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.

This Customer Is A Time Bomb

| IL, USA | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests

(My patron is a young boy of about seven or eight. He is using the online card catalog and looks stumped.)

Me: “Can I help you find something?”

Patron: “I want a book on how to build a nuclear bomb.”

Me: “Uh… I don’t think we’re going to have anything like that in our collection.”

Patron: “Well, how can I learn to make one, then?”

Me: “I would suggest a PhD in physics.”

Patron: “Oh! Here’s one!” *shows me a catalog record for a book called “How to Build a Nuclear Bomb”*

Me: “Oh, see, actually that book is about the global economics, politics, and resources that would…” *noticing patron’s blank stare* “You know what? Yeah, I can get you that book.”

(A couple of weeks later, the young patron comes in to check out his reserve.)

Patron: “Uh… I don’t think this is what I want. It doesn’t have any nuclear bomb plan in it, or anything.”

Me: “Yes, well, like I said before, we won’t have anything like that here.”

Patron: “Oh, well, I found a can of gas in the garage, and I have some matches. Do you think I could do something with that?”

Me: “Uh… stay in school?”

Volumes Of Knowledge

| TX, USA | Books & Reading

(Two customers are talking to my boss at the front desk. I’m around the corner, out of sight, at another desk.)

Customer #1: “We’re looking for Les Mis. Who is that by?”

Boss: “It’s by Victor Hugo. It would be over in fiction, but I’m not sure if we have any copies right now.”

Me: *without moving* “We have three copies.”

(I can hear them talking in the shelves.)

Customer #2: “Aha! She was wrong. There are four copies!”

Customer #1: “No, look.”

Customer #2: “Oh crap, those two are volume one and volume two. She really is good.”

Making This Harder Than It Needs To Be

| TX, USA | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests

(I run a small bookstore that specializes in first edition hardbacks. We had our fair share of weird requests. One day, a lady calls to see if we have a book.)

Caller: “Hello, I’m looking for a book but I can’t remember the title.”

Me: “Okay. Who was it written by?”

Caller: “I can’t remember that either.”

Me: “Do you remember what the book was about? That would help me narrow it down.”

Caller: “Can’t you just list the books you have in the store? I’m sure I would know the name if I heard it.”

Me: “Ma’am, you seriously want me to list the 18,000 books we have in stock, over the phone?”

Caller: “Would it help if I told you it was a hardback book?”

Me: “Ma’am. We only sell hardback books.”

Caller: “Then just list them and like I told you before, I’ll know it when I hear it.”