That’s A Compliment In Anyone’s Book

, , , , , , | Right | July 23, 2019

(I work at a bookstore. A man comes in and asks me to recommend him a book. I ask the usual questions: what sort of thing does he like, what books has he liked in the past, and so on. With that information, I select a book, which he buys. A few days later, he comes back in.)

Customer: “That book was great! Couldn’t put it down! Can you write me another one?”

Me: “Can I recommend you another, you mean?”

Customer: “No, I mean are you going to write a sequel?”

Me: “Oh. I’m not a writer. The book was written by [Author]. I don’t think it has a sequel, but I can find you other books they’ve written if you like.”

Customer: “Oh. So… you didn’t write the books in the shop?”

Me: “I… No. I just sell them.”

Customer: “Oh. I always thought you guys wrote all the books in the shop!”

Me: “I wish. I’d be a lot richer if I did. We just sell them; we don’t write any of them.”

(The man look suddenly dejected and a little embarrassed, so I quickly add:)

Me: “I mean, it’s not uncommon for writers to work in bookshops. Some of my colleagues are writers, but as far as I know, none of their books are sold here. But somewhere there’s probably a writer who has their books in the shop they work in.”

(The man goes red, obviously embarrassed, so I decide to change the subject.)

Me: “Would you like me to recommend something else? [Author] has written quite a few books. If you liked that one, you’d probably really like these.”

(I led him over to a shelf and grabbed a few books, talking him through each one. I’m an avid reader and have read many of the books in the store, including the ones I am recommending. The man bought several books, apologised for what he said, and left. He’s been coming in every week for a while now to find a new book. Sometimes he apologises again for thinking we wrote the books but I always tell him it’s not a problem and that actually, I’m flattered that anyone would think I could write such good books.)

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