Author: Jen Campbell
Pages: 128 Pages
‘Can books conduct electricity?’ ‘My children are just climbing your bookshelves: that’s ok… isn’t it?’ A John Cleese Twitter question [‘What is your pet peeve?’], first sparked the “Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops” blog, which grew over three years into one bookseller’s collection of ridiculous conversations on the shop floor. From ‘Did Beatrix Potter ever write a book about dinosaurs?’ to the hunt for a paperback which could forecast the next year’s weather; and from ‘I’ve forgotten my glasses, please read me the first chapter’ to’Excuse me… is this book edible?’ This full-length collection illustrated by the Brothers McLeod also includes top ‘Weird Things’ from bookshops around the world.
I have to admit this; I have been one of those weird customers asking weird questions. Well not really weird. My question was at least book related. I was one of those typical “I want a book; it has a white cover and little speckles of ticker tape one it. I don’t know who it is by or what it is called but it looks good. Do you have it?”*
I think we have all been that person at some point.
In Jen Campbell’s wonderful Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops we get to read about all sorts of odd and random questions. It really is remarkably funny. Within a matter of pages I was chuckling away to myself, eliciting funny looks from family members as I tried to be social (for me that is sitting in a room reading rather than sitting upstairs alone reading).
This is a light read that is actually a rather genius concept. Anyone who has ever worked in retail has stories like this. I once worked in a call centre and the things that the customers used to ask my friends and me were hilarious. Bravo to Jen Campbell for actually collating all of these and releasing the quirky little anecdotes. I, for one, absolutely loved this collection and will be buying the sequel More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops.
* It was A Million Little Pieces by James Frey. No one knew what the book was but I happened to come across it in a second hand furniture shop sitting by itself on a bookshelf. I believe it was fate.
Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell is available now.
Follow Jen Campbell (@aeroplanegirl) on Twitter.