Book Review – Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell


TitleWeird Things Customers Say in Bookshops

Author: Jen Campbell

Publisher: Constable and Robinson

Publication Date: 5th April 2012

Format: Paperback

About the book:

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?: here is a book for heroic booksellers and booklovers everywhere.

This full-length collection illustrated by the Brothers McLeod also includes top ‘Weird Things’ from bookshops around the world.

What I Thought:

Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops is a collection of witty anecdotes from two of the bookshops Jen has worked in, as well as anecdotes sent in by booksellers from all around the world.

This is just a quick review from me this morning, no plot, or characters to discuss just a collection of short conversations between a book seller and her customers. It’s a short read, the book itself is less than 150 pages, and the layout is quite spread out, with a selection of funny illustrations so it actually took me less than an hour to read late one night.

I found myself smiling, letting out the odd chuckle and occasionally shaking my head in despair at some of the things people were asking. I wish I could say I was surprised by some of the questions but having working in retail for a number of years (although not in a bookshop) I’m more than familiar with some of the stranger questions and requests you occasionally (or not so occasionally) find yourself facing. The following example comes from the book

Customer: I read a book in the eighties. I don’t remember the author, or the title. But it was green, and it made me laugh. Do you know which one I mean?

Would I recommend it?

Yes! It’s an amusing collection of anecdotes that I’m sure anyone who has ever worked in retail will recognise. Great for having on a side table to dip in and out of and read a few conversations at a time.

3.5 Stars

Want To Buy It?

Amazon UK Amazon US Waterstones The Book Depository


6 thoughts on “Book Review – Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell

    1. Sarah

      I would check out They have this and the second collection together for £3 (paperback versions). UK based but I think international shipping is only about £5 so might still be the cheapest way to get a copy!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: The Sunday Post – 14/05/17 | Sarah Withers Blogs

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