Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Children Say The Best Things in Bookshops

It's true.

Whilst customers say odd things sometimes, children say the best things: sometimes heart-warming, sometimes hilariously bizarre, because their imaginations are rather excellent.

Here are some of the things that have been said to me by children in our bookshop.*
*Prepare for the warm fuzzies.


Little boy: When I grow up, I'm going to be a book ninja!
Me: What's a book ninja?
Little boy: I can't tell you. It's a secret. 


Little girl (whispers): They gave us Kindles to use at school, but I prefer books. 
Me: What do you love about books?
Little girl (thinking hard): I like how quiet they are. 
Me: Yeah?
Little girl: Yeah. Stories should be quiet, and whisper to you inside your head.


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


Little girl: I've written a book. 
Me: Have you? What's it about?
Little girl: I don't know. It's in my head. I haven't read it yet.


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


Little girl: I like books because they're like the stories in my head ... but better... and with more dragons. 


(At the bookshop, a young boy came up to the counter, beckoned to me, and whispered):
Young boy: Just so you know, there's a vampire hiding behind one of your bookcases.
Me: Oh, is there?
Young Boy: Yes. I heard it. I've read about them, and I know what they sound like.
Me: I see. Thank you for letting me know.
Young Boy: You're welcome. (Pause.) Also, try not to anger it. They can be very aggressive.


(A young girl is looking at some pony books)
Me: Do you like horses?
Young girl: Yes. When I grow up I’m going to have a pony.
Me: That sounds like fun.
Young girl: Yes. And it will be better than all the other ponies.
Me: How come?
Young girl: Because mine will have a purple tail. And roller-skates. 


Young boy: You should put a basement in your bookshop. 
Me: 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.
Me: 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.
Me: ...You know, I think you're on to something there. 


Little girl: I like bookshops. They are houses for stories.

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Some of the above are extracts from my books, 'Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops' and 'More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops.'


  1. This is so brilliant! I laughed a lot while reading this. So adorable thanks for sharing. :)

  2. Jen, why don't you make a book with the "Best Things Children Say in Bookstores"? That would be really cool!
    I loved the first "Weird things..." and some time soon I'll buy the second, I promise. I just love your blog!

  3. Thanks for warming my heart.

  4. This just totally made my day and the first book is now in my shopping cart on Amazon.

    Never mess with the imagination of children!

  5. Houses for stories! My favorite.

  6. This is wonderful. Thank you for sharing it. Much needed smiles :-)

  7. These kids are amazingly imaginative! I'm actually kind of jealous. These made me laugh, and your books sound fantastic also. Thanks so much for posting! :)

  8. These are brilliant - I shared the top one on my Library's tumblr: http://arlingtonvalib.tumblr.com/post/81532065776/little-boy-when-i-grow-up-im-going-to-be-a-book

  9. I tried to pick a favourite but it's too hard!

  10. This article can help .... I can read them with new knowledge ... thank you so much for what was given to me

  11. Wow! This post made me so happy :) You are so lucky to work (/have worked, haven't looked at your about page yet) in a book shop, I would absolutely love to. I'm totally keen to get one of your books now, this was so funny, and sweet at the same time :)

  12. Ahhhhhh....Happy happy sighs & some happy memories of bookselling days too.
    My favourite, I think, was the customer who phoned Hatchards and said "I'm looking for a book. Do you have one" :)

  13. Too too cute. Ponies on roller-skates for all!

  14. Too, too cute. Ponies on roller-skates for all!

  15. Before I get my dragon I'm going to check he's passed that test.

  16. Oh, this is so absolutely lovely. Children have so brilliant things going on in their minds.