Overheard in a Bookstore at Christmastime

Here, in random order, is a list of our favorite customer sayings complied from Christmases past and present (hee hee, get it, present? Oh, never mind):

A woman asks: “Do you have any books about how to be a good husband? Maybe two or three.”

Extended family, browsing, grandmother says to daughter: “Books for the kids? I dunno. Shouldn’t we get them something they’d really like?”

“I’m looking for a book, it’s about a small town, and the people are kinda sweet and backwards.” Against our better judgment, we tried Adriana’s Big Stone Gap series, Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, and Jan Karon’s Mitford books. The customer wanted “Winesburg, Ohio.”

Customer points to a shelf: “You had a book somewhere around here last week; it had a red cover, something about a bird, or maybe it was a dog? I thought my sister would like it. I think the title started with ‘A Day’ or maybe it was ‘My Dog’ or ‘The Day.’ You know, something like that.”

After child rips page out of a picture book while mother browses nearby: “I’m not going to pay for that. You shouldn’t have the children’s books lying about where children can reach them.”

“Do y’all sell Christmas presents here?”

Christmas Eve Day, noon: “So the Christmas books are half off now, right?”

Christmas Eve Day, 3 pm, man enters with little girl, takes her straight to children’s room: “That’s right, honey, anything you want. Mommy said we can’t come home until 5.” Closes children’s room door with daughter inside, turns to staff: “Got any coffee?”

Christmas Eve Day, 4 pm: “…and I wouldn’t normally think of shopping at a bookstore for him, but y’all are right near the house and still open.”

Christmas Eve Day, 5 pm: “I need a gift for my mother-in-law. I don’t care what it is. Just make sure it’s big and heavy. And wrap it for me.”

Christmas Eve Day, 5:50 pm: “Excuse me, do you know a lot about books? OK, pick me out something a 14-year-old will like. Quick, I’m in a hurry.”


Filed under Big Stone Gap, bookstore management, humor, Life reflections, small town USA, Uncategorized

11 responses to “Overheard in a Bookstore at Christmastime

  1. With a little luck, 1/4 of those books will strike a nerve with the recipient and make a difference in their life. You can never tell.

    Some of these reminded me of the student who berated the whole d*mn library for not having a particular world-famous book. I asked her how she had looked it up. She looked at me with haughty disdain (other wise known as sn*tty condescension) “Únder Copperfield comma David, of course…”

  2. Sarah Bearup-Neal

    People, as a group, aren’t very attractive. One can’t make up these things.

    • Yeah, but when you accept the context in which they’re acting, it’s kind of cute. Like when people expect snow and are rude to each other at the grocery. The rest of the time they’re nice.

  3. Oh man! Those are awful! And you STILL love people?

    • Susie, never underestimate the unparalleled entertainment value of real people who have waited too long to start their Christmas shopping. It may not bring out the best, but it does bring out the humor.

  4. James R

    As a once famous man, Art Linkletter, said; “PEOPLE ARE FUNNY”

  5. lou ann gioffre

    As a retired librarian, I can believe everyone of those comments! As I once said to a colleague, “If it weren’t for the patrons, we wouldn’t have ANY problems!”. Love your blog, Wendy, and your book. Can’t
    wait for the new one to come out.

  6. My favorite was a young man who came in with a book title given to him by his mother. He was to buy the book for his father’s gift. The title (as read to me) was “Good Old Escher Box,” aka “Godol, Escher, Bach.” Wonder what he thought the book was about?

  7. Pingback: The Dancing Santa & Obama - Alma Alexander: Duchess of Fantasy

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