Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops

book and bookselling related stuff.
i've written some books about this sort of thing.
new book: the bookshop book is out autumn 2014
more about that at

Overheard in the bookshop…

Customer: I’ve always wondered why God was called Harold.
Customer’s friend: Was he? I thought he was just called God.
Customer: No. In the Lord’s prayer, he’s called Harold.
Customer’s friend: …I don’t think that’s right.
Customer: Yes it is; it goes: “Dear Heavenly father, who art in Heaven. Harold be thy name.”
Customer’s friend: …Isn’t it ‘hallowed be thy name’?
Customer: I’m pretty sure it’s Harold.
Customer’s friend: Oh.
Customer: Let’s ask the bookseller, she’ll know.
(I’m quietly dying of laughter behind the desk)

Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops

Customer: I don’t think you should have such a large crime section. 
Me: No?
Customer: No. You’ll give people ideas. 
Me: …
Customer: Make your religion section bigger. That’ll even everything out.

Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops

“The Bookshop has a thousand books,
All colours, hues, and tinges,
And every cover is a door
That turns on magic hinges.”
— Nancy Byrd Turner

The release date for The Bookshop Book has been brought forward a week, to the 2nd October  That means there’s only six weeks to go! Eek! xx 

The Bookshop Book - Jen Campbell


Every bookshop has a story.

We’re not talking about rooms that are just full of books. We’re talking about bookshops in barns, disused factories, converted churches and underground car parks. Bookshops on boats, on buses, and in old run-down train stations. Fold-out bookshops, undercover bookshops, this-is-the-best-place-I’ve-ever-been-to-bookshops.

Meet Sarah and her Book Barge sailing across the sea to France; meet Sebastien, in Mongolia, who sells books to herders of the Altai mountains; meet the bookshop in Canada that’s invented the world’s first antiquarian book vending machine. 
And that’s just the beginning. 

From the oldest bookshop in the world, to the smallest you could imagine, The Bookshop Book examines the history of books, talks to authors about their favourite places, and looks at over three hundred weirdly wonderful bookshops across six continents (sadly, we’ve yet to build a bookshop down in the South Pole).

The Bookshop Book is a love letter to bookshops all around the world.

authors involved in the book include Brian Aldiss, David Almond, Tracy Chevalier, Audrey Niffenegger, Ian Rankin, Jacqueline Wilson and many, many more. 

“What an astonishing thing a book is. It’s a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.”

- Carl Sagan, Cosmos