They might have been desperate enough to make it worth your while.

  7. What a shame that one customer only knows the Donald Duck version, and not the Alistair Sim one! ;)

    As always, these are gold. Congrats on finishing the ms!! Hoping we'll have Canadian rights to the book as well? Also curious about the M&M story.

  8. I get the "have your read all these books?" about once a month.

    These are so brilliant...and they never stop, do they?

  9. Aren't you afraid people will recognize themselves?
    But then.... They probably would never browse a book called Weird Things etc...

  10. I LOVE the one about bringing the book around in the rain. I wonder if that's a viable business model... oh wait, the internet beat me to it. Rubbish.

  11. The one about Houdini made me laugh out loud. These are brilliant as always ^__^

  12. Some of those customers sound like they need to step into real the raining one!

  13. Weird. Cheese souffl├ęs aren't exactly portable food are they? I think I don't want to try and visualize this further. I might result into some thing out of the "Dreams of the Rarebit Fiend" book.

  14. Libraries also are magnets for the magic of signed editions. I never encountered bibliochicanery as in your Houdini example, but during my years as a rare book/Humanities librarian at various academic libraries, I encountered on at least two occasions visitors wanting either valuation or curatorial action on volumes of a Joseph Conrad signed edition (not the 1925-28 edition of which Conrad had signed some copies before his death). This edition (I forget the details) had a facsimile signature in the prelims of each volume.

    One of my visitors did not bring me their own copy for an opinion, but brought our library copy down from the stacks to remonstrate that it was a dereliction of my duty to allow such a valuable and collectable signed edition to be available for general borrowing. They were dismissive of my explanation and so excited in their indignation that I sensed their complaint might go higher to the library management. So I took them up to the Conrad section in the open stacks, took down another volume of the facsimile signature edition and, moistening my forefinger passed it over the facsimile (I still have some remorse that, as a rare book librarian, I had to resort to such a vandalous demonstration, but I chose the tattiest, most heavily-borrowed volume I could see). Thankfully, that shut them up and I was silently relieved that it was a facsimile signature. In the open stacks of large libraries lurk (often unread/unborrowed) many genuinely signed editions ...


Your comment will appear after it has been approved by the site moderator. (This is to stop spam.)