We’ve all had wide-eyed moments when we find ourselves thinking Really, did this person standing in front of me actually just say that? And being the customer-focused, benefit-of-the-doubt-giving, gentle bookseller souls we are, we respond with a nod and a smile and keep our sarcastic comebacks to ourselves.
The good news is I wanted to come up with a top 10 list of most stupid or insensitive comments but I couldn’t so here are the top 5 most insensitive, funny or otherwise out-there things said to me in the last 18 months – and how I would have liked to respond!
- “Really you just bought this bookstore now? I thought all bookstores were going out of business. Really? Isn’t everyone going to e-readers and you can’t compete with Amazon can you? Umm. Good luck with it.”
Well when you put it that way I guess I should just lock the door behind you and call it a day. But before you leave, why don’t you buy something so you can proudly boast that said item was purchased from one of the last remaining bookstores.
- “You’ve never read (fill in the blank). It’s only the best children’s book ever. How could you have never even heard of it?”
Maybe it is because there are millions of children’s books out there and if you aren’t talking about Peter Rabbit or Goodnight Moon chances are I might not be familiar with it. I’d be happy to track it down and order it though. Oh, you just wanted to pick it up today. Good luck with that.
3. “This greeting card is a good price point. This one however is not but I’ll buy it anyway.” Please don’t do me any favors. I can live without the $1.00 I make on that particular card if it is going to make you feel as if you are being taken advantage of in any way. And the percentage that goes to help get books into the hands of kids in third world countries, well I’m sure they would agree with you, with me…
4. “I’m not a reader. I don’t like books.”
Did you say you can’t read because the sign over the front door says Book Garden. To be fair we do sell toys, t-shirts and other items but most of them are book-related, and I have visited more than one bookstore where books are sadly in the minority.
5. “I’m sure I can just order it on Amazon.”
Not so bad, right? I’m sure there are a few bookstore veterans out there who have funnier commentary to share so please do!