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They said WHAT? Not-so-funny Customer Comments

last bookstore
Comments (20)
  1. Terri Fox says:

    For some reason, even though the sign on the building says, “The Garden of Readin’, Used Book Shop & Tea Room”… and the sign on the door says, “Welcome to our used book shop”… I get questions like this about once a month:

    “So….. how does this work? Do you just sit down with the books and read them? Is it like a library? How do you make money doing that?”

    Yep. These are all my books, and I’m here all day so people can come in and sit here and read them. I do it purely as a public service, even though we have a very nice library a block away.

    You would think that ‘Used Book Shop’ would be pretty clear. Guess not.

  2. Jon Johnson says:

    First day of business.
    Young girl sticks her head in the door and asks:
    “Do y’all sell textbooks or are these the kind of books you read?”

    1. Cindy Cotter says:

      Oh, I like this one. It means she reads for pleasure while simultaneously slamming textbooks for being the unreadable bores that they usually are.

      1. TheOtherDibbler says:

        Cindy, you’ve clearly been reading the wrong textbooks. 😉

  3. Sara says:

    I’ve collected many, but my favorite was:

    “Do you have Madlibs for toddlers?”

    I feel as though she must’ve been blissfully unaware that you must know the difference between a noun, verb, adjective, and adverb in order to play.

  4. Deena Heath says:

    My favorite comment, as a customer, was from the woman who was looking for reading recommendations but didn’t like my suggestion because the book “was too thick.”

    1. Dr Voltaire says:

      You probably won’t believe that I hear this all the time as a librarian in a medical library. One of our psychiatrist residents complained when I handed him a comprehensive book on dementia, because it was ‘too big’.

  5. JustMelissa says:

    In my youth, I worked for years at B&N. At least once a month, someone would ask me “Where’s the photocopier?”

  6. Sonia says:

    “I’m looking for a book,” (No shit! In a bookstore?? Shocker!) “But I mean, it can just be any book, really. Just the sleeve needs to be black with a white title, because it has to go with the brand new bookshelf I just bought at Ikea.” Good Lord, woman. Just shoot in me in the heart, why won’t you? Also, ever heard of fake books specifically created for interior decoration purposes? You can find those at…say, Ikea.

  7. I’m an American bookseller with a little bookshop on the Left Bank. Some tourists, bedazzled by Paris, have a hard time believing that the person behind the desk in the shop is not actually French.

    Starry-eyed tourist: “No. Wait. You, like, live here?”
    Me: “Here, in town? No, I commute from Jersey. But it’s not so bad. I get a lot of reading done on the way in.”

  8. Lesley Lawson says:

    “How come you don’t have shopping carts?”
    Because we sell books, not toilet paper.

  9. Kelley says:

    Here’s my absolute favorite: “I bought this book at Barnes & Noble, but I don’t feel like driving over there. Can I just return it here?” Because really – what’s the difference? Tiny independent, big behemoth retailer – a bookstore is a bookstore, I guess.

    And yes, like Terri, I get asked all the time if my books are for sale.

    1. Virginia Faulkner says:

      I own a used bookstore, and we had a similar situation. We accept returns without question, but when a customer told us that he had so many books that he could not check for duplicates more than once a year and wanted to return books he had purchased 12 months ago, we refused.

      We later learned that he had taken the books to a used book store a few miles away and tried to return them for a full credit on his purchase price from us.

      It does not have to be small independent/chain; it can be any two bookstores.

  10. A.lee says:

    I had a customer try to return tights and nail varnish to us. He was adamant he didn’t want Superdrug down the road.

  11. MW says:

    …and here I am in a developing country where people have to resort to downloading from torrents just because the books are either not available here or they’re so damned expensive! we have potential voracious readers starving for good books to read but they just don’t have money to spare to buy em. food for the family has to come first.

    1. Phyllis Cohen says:

      To MW,

      Hi. Which country, and would books in English be of any use? I’m about to cull my bookshop’s inventory, and was just looking for a good place to send them.


      1. Ruth Cooper says:

        Phyllis Cohen: You are an angel.
        I hope that MW is able to respond to your generous offer.

        1. Thank you, ma’am, but you must have me mixed up with someone else.

          No response yet, but I check from time to time.

          Other ideas are most welcome. I just bought a used-book shop in Paris, and am turning over the inventory. I can send these donated books cheaply by slow boat.

  12. Pzazzme says:

    “I’d like to return this book”-Hands me a VERY tattered book-“I didn’t like it”.

  13. Virginia Faulkner says:

    There is a hilarious book, “Book-Worm Droppings : An Anthology of Absurd Remarks Made by Customers in Second-Hand Bookshops,”

    The editors did a marvelous job of editing the anecdotes, which were solicited from used book stores in the UK. I highly recommend it. The sequel, “More Book-Worm Droppings,” is still entertaining, but gets a little repetitive.

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