Customer: Do you sell inanimate objects?
Me: …Yes. We sell books.
Customer: Are those inanimate objects?
Me: Technically speaking yes, but I could get sentimental and say that books have souls and are full of living characters.
Customer: *looks very confused*
Customer: Right. But books don’t move, do they?
Customer: So they’re inanimate, right?
Me: *sigh* Yes.
Folks of Tumblr! I’ve set up a Book Club over on the ‘Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops’ Facebook page. I’ll be nominating a book once a month, and we can all chat about it together. Anyone can join in, and it’s a very casual affair. For all the info, head over here.
Hopefully see you there :) x
Customer: I need a Latin dictionary.
Bookseller: Ah, are you studying classics?
Customer: No, I’m taking a Spanish course.
Bookseller: ….Don’t you need a Spanish dictionary?
Customer *exasperated* No. Duh. They speak LATIN in LATIN America.
Customer: Have you read Jane Eyre?
Me: Yes, it’s one of my favourite books.
Customer: *pulls up a chair and sits down beside me* Great. Can you tell me all about it? I’ve got to write an essay on it by tomorrow and I haven’t read it. If you could focus on the feministy bits, that would be great. And speak slowly, so I can write it down.
Please note: when coming in asking about jobs, don’t lead with: “I don’t actually want a job in a bookshop, but if you’re desperate I could probably force myself to do it.’”
Male customer *shouting from the doorway*: Hey, love - you read books, that means you’re intelligent, yeah? So, that must mean you’ll go out with me. Because that would be a very intelligent decision for you to make.
Me: So, you’re saying that if I say no, I must be stupid?
Male customer: Yeah. Really stupid.
Me: Does this chat up line work for you very often?
Male customer: Er…
Me: I’m guessing probably not.
Male customer: ….
Me: It’s not my job to educate you on how to speak to people respectfully. But there are lots of books in here that could probably assist you. Maybe you should read them. Or get out of my shop.
(Good grief. Is it wine o’clock yet?)
Those of you who have been here a while know that my favourite book is Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll. Quite a few people on the ‘Weird Things…’ Facebook page were asking to see photos of my Alice collection. So here are some of them, below.
Through the Looking Glass - illustrated by John Tenniel. A Puffin Story Book. 1954
Which are your favourites? Do you collect different editions of certain books yourself? xx