Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops - at Christmas

Well, it is nearly Christmas....

Customer: I'd like a book for a friend, about saving the world from alien invasion. I'd like the main character to be a little like Freddie Mercury and a little like Arnold Schwarzenegger.


Customer: Do you still have that thing that was in your window? It was pink and fluffy.
Me: A book?  
Customer: No, it was a dog toy, I think - with a lead.
Me: Yeah, I think that was probably in the vet and pet store's window, two doors down. 


Customer: Do you have 'Windows 7 for Dummies'?
Me: Sorry, we're an antiquarian bookshop; nearly everything in here pre-dates computers.
Customer: Oh. Do you have user guide for antiquarian computers? You know from, like, the olden days, when they had swords and stuff?  
Me: ...?


Customer: Excuse me. Do you sell snow?
Me *thinking I've misheard*: Sorry. Snow?
Customer: Yes. SNOW.
Me: .... no. No we don't.


Customer: Do you have, like, a Christmas book about that, like, really famous baby?


a customer reading a book about the nativity.
Customer *to her friend*: Don't you ever get the feeling that Baby Jesus is somehow related to Herod? I always think that he's going to go: 'JESUS. I AM YOUR FATHER.'


Customer: Do you have a vending machine in here?


Customer: Do you think you could post this book to America for me, in time for Christmas?
Me: Yes. I'm sure we could. I'll just get the scales and I can work out postage costs for you.
Customer: You expect me to pay for the postage as well? I'm already paying for the book!
Me: ...


the real Mr Scrooge...
Customer: I'd like a Christmas book, about Christmas, that doesn't have anything to do with snow, or robins, or snowmen, or Jesus, or holly.
Me: ... right.
Customer: And no bloody carols, either!


Customer: Do you have any cards?
Me: We have some old postcards in a box by the door. Some of them have already been written on, though.
Customer: Oh, do you have one that says 'To Juliette, with love from Christine'? It would save me writing it out again, you see.


Child *to me*: Does Santa come to your bookshop to get gifts for kids?
Me *nodding wisely*: Yes. Yes. He absolutely does.
Child: That's awesome!
Me: Yes, it is.
Child: But...
Me: But what?
Child: But... Santa's really fat. I don't think he could squeeze through the gaps in the bookshelves.
Me: It's ok. He sends us a list before hand, and we leave the books by the door.
Child: That makes you Santa's elf!
Me: Yes... yes, I suppose it does.

Merry Christmas, folks. x

Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops [UK] / Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores [US/Canada]


  1. That last one was adorable! :D

  2. LOL
    Like the on about Herod - I think that customer is a writer hung up on plot twists. I can see just where she is coming from :(

  3. Ohhh, I love it! People do seem to become a special kind of stupid over Christmas.

    My favourite one this week:

    Customer (looking at Penguin Classic mugs): Oh! I've got one of those mugs! Mine says 'A Room of One's Own'. Isn't that funny?
    Me: Ummm... yeah. Have you read the Virginia Woolf essay then? I haven't yet, but I read an article by a woman who said she gives a copy to every girl in her family when they go off to university.
    Customer: Oh, I don't know anything about a Virginia. I just liked it because it was a funny play on words on that classic, y'know, 'A Room With a View'! Only this is dead posh... *adopts terrible posh accent*... A Roooom of One's Owwwwn!
    Me: *facepalm*

  4. I'd like to know what you recommended to the alien invasion person. The one wanting pre-technology computer guides might possibly have been able to use something about abacus or slide rules.

  5. Love it Jen,
    You've just made my day - thanks. :)

  6. "Jesus. I am your father." LOL

    Some of these quotes you get are so insane they are quite difficult to believe!

  7. I think you should pay them royalties - after all, you couldn't make these up!

  8. Love the last one - and had to read the Jesus/Herod one to my Honey :-)

  9. I laugh out loud every time I read these. :D It's like people lose their minds every time they step into a store.

  10. Hilarious! You couldn't make it up. Love the last one :)

  11. Oh my god. These are hilarious. The Herod one made me PAH! They leave me totally unable to think of any that I might have heard so far. I think we may be relatively free from that so far this Christmas! Either that or I just dismiss them as normal.

  12. In response to the antiquarian computers...maybe they live in a steampunk world? lol That sort of thing could show up there!

  13. Hi Jen, 'Wild Abandon' just arrived! I didn't even realise I'd won a copy, so THANK YOU! 'Submarine' is currently perched atop my imminently-TBR pile so I'm hoping for marvellous things from both. :)

  14. I do wonder sometimes, about the human race, indeed I do!

  15. Your customer wanting an Xmas book without snow, holly, jesus, robins or snowmen needs an Australian book on Xmas. Something like Six White Boomers. Although the Boomers (kangaroos) are snow white...

  16. Hey Jen! Maybe the customer asking if you sell snow, was asking about the book Snow, by Orhan Pamuk. I'm really hoping that was it and that somebody isn't stupid enough to walk into a bookstore to try to buy actual snow.