Cracked The Da Vinci Code

| MD, USA | Books & Reading, School

(This happens around the time many teenagers are getting books for their summer reading. Today, a young man and his mother came in looking for Dan Brown’s Inferno. My coworker is the one who helps them. I overhear this.)

Mother: “Oh, yes, my son really needs this book. Not only does he have to read the whole thing, but he also has to write a paper on it, and draw a scene from it. They’re dedicating a lot of time on this.”

(I find this odd considering Dan Brown books are not the usual summer reading requirements, but don’t think nothing further of it until the two leave with the book.)

Me: *to coworker* “Wait, he has to write a paper on the Inferno?”

Coworker: “Yeah.”

Me: “Um… is he sure it’s supposed to be Dan Brown’s Inferno, and not DANTE’S Inferno?”

Coworker: “OH, MY GOD! That makes a lot more sense! I don’t know…”

(Nobody before or since has ever requested Dan Brown’s Inferno for summer reading.)

Declaration Of Independently Sourced

| CT, USA | Crazy Requests, Extra Stupid, History

(I’m upstairs at the reference desk, fielding calls and helping patrons.)

Me: “Hello, this is [Library] Reference. Can I help you?”

Patron: “Where can I find the Declaration of Independence?”

Me: “Like the text?”

Patron: “No, like the real thing.”

Me: “Um, we don’t have the real thing, but we have a few copies of the text if that’s something you’re interested in getting? It’s all the same words, I promise.”

Patron: “But, like, do you have the actual paper?”

Me: “No, we don’t have the actual paper.”

Patron: “Where would I get that?”

Me: “In Washington.”

Patron: “Oh.” *hangs up*

The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 15

| White House, TN, USA | Books & Reading

(I’m working the register at the local library. We have a program where we help aspiring writers get their names out there by printing previews of the first few chapters of their book for local review before they send it to major publishers. One of said aspiring writers is talking with some people about his book, a long and detailed story with a vampire and werewolf as dual protagonists. Comparisons with Twilight have been drawn by several people, and he calmly explains the (myriad) differences, usually ending with a blunt jab about Twilight being “ploddingly written garbage.”)

Writer: “I’ve spent a lot of time building up this world with a bunch of traditional mythos. There aren’t just vampires and werewolves, but many other mythological creatures from all over the world.”

(Another customer comes up and begins speaking to him with a paperback preview of the first few chapters.)

Customer: “Oh, my god, this book is such a Twilight rip-off, and it’s such a bad rip-off, too! And your character is all wrong. He’s supposed to be broody and dark and hate what he is and that he can’t control it. Yours loves being a vampire and drinks blood like a drunk drinks wine!”

Writer: “You know, there are more types of vampires than just the one from Twilight. And quite honestly, Twilight—”

Customer: “Is the best thing ever! Honestly, the reason I’ve never heard of vampires before Twilight is because the old ones are all STUPID!”

(The woman throws the paperback on the ground and stomps off, the writer’s face is deadpan but I can see his eyes glaring a hole into the woman’s head. He looks to the guy he was speaking to and gives an exasperated sigh.)

Writer: “And that’s why I want people to help me get my book published.”

(The customer agrees with him and buys the preview the woman just threw down, he came back a few weeks later to return it, extremely satisfied and waiting on the final product.)

Related:
The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 14
The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 13
The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 12