Reviews

Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops – Jen Campbell

★★★☆☆

This book’s title is self-explanatory, as it is literally a compilation of exchanges occurring between booksellers and customers – most of them having occurred in Jen’s own shop, but quite a few of the exchanges were submitted by readers of her blog, which was an interesting addition as I had actually visited a couple of these stores and it added a neat familiarity. Some of the conversations are endearing, some of them are very odd, and most of them will simply make you roll your eyes and wonder how people can be this damn stupid.

I gave this book 3 stars not because it wasn’t funny – it was, and it made me snort a few times – but because it wasn’t spectacular. I’m glad that I checked it out from the library, because I don’t feel like it would have been worth actually purchasing, as most of these exchanges just struck me as variations on any other retail horror story. I think I read it in half an hour or less, and I definitely wouldn’t ever reach for it again. That said, if you can check it out from your local library or borrow it from a friend, go ahead and give it a read on a boring afternoon when you need a chuckle. Just don’t expect too much from it.

5 thoughts on “Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops – Jen Campbell

  1. Ahh, I must admit I’ve been hesitant to start this one because it sounded like it could have been absolutely charming, or a little bit lame. It sounds as though it’s not all that bookshop specific which is what I was hoping for sadly. Wonderful review, sorry you couldn’t have enjoyed it a little more.

    Kelly @ Diva Booknerd

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  2. I worked in a college bookstore, which is slightly different, but it was weird enough for me. And in spite of the fact that books are listed under your class, so all you have to do to find the right schedule is bring your class schedule with the course codes…people would still come in and ask the old, “So I need a book. It’s kind of big and blue. Can you find it for me?” It was pretty crazy. You’ve also never seen angry people until you need to ring someone up for $500 worth of textbooks. A customer once threw one at my coworker’s head, though I was not working that day.

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    1. Hm, I typed that wrong and now it’s a bit confusing. I mean that to find the book BOOK all you need is your class schedule. Not the title, the ISBN, the color of the cover, or the picture on the cover. Just the class, which should be easy. (And is in fact necessary because we sold different books that had basically the same cover! So “the book with the pink butterfly on front” might not even help because there are TWO of them.)

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      1. That sounds super frustrating! I used to take on campus classes and I always felt sorry for the people working in my campus bookstore. It’s not like they set the prices!

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