Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell, published April 2012 by Constable and Robinson.
Read: November 2015
Get It Now: Wordery
Goodreads Synopsis for Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops: 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?’
More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops, by Jen Campbell, published April 2013 by Constable and Robinson.
Read: November 2015
Get It Now: Wordery
Goodreads Synopsis for More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops: Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops was a Sunday Times bestseller, and could be found displayed on bookshop counters up and down the country. The response to the book from booksellers all over the world has been one of heartfelt agreement: it would appear that customers are saying bizarre things all over the place – from asking for books with photographs of Jesus in them, to hunting for the best horse owner’s manual that has a detailed chapter on unicorns. More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops has yet more tales from the antiquarian bookshop where Jen Campbell works.
I’m an avid follower of BookTube, and have been subscribed to Jen Campbell on there for quite some time now (if you don’t watch her videos, you should go and check her out, she’s fabulous). While I don’t necessarily have the same reading tastes as Jen, I really appreciate her insight into the books she reads, which is given a certain authenticity as she is also a published author and bookseller. Jen’s non-bookish videos are also well worth watching, from an impassioned Brexit spoken word poem, to a chat about a bad experience she had and needed to vent.
I was aware of Jen’s books for a while, but didn’t go out of my way to pick them up, until I spotted them both on The Book People for just £3.99. Who can possibly say no to that? From scanning the reviews on Goodreads, it’s clear that these books will strike a chord with you if you are also a bookseller. For those of us who aren’t booksellers but are simply bookish, they are still humorous, and a nice addition to your collection, but they may not resonate just as strongly with you.
Both books are pretty short, and contain illustrations peppered throughout the anecdotes, so it’s quite easy to flip through them in an hour or so. You may want to read a few per day to savour them, or just gobble them up as I did! I have to say, I wouldn’t be able to justify the RRP of £8.99 (hardback) to have these as part of my collection, as they are very short, and while entertaining, usually provoked a giggle as opposed to a belly-laugh. However, for £3.99 for both paperbacks, they make a great gift, or fun and quirky read for yourself.
“Where’s your true fiction section?”
“Customer: Do you stock Nigella Lawson under ‘Sex’ or ‘Cookery’?
Bookseller: It’s a tough call, isn’t it?”
“Did Beatrix Potter ever write a book about dinosaurs?”
Have you read either of the Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops books? Let me know in the comments!
I read Book 1, and I did giggle a lot. But at the same time, I felt that some of the comments were really mean? I don’t know if I’m just over-sensitive. I have a low tolerance for idiocy, but I don’t like making fun of people for it. Maybe I just felt a bit affronted because I’m not a bookseller myself… I don’t know.
I found book 1 was funnier than book 2, and yes, I get what you mean. Not all of us are literary buffs, even those of us who love books don’t know it all, so there was the odd one I felt was a little unfair. Then again, some of them, especially ones that involved childhood innocence, were pretty adorable. R xx
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