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.

icon_religion

Has Faith But Lost All Pope, Part 3

| Bilbao, Spain | Books & Reading, Religion

(My wife and I are the clients in a bookstore specialized in books related to Catholicism, looking for a gift for her mother.)

Clerk: “May I help you?”

Wife: “Yeah, we want a book.”

(The clerk looks at her in silence, waiting for something else.)

Me: “Honey, all they sell are books.”

Wife: *embarrassed* “Oh, sorry, you’re right! We’re looking for books about Christian things.”

(The clerk and I both look at her in silence.)

Wife: *more embarrassed* “Uhm… something about the new pope.”

Clerk: “Certainly, ma’am, we have an entire section.”

Me: “Thank god!”

Related:

Has Faith But Lost All Pope, Part 2

Has Faith But Lost All Pope

icon_booksreading

A-Maze-ing Lack Of Sense

| San Rafael, CA, USA | Books & Reading

(As part of my job as bookseller, I occasionally grab misplaced books out of a “To Be Shelved” box and re-shelve them. One night, a coworker and I start going through the box.)

Me: *picks up a book* “Ah, The Maze Runner.”

Coworker: “Yep. Guy brought it back because he didn’t know it was a young adult novel.”

Me: “Huh…”

Coworker: “And he got it from the young adult section.”

(At this, I stammer and even accidentally drop the book, which my coworker finds appropriate and hilarious.)

Me: “So let me get this straight. A guy walks into the kids’ section that’s clearly marked.”

Coworker: “Yep.”

Me: “Then walks over to the teenage book section, also clearly marked.”

Coworker: “Yep.”

Me: “Picks up this book from the teenage section, and doesn’t realize it’s for teenagers.”

Coworker: “That’s the gist of it.”

Me: “Right… One second.”

(I pick up the book and smack it directly against the center of my forehead out of exasperation.)

Me: “Okay, I’m good.”

icon_booksreading

Customers Gone ‘Wild’

| DuPont, WA, USA | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests, Rude & Risque

(I work as a library page in a very small library. We are promoting a book called ‘Wild’ as our “Book of the Year,” and copies of it are displayed throughout the library. The book contains some depictions of the author’s experiences with drug abuse and her sex life.)

Patron: “Excuse me, miss?”

Me: “Hi! Can I help you?”

Patron: “I checked out this book last week, and I can’t believe you people are carrying this.”

Me: “Oh, that’s one of our promot—”

Patron: “Have you read it?”

Me: “Yes, I have.”

Patron: “It’s very inappropriate! I What if some kid decided to check this out? I don’t think you guys should be encouraging such irresponsible behaviors!”

Me: “I’m sorry you didn’t like it, but—”

Patron: *angrily* “I didn’t say I didn’t like it! I just think you should remove the parts with all the sex and the drugs.”

Me: “Oh… Well, I’m sorry that some of the content offended you. But we can’t edit the book.”

Patron: “Why not?”

Me: “It’s already been printed, and we’re not involved in the publishing process. We just put it on the shelves, really.”

Patron: “That’s unacceptable. I need you to edit your books more carefully.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but we can’t edit the books once they’ve been published.”

Patron: “So you think this is appropriate?”

Me: *choosing my words carefully* “I don’t really think that kids should be reading it, no, and I understand why you take issue with it, but I think the message of the books outweighs the scenes with the sex and drugs. The point of the book is that the author overcame those mistakes.”

Patron: “I bet you live like she does, don’t you?”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Patron: *verbatim* “You’re probably pretty loose, too.”

Me: “…EXCUSE ME?”

(The library is very small and it’s difficult to have any conversations without another staff member overhearing; at this point, another page standing nearby comes around the stacks to intervene.)

Coworker: *to the patron* “Sir, can I help you? Is everything all right?”

Patron: “No. This book is completely inappropriate and your employee seems to think that kind of thing is okay.”

Coworker: “Well, she was correct that we can’t edit the book. We can’t have it removed from the shelves, either. I’m sorry.”

Patron: “This is totally unacceptable! This is a LIBRARY, not an adult bookstore! If you THINK for one second that this okay…!”

Me: *still reeling from the comment about my sex life* “We told you we can’t do anything about the content. What, exactly, do you want to have happen here?”

Patron: “I want you to do your d*** job!”

Me: “Which is…?”

Patron: “Stop promoting promiscuity and drug use!”

Me: “Sir, my job is to put books on the shelf, keep the library clean, and help answer patron questions. The LIBRARY’S job is to provide literature to the community. I guarantee, I’m doing my job, and the library is well within its rights promoting a book which encourages people to OVERCOME their mistakes.”

Patron: “That’s not good enough!”

Coworker: “Sir, you’re making the other patrons uncomfortable. If you’d like to submit a complaint to the people who choose which books we promote, I can give you the phone number and e-mail address for the county library headquarters. There isn’t anything we can do other than that.”

Patron: *sighing dramatically* “Fine, whatever!”

(The patron takes the contact info, angrily paces around the stacks for a little while, and then storms out.)

Me: *to my coworker* “Honestly, I didn’t even like that book.”