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.

At Least It Rules Out ‘Twilight’

| ID, USA | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests

(I work at the reference desk, and I often help patrons find books. The following exchange happens one morning:)

Patron: “Hi, I’m looking to see if you have a book.”

Me: “I can help you, then! Can you give me the name of the book?”

Patron: “I don’t remember it.”

Me: “Well, do you remember the author’s name?”

Patron: “No… but it was about vampires and it had the word ‘blood” in the title.”

Me: “…That doesn’t narrow it down nearly as much as you think it does.”

Not Quite The Harper Lee Classic

| Vancouver, BC, USA | Books & Reading, Funny Names, Movies & TV

Customer: “Excuse me, do you have ‘How to Kill a Mockingjay?'”

Me: *just stare at her, completely caught off-guard by her question* “Did you want ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ or ‘Mockingjay?'”

Customer: “To Kill a Mockingjay!”

Me: “Are you sure?” *I lead her over to the teen section, knowing she wants The Hunger Games book, Mockingjay*

Customer: “That’s it! Hunger Games!”

Me: *sigh*

(She didn’t end up buying it because it was in hardcover and she’d rather wait until it’s in paperback so I’m sure I’ll be asked for “To Kill a Mockingjay” again!)

Every Day The Same Old Storytime

| NC, USA | Bad Behavior, Books & Reading, Family & Kids

(I’m the manager of a small public library. Every Saturday morning, we hold a program for infants and young toddlers where our children’s librarian leads everyone in simple songs and nursery rhymes, then reads a very simple book. The babies are so engaged that they rarely cry, and they usually laugh, which even I think is the most adorable thing in the world. My coworker (who is a pro) and I are working the circulation desk when this happens. A woman storms up to my coworker as the program is beginning.)

Woman: *clearly annoyed, waving at the babies and parents* “How long is this going to be going on?”

Coworker: “Story time lasts about 30 minutes.”

Woman: *sputters* “How often do you do this?”

Coworker: “Every Saturday at 11 am.”

Woman: “Well, you should really post a sign about it! In bold type!”

(Note: There is such a sign, literally in bold type, 80 pt. font, four feet to her right on our “Events” bulletin board. There are two other copies of the same sign elsewhere in the building, in addition to the program being advertised on our website and the local paper’s events calendar. My coworker is naturally polite, though, and just stares at her as she stalks off.  She sits back down at the computer where she’s been working and huffs loudly for several minutes while the children’s librarian and parents sing “Jack Be Nimble” and “The Grand Old Duke of York.” Two minutes later, she’s back in front of my coworker.)

Woman: “They’re not even reading stories! They’re singing!”

(The group is currently singing ‘Row, Row, Row Your Boat.’)

Coworker: “Yes…”

Woman: “Singing!”

Coworker: “Yes…”

Woman: “You let BABIES in the library? BABIES!”

Coworker: “Yes.”

(She threw her hands up in the air, made a sound of disbelief, and stomped off again. She was lucky she got my incredibly chill coworker and not me, who would have pointed out the sign beside her and tried to give her a lecture about the importance of helping children get an early start in developing pre-literacy skills like syllable recognition.)