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review 2017-11-08 01:37
What it says on the tin.
More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops - Jen Campbell

If you've ever sold books, worked in a customer service-type position relating to books at like the library, etc. then this book will probably be quite familiar to you. A sequel tells us more of strange and odd things people say to booksellers ranging from not knowing what book titles are ('Pride and Produce') to strange customer service type questions such as asking if "Kennedy" was in the Scrabble dictionary. And so forth.

 

That's basically it. If you've read the first book then you'll be familiar with the format and style and type of anecdotes and quotes you'll find here. Even if you've only worked in front-facing retail type positions that has absolutely nothing to do with books, reading, publishing, etc. you'll still probably feel twinges of sympathy in what these poor booksellers had to hear and respond to. 

 

Not much else to say. I prefer the social media accounts but I wanted to support the author for bringing this to us. As a former employee at a bookstore, I recognized myself and my co-workers in these pages. That said, unless you enjoy books, reading, etc. this may not be for you. I bought it from a UK bookseller because it's not available in the US (at the time I bought it and maybe it still isn't) but not everyone will want to go through the trouble and the wait.

 

I liked it but I'm not sure I'd buy any more of these and might just stick with the social media instead.

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text 2016-12-08 06:55
Book Haul - and something to share with BrokenTune
Bookshops - Peter Bush,Jorge Carrión
The Haunted Grange Of Goresthorpe - Arthur Conan Doyle
Spit and Polish - Lucy Lethbridge
Darjeeling: A History of the World's Greatest Tea - Jeff Koehler
The Invisible Library - Genevieve Cogman
Lady Cop Makes Trouble - Amy Stewart
The White Cottage Mystery - Margery Allingham
What A Plant Knows: a field guide to the senses - Daniel Chamovitz
Turbo Twenty-Three - Janet Evanovich
Better Late Than Never - Jenn McKinlay

Buying other people books as Christmas presents is just dangerous.  Especially when local publishers have 45% off sales.  Apparently a book reading slump does not translate into a book buying slump.

 

So these all arrived in the mail this week.  I'm particularly excited about The Haunted Grange Of Goresthorpe by Arthur Conan Doyle  and Bookshops by Jorge Carrión; translated by Peter Bush.  Oh, and Lady Cop Makes Trouble by Amy Stewart!

 

I also bought one more book - it's not up on top because it's a book I already have, and a small splurge, but I think at least BrokenTune, if nobody else, will understand why.  I bought an uncorrected bound proof of The Eyre Affair.  Not because of the book itself, but because of what came with it:

 

 

It's a black and white photo that Jasper Fforde did in a giveaway at some point, 105 of them in total given away.  (http://www.jasperfforde.com/giveaway/tea002.html if anyone is curious).  The book was less than a new paperback edition and I couldn't resist - I love Pickwick!

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text 2016-12-01 21:49
November Wrap-Up & December TBR
Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman
Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops - Jen Campbell
A Storm of Swords - George R.R. Martin
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Macabre Tales - Wahsington Irving

Progress: I haven't been on here much this month. A combination of the holidays, coming to terms with the results of the election, and my dads new puppy. Despite the sense of doom hovering around our house, my mom works in the mental health field and she's been spending a lot of time talking with concerned employees that are here with work visas that are afraid if they leave the country to visit family they won't be able to come back, and the craziness with the holidays, I managed to finish four books. I didn't read a single book that I wouldn't recommend to someone and I feel really great about what I accomplished this month, even if I'm still behind with reviews.

 

Books Read: 4

 

5 Stars: 0

 

4 Stars: 3

Neverwhere

Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops

A Storm of Swords

 

3 Stars: 1

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Macabre Tales

 

2 Stars: 0

 

Books I regret spending money on: 0

 

Reviews Written: 1

 

Reviews I need to write: 3

Bourne Ultimatum

American Gods

Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops

 

December TBR

I posted last month that I wanted to finish ten more books by the end of 2016. It's unlikely to haopen at this point, but I can hope. I have eight more to go on my list, seven if you exclude A Feast for Crows which I'm 100 pages away from completing. The remaining list includes NeuroTribesA Dance With DragonsAnansi Boys, Equal Rites, Moving Pictures, Small Gods, and Mort

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review 2016-07-24 23:57
Thoroughly amusing read that will bring back memories for bookstore employees.
Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops - Jen Campbell

Author Jen Campbell shares hilarious overheard bits and snatches of conversations with bookstore patrons in this book. Organized somewhat by theme (customers misbehaving, customers who can't remember the title of a book, Kindles, etc.) we get short (sometimes just a sentence) of what life is like in the bookstore from the eyes of the bookseller employee.

 

It's a short book with some funny illustrations demonstrating the ridiculousness of it all (children climbing the bookshelves, a random delivery of 15 pizzas, someone insisting the title of the book was '1986' which was really '1984', etc.). It's not really an in-depth (most of the time there is no context given and you don't need it) look at what it's like to work at a bookstore, but it's a pretty good snapshot.

 

There's not much more to say. I believe it began on a whim and became a blog. If you're familiar with it at all you'll know what to expect.

 

And while I didn't mean to, I couldn't but realize it actually was a lot like the previous book I read ('My Mom is a FOB'), where that book was also snippets of conversations with Asian parents. That said, this was much better, much funnier. Anyone who has worked in any sort of customer service job will probably recognize some of the downright weird, bizarre, sometimes frustrating/obnoxious and occasionally just strange happenings while at work.

 

So, this would make a good gift for a bookstore employee. Or, especially anyone who is thinking about working at a bookstore. Before I actually worked in one I had a very romantic view (although not one perpetuated by the media, I just liked books) of what it was like to work in a bookstore. My experiences definitely made me realize how silly those ideas were and this might be a good gift to a young person who wants to work at a bookstore/library for a first job or just for kicks for someone who will be starting to work in one.

 

I enjoyed it but I somewhat wish I hadn't paid for it. But it is not available at the library and in the end I didn't mind supporting the author by buying a copy. So it'd make a great gift for certain audiences and might be a good bargain buy. But I'd probably recommend finding it at your local library if you can.

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review 2016-01-20 10:00
The Unknown Unknown: Bookshops and the Delight of Not Getting What You Wanted
The Unknown Unknown: Bookshops and the Delight of Not Getting What You Wanted - Mark Forsyth

This one came in the mail today and it set me back on my heels a bit:  I bought it on the strength of Mark Forsyth's other work and didn't pay a whole lot of attention to the physical details, so I was rather surprised to pull out this little booklet from the packaging.  It's only about 6 inches tall, maybe?, and 31 pages long.

 

But oh is it wonderful; an ode to the joys of physical books and the brick and mortar bookshop.  Now, that sounds like he's slamming ebooks, and he's not; this is about the one limitation of the internet and ebooks: the unknown unknown.  What's the unknown unknown?  Well, the known are the books you've read and the known unknown are the books out there that you know exist but you haven't yet read (he uses War and Peace as a fitting example).  But the unknown unknown are those books you don't know even exist, just waiting for you to stumble across them in some obscure and perfect bookshop.

 

I have so many books I've found this way; books I'd never have discovered no matter how great Amazon's recommendation algorithm because they were so completely off the beaten path, so I really connected with this perfect little gem.  The writing is perfect and Forsyth has that dry British humour and wit I adore.

 

I have two of his other books waiting in my TBR and I can't wait to rip into them and I'm definitely going to be checking out his blog, The Inky Fool.

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