Books For The Extra Brainy

| Chicago, IL, USA | Right | July 14, 2017

(I work in the children’s section of my bookstore. We get a lot of kids with nannies, who sometimes don’t really know how well the kid reads. I often just talk directly to the kid to find something that will work for them. This day, an adorable, articulate little girl and her nanny come to the store.)

Girl: “Excuse me, where are the four-year-old books?”

Me: “These picture books here are great for four-year-olds!”

Girl: *pointing to chapter books* “Are these for four-year-olds?”

(Some families read chapter books to their young children. They read a chapter a night, then as the child learns to read better, the take turns with the child.)

Me: “They can be. Do you guys read stories at home?”

Girl: “Not really.”

Me: *to her nanny, who has been on the phone the whole time* “Can she read yet?”

Nanny: “How am I supposed to know?”

Girl: “No, I can’t read, but I want to.”

Me: “That’s okay, you’ll learn in school!”

Girl: “Yeah! But right now, I just want a book I can read with my BRAIN!”

Anna Oprahnina, Part 2

| LA, USA | Right | July 11, 2017

(I’m working at the customer service kiosk when a lady walks in. She looks up, totally confused, and addresses me.)

Me: “Welcome to [Bookstore]. Let me find your next great read.”

Customer: “I’ve been here for an hour and I still can’t find the book I wanted.”

Me: “Really? Let me fix that. What is the name of the book?”

Customer: “I don’t know. It was on [Talk Show].”

Me: “Okay, who’s the author?”

Customer: “I don’t know.”

Me: “Subject?”

Customer: “I don’t know. Don’t you watch [Talk Show]?”

Me: “Sorry, I’m at work all day. Is there anything about the book you remember?”

Customer: “It was brown.”

Me: “I’m sorry; there’s not enough information for me to find it.”

Customer: “YOU ARE SO INCOMPETENT! WHY CAN’T YOU SIMPLY FIND MY BOOK?”

Me: “If I could read minds I would be working the lounge at the Bellagio.”

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Anna Oprahnina

No Turn-Up For The Books

| CA, USA | Right | July 5, 2017

(Our store is set up a little differently due to the building we’re in. The front is a small room with the cash wrap and some displays/fixtures, which leads to a larger room where we have the bulk of our books. While there is a doorway between the rooms there is no door, and you can plainly see books through the doorway. We still get people asking some variation of “is there anything in there?” several times a day. We’ve even put up signs over the doorway that say “BOOKS” in giant letters and still we get the questions. On this particular day, though a woman comes in.)

Me: “Hi, can I help you find anything?”

Customer: “No, I’m just browsing. Is there anything back there?” *points to the doorway*

Me: “Yes, we have books back there.”

(She browses for a minute or so in front room, then goes into back room. She’s there less than ten seconds before she comes out.)

Customer: “Oh, it’s just books back there.”

Independent From This Holiday

| UK | Right | July 4, 2017

(I’m waiting in line behind an American customer who is exchanging idle chit-chat with the worker processing the transaction.)

Customer: “Do you know what tomorrow is?”

Worker: “Erm…” *looking at her till* “The fourth.”

Customer: “No! Independence Day!

Worker: “Oh, yeah.” *continues with transaction*

Customer: “Why don’t you have any banners or sales on? In America, we go crazy for it! Show some pride!”

Worker: “We don’t celebrate Independence Day here.”

Customer: *gasps* “Why not?!”

Customer: “…because we were the enemy?”

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Harry Potter And The Act Of Kindness

, , , , | Hopeless | June 25, 2017

(Back when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (the last book in the series) comes out in the bookstores, I am a teenager in high-school with little money to my name. My grandmother knows I am a big fan and has given me exact change to be able to buy the hardcover version of the book I have been waiting so long for. In my excitement to get the book, I leave on my bicycle to buy it, not bothering to take anything else but the amount she gave me. During the 15 minute ride to the store, I noticed a middle aged man cycling the exact same path from my street and to the bookstore. We both enter the bookstore and I am first in line with him standing next in line.)

Cashier: “Hello, how can I help you today?”

Me: *excited* “I’m here to buy Harry Potter seven!”

Cashier: “All right, which one do you want, the hardcover or the paperback?”

Me: “The hardcover, please!”

(The cashier grabs one of the hardcover books and tells me the amount I owe. Having gotten some loose bills and coins, I haven’t taken the time to count it. When she looks at it she frowns and tells me this is only enough for a paperback version. My grandmother must have miscounted by accident, and having no other money on me, I’m momentarily speechless and only mumble some incoherent words in an attempt to gather my thoughts and make a decision. I must’ve looked very distraught; the man next in line taps me on the shoulder.)

Man: *holds out two euros which, is the extra amount I need for a hardcover, and smiles kindly* “Here, take it. The hardcover books last a lot longer.”

Me: *surprised and happy* “T-thank you! That’s unbelievably kind of you.”

(I took the two euros he offered me and finished the transaction with the cashier for a hardcover book. Being an awkward teen I could only smile and didn’t know what else to say, but it really did mean the world to me. I still cherish that hardcover copy and I wish I could’ve made it more clear to him how happy he’d made me with that small act of kindness. If you do happen to remember an awkward teen girl with glasses on the day of the release of the last book, please know that you’re a hero in my eyes, especially in a world that can be so cold and harsh at times. It’s the little things that count, and I try to do the same for others when I’m able.)

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