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.

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The Oprah Code

| Pittsburgh, PA, USA | Bizarre, Books & Reading

(I’m working as a cashier. It’s late in the evening and things are slowing down for the night, so the other cashiers and I stand at the end of our lanes and chat with browsing customers until they’re ready to check out. There’s a rack of DVDs at the end of my lane, and an older customer stops to ask my opinion on some of them. I vaguely recognize she’s a regular, but I don’t remember many details, and she seems friendly enough.)

Customer: “What’s this ‘Game of Thrones’ like? I’ve heard of that one.”

Me: “Well, some people are really into it, but it’s really violent. I’m not a fan. I don’t know if you’d enjoy it.”

Customer: “Ooh, no, you’re right.”

(She picks up a copy of Lee Daniels’ “The Butler”, and sighs.)

Customer: “I just can’t trust Oprah anymore.”

Me: “Oh?”

Customer: “Since I found out she joined the Illuminati.”

Me: “OH!”

(I remembered why I recognized this regular.)

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Black Books Matter

| ON, Canada | Bigotry, Books & Reading

Supervisor: “[Bookstore], this is [Supervisor]. How may I help you?”

Customer: “Hi, I’m hoping you can put a book on hold for me.”

Supervisor: “Sure! What’s the title?”

Customer:To Kill A Mockingbird. With all this Black Lives Matter crap going on, I need to teach my daughter how to be more tolerant of it and I figure this book will help.”

Supervisor: “Oh… kay. Sure. I’ll put that aside for you. Have a good day.”

(As she puts the books aside for the woman, she turns to me with her eyes wide, and relays the conversation to me.)

Supervisor: “How… is that book going to help her? I… feel like her daughter isn’t the one that needs a bit of a lesson on tolerance.”

Me: *noticing ‘Charlotte’s Web’ is also a part of this woman’s pile* “Maybe this one will teach her daughter how to be more tolerant of pigs such as her?”

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They’re A Few Chapters Short Of A Novel

| New Orleans, LA, USA | Bizarre, Books & Reading

(A woman walks into the store and looks around as though she’s lost and confused.)

Me: “Hello, can I help you with anything?”

Customer: “What kind of store is this?”

Me: *looks around at books everywhere* “Um, this is a bookstore.”

Customer: *looks amazed and points to the books on the shelf nearest* “So, these… are books?”

Me: *a bit confused* “Yes.”

(I keep an eye on the woman as she wanders deeper into the store, looking around bewildered. She stops as she approaches the counter toward the back of the store and points to our sign that reads “More Books This Way” with an arrow pointing upstairs.)

Customer: “MORE BOOKS?!”

Me: “Yes, we have children’s books and board games upstairs.”

(The customer looked at me for a second.)

Customer: *yelling* “I CAN’T HANDLE IT!” *runs out the front door*

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I’m Team Peppa

| NJ, USA | Bizarre, Books & Reading, Liars & Scammers

(I work at a bookstore that closes at 10:00 pm. I am checking out my last customer when someone comes up to me and puts a book on the table.)

Customer: “Hello. I’d like to return this book.”

Me: “Of course, sir! Why would you like to return this book?”

Customer: “I gave it to my four-year-old son and he said that he couldn’t read it. There also weren’t any pictures in it.”

(As I continue to inspect the book, I realize he has given his son a Twilight book.)

Me: “Sir, you do realize that you just gave your son a Twilight book. He shouldn’t be reading this.”

Customer: “What? Man, you must be VERY stupid. If you know how to read, it says ‘Peppa Pig’ on the cover.”

Me: “Sir, I assure you that this is Twilight.”

(I then realized that the customer had taped a paper that read “Peppa Pig” over the normal title so that his son wouldn’t notice. He kept trying to convince me that it was Peppa Pig. He had to be escorted out when he tried to assault me.)

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Closing In On Copying

| Victoria, BC, Canada | Bad Behavior, Books & Reading, Time

(I am working the closing shift during the summer season when we are open quite late, and it is basically time to go home. The lights are all off, and mere seconds before the door is locked, a woman runs in. I approach her.)

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but the store is closing now.”

Customer: “Oh, that’s fine! Don’t worry, I know exactly what I’m looking for.”

(We are known for being very polite in this situation, and seeing as she seems to know where she is going I let her search. Sure enough, she comes up to the counter with a book about 20 seconds later, which is a pleasant surprise.)

Me: “Wow, that was quick! Okay, I just need to scan the book—”

Customer: “Hold on a second, I just need to take a look at something.”

(I sigh inwardly, but I know I like to give books a quick scan before I buy them, so I let her do it. My coworkers are a bit jumpy and want to go home, but we all remain silent. After about a minute, the woman pulls out a pad of paper and a pen and actually starts copying part of the book onto it.)

Me: “Umm… ma’am, perhaps you could do that after you’ve bought the book? it’s just that we’re past closing and we need to lock the door.”

Customer: “Oh, no, I’m not buying it. I just need to get this information. Just give me some time.”

Me: *shocked* “I’m so sorry, but I can’t let you do that. I might suggest going to the library for this book as you can take it out for free. If you do need to come back tomorrow, we are open at nine, but I’m going to have to ask you to leave so we can lock the door.”

(The customer sighed sharply, jammed her paper and pen into her purse, and stomped out. I have no idea if she came back for her all-important information.)

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