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review 2020-12-03 07:00
Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops
Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops - Shaun Bythell

Having read his first two books, I was surprised when this arrived at how small it was.  But good things / small packages and all that.  It may be a small, slim volume, but it's spot on and hilarious.  I've never owned a bookshop (yet) but I recognise these people from time spent in bookshops - and a library or two - everywhere.  I found myself reading most of it aloud to my husband, and we took turns naming those we know who fit Bythell's descriptions a little too well, inside or outside a bookshop.  


MT self-identified with type 3 of the Homo qui desidet or Loiterer, sub-type The Bored Spouse (though in his defense, he just buys his books way too fast).  I was relived not to have identified with the American sub-type of Family Historian, since I leave all that stuff to my mom, who is a first generation American, so comes by it honestly, at least.  I'd like to think I fall firmly in the bonus category of Cliens Perfectus as I generally enter a bookshop, talk to nobody, browse everything, and almost never leave without a stack, and the idea of haggling is one I find personally abhorrent, but then, doesn't everyone think they're the Perfect Customer?


All in all, a fun way to spend a few hours as long as you have a healthy sense of humor about humanity.

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review 2020-02-26 01:38
Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops - Jen Campbell
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

I actually came across this book in a librarian group on Facebook (I am working toward my master's in library sciences) and thought it looked interesting.

A fun, quick read that is filled with oddity, hilarity, and bookish humor. It was a fun experience to get a glimpse of what it can be like to work in a bookstore. As a book-lover, it is easy to romanticize working in a bookstore, surrounded by books and reading all day, but in reality you have to deal with people, and anything that requires that is going to have some times that are frustrating, confusing, and just plain weird.

I liked that Campbell opens this collection by saying that sharing her experiences is not meant "to mock or antagonize our customers". There are definitely some rude customers, strange encounters, and people who maybe should have done a Google search (or paid attention in history class) before asking their question. Because they are taken out of context, some of the entries can feel a little mean-spirited, making fun of customers who may have spoken without thinking. But overall, the tone is lighthearted, sharing some of the silly moments in her experience as well as those of other book-sellers in the US and Canada.

The illustrations add another great layer of humor and pair well with the entries.

A very fun book to read. I'm hoping to get a hold of a copy of the followup book, More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops (sadly, my library does not appear to carry it). 
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review 2019-01-11 07:16
Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell
More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops - Jen Campbell
Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops - Jen Campbell

Short, cute and entertaining, though it did make me wonder about people...

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review 2019-01-10 03:16
Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops
Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops - Jen Campbell

I was looking for something to read last night after finishing Notes from a Public Typewriter and found this in my stacks.  I have no recollection of buying it.  In fact, not only was I prepared to swear I didn't have it, I actually did say, not 48 hours ago, that I didn't have a copy.  Excellent organisation skills I have, no?


Anyhoo... this was just the thing after reading Notes from a Public Typewriter - it was a similar subject, but much lighter, funnier and absolutely not philosophical.  I wavered between 3.5 and 4 stars because I'd have liked the collection to be a little longer.


A few of the many examples that 

... made me chuckle:


Customer: Do you have Agatha Christie's Death in Denial?



... made me laugh out loud:


Customer: Oh look, they've got a section on dictionaries.  Perhaps we should get your brother one for school, for Spanish, what do you think?


Her daughter: Can we get one for when we go to Scotland for our holidays?


Customer: They talk English in Scotland, too, sweetie.



... made me rage:


Customer:  I'm just going to nip to the supermarket to do the weekly shop.  I'm going to leave my sons here, is that ok?  They're 3 and 5.  They're no bother.




Customer (holding up a copy of a Harry Potter book): This doesn't have anything ... weird in it does it?

Bookseller: You mean, like, werewolves?

Customer: No, (whispers) - gays.

Bookseller: ...right.


A quick, easy and enjoyable read.

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review 2019-01-08 23:38
Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops
Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops - Jen Campbell

As much as I may like books, the (very romantcised) idea of working in a bookshop has never appealed to me, ... because the thought (based on my memory) of having to deal with the general public is enough to cure any illusion one may have about being surrounded by books and readers all day.


And what further proof that the general public is nuts does one need other than Jen Campbell's slim volume of reported exchanges between customers and booksellers? 


Not all of the exchanges made me laugh out loud, but there are some crackers in there.


Two of my favourites, and I'm sure everyone will have their own:


Customer: Do you have a book with a list of careers? I want to give my daughter some inspiration.

Bookseller: Ah, is she applying to university?

Customer: Oh no, not yet. She's just over there. Sweetheart? (a four year old girl comes over)

Customer: There you are. Now, you talk to the nice lady, and I'm going to find you a book on how to become a doctor or a scientist. What do you think about that? (The girl says nothing.)

Customer (to Bookseller): Won't be a sec.

Bookseller: So, what's your name?

Child: Sarah.

Bookseller: Sarah. That's a beautiful name.

Child: Thank you.

Bookseller: So, Sarah, what do you want to be when you grow up?

Child: ... A bumblebee.

Bookseller: Excellent!


Customer: Do you stock Nigella Lawson under 'Sex' or 'Cookery'?

Bookseller: It's a tough call, isn't it?

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