Category: Books & Reading

Caused by stupid customers who know how to read (and often those who don’t!), feel for the poor librarians or book store clerks who are often tasked with finding a book solely by the color of its cover.

The Difference Between Hard And Soft Reading Habits

| Dallas, TX, USA | Books & Reading, Extra Stupid

(I work at a bookstore where we regularly receive phone calls at the information desk for books to be put on hold. We usually ask for the title and go locate whatever copies we have and then call the customer back. This teenage-sounding boy has asked for a book that’s on many high school reading lists and I have gone and gotten the hardback and paperback versions and am calling back to see which he would prefer:)

Me: “Hi, [Customer], this is [My Name] calling you back from [Store]. I was able to locate a hardback and paperback of Lord of the Flies and was wondering which you would like to be put on hold?”

Customer: “How much are they?”

Me: “The paperback is only 1.50 but the larger hardback, which would leave you more room to write in, if this is for a class, is 5.00.”

Customer: “And when you say paperback, what do you mean?”

Me: “Um… it has a paper cover rather than a hard one and is a smaller version of the book.”

Customer: “So, like, it doesn’t have an actual cover?”

Me: “No, it does. It just happens to be a paper cover rather than a hardback.”

Customer: “So, is it like plastic?”

(This goes on for quite a while, while I attempt to come up with different ways to describe a paperback, which is harder to do than you think. Finally he says—)

Customer: “Okay, just forget it. Thank you.”

Me: “Okay. Well, I mean, the paperback is only 1.50.”

Customer: “I’m just not getting what you’re trying to tell me.”

Me: “How about I just put them both on hold and you can come look yourself?”

Customer: “Great!” *hangs up*

(I wish I could have been there when he saw what we were debating over.)

Intelligence Isn’t Going Through A Renaissance

| MD, USA | Books & Reading, Extra Stupid, History

(We have a small bookstore at a renaissance festival, which tries to focus on history over fantasy. We carry books on making clothing, drying cloth, heraldry, medieval and renaissance recipes, blacksmithing, etc. These are two overheard customer comments that have never left us.)

Customer #1: *looking at books of names and heraldry* “I wonder if any of my relatives were alive during the Renaissance?”

(Passing by outside:)

Customer #2: “Oh, look, a bookstore! We should get Harold a book!”

Customer #3: “No, Harold already has a book…”

Don’t Appreciate The Lack Of Appreciation

| Randers, Denmark | Bad Behavior, Books & Reading

(After spending nearly 20 minutes summarizing the plot of various crime novels from memory, because the customer doesn’t want to read the back covers, I finally convince her to choose a book to purchase.)

Customer: “If I don’t like it, I’m coming back here to yell at you!”

Me: *confused, but using my cheery work voice* “Well, if you do like it, I hope you come back and let me know!”

Customer: “Why would I do that?”

(Apparently being mean is worth the trip, but being appreciative isn’t.)

A Series Of Unfortunate Questions

| ID, USA | Books & Reading, Extra Stupid

Patron: “Do you have Miss Peregrine’s Series of Unfortunate Events?”

Me: “That’s actually two separate book series: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and A Series of Unfortunate Events.” *checks computer* “The first Miss Peregrine book is checked out, but the second and third are available, and we have all the books in A Series of Unfortunate Events.”

Patron: “I’ll take the second book, and I’ll take all the ‘Series of Unfortunate Events’ books.”

Me: “All right, let me show you where they are.”

(I take the patron to the shelves and pull the first book, then show him where the ‘Unfortunate Events’ series is located.)

Me: “Is there anything else I can help you with?”

Patron: “Do you have ‘Miss Peregrine’ on DVD?”

Me: “Unfortunately, it hasn’t been released on DVD yet. We can put you on hold for it, though.”

Patron: “Oh, okay… We have a VCR; do you have it on VHS?”

Me: “Um… no. I don’t think it’s going to be released on VHS.”

Patron: “Oh, okay… So do I read Series of Unfortunate Events before or after Miss Peregrine?”

Me: *realizes I’m not dealing with the brightest light in the harbor* “Actually, they’re two separate series by two different authors. Series of Unfortunate Events has nothing to do with Miss Peregrine.”

Patron: “Oh, so they’re like sequels?”

Me: “No. They’re two different book series. One has nothing to do with the other.”

Patron: “So, it’s like another season of the show?”

Me: “No, they’re completely separate book series. They don’t have the same characters or the same story or anything. They’re two. Separate. Stories.”

Patron: “Oh… so which one do I read first? Which is the sequel?”

Now Sauron Knows!

| UK | Bizarre, Books & Reading

(A customer calls the store.)

Customer: “Hello. I’m looking for a book.”

Me: “Great! Could I ask what it is you’re looking for, please?”

(The woman gives an incredibly vague description of the book which can be summed up as “having a black cover at some point during its publication, and it may or may not be fiction.”)

Me: “If you could be a little more specific, miss, I may be able to help.”

Customer: “I can’t tell you the name of the book because then you’ll know why I want it, and you aren’t allowed to know.”

Me: *thinking this sounded quite odd* “I’m not in the slightest bit interested in why you want the book. I’m only interested in what it is called.”

Customer: “THEN YOU’LL KNOW!”

(This goes around in circles for a couple minutes, with the customer sounding more irate, and me losing my patience.)

Me: “Miss, I honestly cannot help you if you cannot provide more details on the book you’re enquiring about. Your description covers literally thousands of titles.”

Customer: “Thousands?!”

Me: “Yes. If you cannot offer anything else, then there is little point in continuing and I’ll will have to hang up.”

Customer: “It’s… it’s called…The Hobbit.”

(I already know we have it in stock, as I put it out on the shelves that morning. Before I can respond however:)

Customer: “You see?! Now you know! I’m going to have to look elsewhere now. THANKS FOR NOTHING!” *hangs up*

Me: *staring at the receiver* “What the f***?”

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