Jack Reacher Comes Out Of The Closet

, , , , , | Right | September 5, 2018

(I’m a librarian, working in a large city centre public library. I should also add that I’m male and reasonably conservative in dress and appearance. On this day, I’m putting together a display of books, called “Loud and Proud”, promoting LGBT authors. A middle aged male customer wanders over and takes a look.)

Customer: “‘Ere, mate, what’s all this?”

Me: “It’s a promotion we’re running to coincide with the city’s Pride parade. There have been several high profile gay and lesbian authors recently, and we’re trying to—”

Customer: “Yeah, yeah. I get that. But who are these people?”

Me: “Some you might be familiar with already. Both Jake Arnott and Sarah Waters have been adapted for television, and essentially they’re great storytellers regardless of their—”

Customer: “Yeah, sure. But my point is, where are the books for the rest of us? You know, for us normal people?”

(At this point I pause. The walls are lined with bookshelves, there are more free-standing bookshelves around the room, plus spinners, racks and more. All filled with books.)

Me: “Well, there’s plenty of other stuff to choose from…”

Customer: “Yeah, but don’t you feel a bit awkward about all of this?” *he gestures towards the one small display stand being used*

Me: “Not at all. I’m gay myself.”

(Customer looked as if he was going to explode, eventually settling on throwing his books on the floor and storming out. I shared this story with my manager, who laughed her head off, and suggested we run another display called “100% STRAIGHT!” consisting of men’s fitness guides, SAS memoirs, and Lee Child/Andy McNab thrillers. We eventually did something along those lines, but with a less provocative title.)

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