Don’t Throw IT Out, But Carrie On Keeping Them

, , , , , | Friendly | June 24, 2017

(I am invited to a friend’s place for a plasticware party, I am asked to bring a friend so I bring my mother. Mum has noticed that the friend has many books that are all turned backwards on her shelves, with the spine to the wall.)

Mum: “I have to ask, why are all these books turned backwards?”

Friend: “Oh, those are all Stephen King books. I used to read them until I started going to church and I realised how evil he is to have been able to write such horrible things. I won’t have them facing into the room.”

Mum: “Why don’t you just donate them somewhere?”

Friend: “Oh, no, that would mean I am passing on his evil to others.”

Mum: “You could just throw them out if you don’t like them that much.”

Friend: “But you don’t throw out perfectly good books; it’s a waste of money. I paid for those.”

(She kept shelves of books deemed unreadable and still complained about the lack of storage in her house for the books she reads.)

Two Plus Deux

, , , , , | Right | June 20, 2017

Customer: “Hi, I’m looking for a book about the history of mathematics. Can you help me?”

Me: “Sure, do you want a book that’s in French or in English?”

Customer: “In mathematic!”

Trying To Corral The Answer Out Of Them

, , , | Right | June 19, 2017

(I am working the reference desk when I get a phone call from a patron.)

Patron: ” Hi, sorry about all the noise. We are watching a tv show. I wanted to put a book on hold so I can come pick it up tomorrow.”

Me: “Okay, What book are you looking for?”

Patron: “Oh, I don’t know the name… I put it on hold at [Other Branch] but I never got around to picking it up, and they said that you have a copy on your shelf, so I need you to pull it and hold it for me.”

Me: “Do you know what the book is about?”

(Reference librarians have fantastic deduction skills. We can normally figure out what you are looking for if you give us some clues…)

Patron: “Oh, um… it’s about Wyatt Earp’s wife. It’s for my book club.”

Me: “Are you looking for a biography about Josephine Earp, or a fictional story about her?”

Patron: “That’s not her name!”

(Uh… yes, it is.)

Me: “Okay, are you by chance looking for ‘Lady at the OK Corral’?” *biography about Josephine Earp*

Patron: “No. That’s not it. Can’t you look it up in my account? I had it on hold but I never picked it up.”

Me: “No, our system doesn’t keep expired hold requests; it’s a privacy issue.”

Patron: “Well, how am I supposed to know what book I want?! I have the name of the book in an email, but my Internet isn’t working, because [Cable Provider] is the worst company ever and they always turn off my Internet when I need it the most…”

(This goes on for about two minutes, with her complaining non-stop about how her Internet is out and how I am not being helpful. While she is complaining, I search our entire system, but ‘Lady at the OK Corral’ is the only book about Josephine Earp that is not at the main branch in the reference collection… I am at a loss of what to do next when…)

Patron: “…oh! The Internet is on! I’m pulling up my email. Do you have a pen? The name of the book is ‘The Lady at the OK Corral.’ Do you have that?”

Me: “Yup… I will put that on hold for you. You have until tomorrow close to pick it up.”

They Need An MFDA

, , , , | Friendly | June 15, 2017

(My friends and I are all big Harry Potter fans and love talking about the little details of the series — especially the darker ones. We’re currently finishing up lunch and waiting for the bell for next class to ring.)

Me: “Yeah, when you think about it, the love potions are pretty terrifying. One person has the ability to make you completely obsessed with them, consent or none, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

Friend #1: “So true. Remember when [Character #1] accidentally ate those chocolates [Character #2] spiked?”

Friend #2: “And the worst part is no one batted an eye. She bought them at a joke shop for God’s sakes. The stuff isn’t regulated at all!”

Friend #1: “It’s kind—”

Friend #3: *who’s been mostly silent but is now shouting enthusiastically* “DATE RAPE DRUGS! *scurries off to class just as the bell rings*

Oh What Fools These Mortals Be

, , , , , , | Right | June 5, 2017

(I am browsing through a book shop when I see a boy run up to his dad clutching a book. From where I am I can see it is a complete collection of Shakespeare.)

Boy: “Dad! I found it!”

(The dad takes the books and looks at it.)

Dad: “Put it back. You just need one of the plays for school.”

Boy: “But it’s on offer; it’s the same price as Macbeth but it’s all of them, see?”

Dad: “It’s a waste of money. You shouldn’t buy collections. They’re just a way to get more money from you.”

Boy: “But it’s the same price as just the one–”

Dad: “Shakespeare will just release another book, and they’ll all have different covers and you’ll have to buy the new complete collection. Just buy the one you need.”

Boy: “But Dad, I really want this one.”

(When the two continue to argue, a member of staff who had previously been putting books on a display walks over.)

Staff Member: “Excuse me, sir. I couldn’t help but overhear. The collection is an excellent bargain; it’s half price today. And I can assure you there will be no other plays by William Shakespeare because he’s dead.”

Dad: “Of course you’d say that. You want us to spend more money.”

Staff Member: “It’s the same price as a book with just one of his plays in it and like I said, there is no chance of there being another Shakespeare play, or anything else by him for that matter.”

Dad: “Look, I know Shakespeare isn’t a real person. He’s like a mascot to get people to go see plays and make people think it’s good.”

(At this point I have to hide around the corner because I start laughing. I find what I am looking for and head for the register. As I get there, the dad and his son are being served. It looks like the dad has agreed to buy the collection but is still arguing because when I come within earshot of the registers I hear the cashier say:)

Cashier: “I’ll tell you what, sir. If William Shakespeare ever publishes anything else, I will refund you the full price of the book and give you £100 from my own pocket.”

(The dad walked away looking smug while the son kept his eyes to the ground, looking very embarrassed.)

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