Saturday, March 05, 2011

Are You Being Served?

From a lively blog called Bookride comes a list of really dumb questions overheard in bookstores. Anyone who’s ever worked in such a shop (my own stint was at the Barnes & Noble in Santa Monica) will smile at these:

“I’d like to order a brand new copy of this out-of-print book ...”

“Where do you keep the books you don’t stock?”

“How do you make a living out of this lot of old rubbish?”

“Have you anything on sixteenth-century oak coffee-tables?”

“We’ve got so many books at home, we’ve no room for any more! We’ve got one shelf on the landing and another under the stairs!”

“I don’t know what it’s called and I don’t know who wrote it, but the girl on television had long dark hair.”

There’s lots more fun to be had in Bookride, including this related post.

EDITOR’S NOTE: My own personal favorite, heard at a fine shop in Seattle, was delivered this last Christmas by a woman who’d been looking up and down the bookcases for a while before approaching the salesperson. “Excuse me,” she said, “but you had a book in the window about six or eight months ago, and now I’d like to buy it. Do you remember what it was?” -- JKP


Randy Johnson said...

Reminds me of the woman that came into a Waldenbooks I was working at the time and asked for the book based on the Highlander Tv show. I took her to the SF section and showed her several novels.

That wasn't what she was looking for though. "On the show the other day, there was a writer that knew all about Duncan Macleod."

That was an episode starring Sandra Bernhardt as the writer and I couldn't convince her of that.

James Reasoner said...

When I owned a used bookstore with more than 80,000 paperbacks on the shelves, I was asked on numerous occasions, in all seriousness, "Have you read all these books?"

Anonymous said...

My favorite question overheard was "Do you have that book, it's about a cat?"