Book Reviews · Humor · Non-fiction

Weird Things Customers Say In Bookstores

When I have the opportunity to talk to other readers, I’m always interested to know the kinds of books they prefer reading. I’ve met a lot of people over the years who have very definite preferences when it comes to the books they read. Some people prefer to read books in specific genres, while others will read just about anything they can get their hands on. Some people enjoy fiction, while others will only read nonfiction. Whether you prefer fiction or nonfiction, if you enjoy funny books, I think I’ve found one that you are going to love.

Weird Things Customers Say In Bookstores, by Jen Campbell, is a hilarious collection of statements and conversations that have occurred in bookstores in the United Kingdom, as well as the United States and Canada. I found out about the book thanks to several Goodreads members who were considering reading it as part of next year’s POPSUGAR Reading Challenge. As soon as I saw the title, I knew I had to read it. I also knew there was no way I was waiting until January.

The book is a very fast read, and includes many fun examples of customers asking for books using incorrect titles, like “Campbell’s Soup for the Soul” and “Tequila Mockingbird” (Campbell 35), as well as a considerable number of customer/bookseller exchanges that had me laughing out loud.

One of my favorite sections was “Customers Behaving Badly,” which featured people who clearly did not know how to behave in a bookstore, like the would-be shoplifter who put back the book they were going to steal after asking if the bookstore had security cameras. This section also included a conversation where a customer chose to read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets as their first introduction to Harry Potter because they stubbornly persisted in the belief that the first book of a series wasn’t worth their time…only to attempt to return the book a week later because they were confused by the plot.

While the book specifically focuses on bookstores, anyone who has ever had a retail job will find the book appealing. There were several times when I thought, “Yep, I’ve dealt with that customer before.”

If you’re currently working in retail, a fan of nonfiction, or just in need of a good laugh, I highly recommend checking out Weird Things Customers Say In Bookstores. For those of you who are planning to participate in the 2020 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge, the book could fulfill a couple of prompts, including: “a book on a subject you know nothing about,” “a book that has a book on the cover,” “a book you picked because the title caught your attention,” and “a book with more than 20 letters in its title.”

Are you a fan of nonfiction, or do you prefer to read fiction? You can vote for your favorite on Twitter @UnapologBkworm. The poll will be open for voting for the next six days.

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