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Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell

Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops

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Sue Baker's view...

April 2012 Non-Fiction Book of the Month.

Having been a bookseller, one of my weirdest moments was being asked for a pound of sausages. We tracked that down to the shop having been a butcher in a previous incarnation but really, looking round is a Bookshop likely to sell sausages? Another time a customer hummed a tune and got into a rage when I couldn’t identify it, pointing out that we were a book and not a music shop, his rage increased and a letter of complaint was duly sent to my Managing Director who dealt with him rather like the unfortunate youth who got caught peeing through our letter box. Something about bookshops seems to attract weirdness and it helps to alleviate a dull day for the long suffering bookseller. Reading through the collection put together by Jen Campbell makes me realise that a lot more weirdness could have come my way, some of it mind boggling bizarre. Think before you speak might be one way of addressing the problem but then half the fun would go out of life, nowt so weird as folk.... Normally in my Like for Like recommendations I list books in print but it just so happens that two of the best on weird books are out of print – never mind - plenty for sale on Amazon and for book lovers there is plenty to enjoy in these walks on the wilder shores of bibliography.

Like for Like Reading:
Scouts in Bondage & other Books from an Innocent Age, Michael Bell + various hardback 96 pages Aurum 23rd October 2006 9781845131968
Bizarre Books, Russell Ash & Brian Lake + various paperback 196 pages Pavilion 17th September 1998 9780965887649

Who is Sue Baker


Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell

'Can books conduct electricity?' 'My children are just climbing your bookshelves: that's ok...isn't it?' 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 this book edible?' This full-length collection illustrated by the Brothers McLeod also includes top 'Weird Things' from bookshops around the world.


So funny, so sad... Read it and sigh. ---Neil Gaiman

About the Author

Jen Campbell

Jen Campbell grew up in the North East of England, and graduated from Edinburgh University with an MA in English Literature. She's a published poet and short story writer. She lives in North London where she works at Ripping Yarns bookshop.

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Book Info

Publication date

26th March 2012


Jen Campbell

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Constable an imprint of Constable and Robinson


128 pages


The Real World
Books of the Month
Literary Fiction
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