Because when the customer isn't right, they may be entertainingly wrong.

‘Can you recommend a book of spells to raise pets from the dead?

Just animals you understand – not people. I don’t want my husband coming back.’

Jen Campbell, bookseller at Ripping Yarns and author of ‘Weird Things Customers say in Bookshops’ is back with, well, more weird things customers have said to some poor, confused bookseller.

What’s it about?

See above. (Also, see here for my review of the first book.) Essentially, it’s 121 pages of brief dialogues between customers and bookshop employees, ranging from the slightly unusual to the outright bizarre.

What’s it like?

Mildly entertaining. From customers who think Shakespeare is fictional and Harry Potter might have killed Voldemort, to customers who sincerely believe it’s acceptable to discuss the contraceptive choices of the bookseller, there’s plenty of material here to make you laugh and shake your head in mild disbelief.

Rather wonderfully, this book contains a ‘weird things customers have said at weird things customers say in bookshops book signings’ chapter. There’s only three pages of these, but they’re really quite marvellously odd.

Final thoughts

Another excellent stocking filler – thanks, Santa! – and a great gift for the librarian / bookseller / customer services representative in your life. Though there are references to a few books and authors, these are always extremely well known ones, so the likelihood of readers becoming as perplexed as some of the customers featured within should be slim. I’ll leave you with this nugget of joy:

CUSTOMER (eagerly): I really liked Fifty Shades of Grey. (Pause) Do you have an illustrated version?

Want something more ‘bookish’? Then you could try reading Jen Campbell’s ‘The Bookshop Book’, a treasure trove of mini-facts and fantastical bookshops.
‘More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops’,
Jen Campbell,
Constable, 2013, Hardback