Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Review: Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores by Jen Campbell

Weird Things Customers Say in BookstoresWeird Things Customers Say in Bookstores by Jen Campbell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a short but sweet read, and exactly what the title says. It's a lot of strange things people have said while inside a bookstore.

Most of the quotes came from Jen Campbell's own experiences working at a bookshop during college, and now at an antiquarian bookstore called Ripping Yarns. Both bookshops are in the UK, though the US edition has changed the spelling to make it more American-friendly (and changed "bookshops" to "bookstores"). There are a few cultural references I'd never heard before, but it was no more jarring than discovering there were new musical artists since the last time I listened to the radio. I understood from context that the Five was a YA series about a group of girls.

There were a number of additions from US booksellers, all of which were credited by name and bookstore. If you're expecting the stories from the US to be far different from Ms. Campbell's, though, you'll be disappointed. American readers are no more or less clueless or weird than English ones, at least going by this sampling.

This book was highly entertaining, and over all too fast. It took me less than an hour to read it through in its entirety. It seems better suited for something to have around so you can flip through when you need a reminder, or for sharing your favorites with others.

I would most recommend this to those who have worked in a bookstore, who will recognize some of these shoppers, or anyone who reads Not Always Right. These interactions are more succinct and coherent than some of the entries on Not Always Right. They're also more consistently funny.

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  1. I read this a couple of months ago - I felt forced to pick it up after having worked at Border's a few years ago. You're right - it's an incredibly enjoyable read and over far too soon.
    I laughed a lot but I fear some people would become a little depressed at our current state :p

    1. That's true. Bookstores are fading away. I'm hoping there will always be room for a local independent bookstore. Without one, my reading list would be far shorter.