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Book reviews, photos (unless otherwise stated) and blog content by Iben Jakobsen.
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05/02/2013

Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell

From the hugely popular blog, a miscellany of hilarious and peculiar bookshop moments: 'Can books conduct electricity?' 'My children are just climbing your bookshelves: that's ok... isn't it?'
A John Cleese Twitter question ['What is your pet peeve?'], first sparked the 'Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops' blog, which grew over three years into one bookseller's collection of ridiculous conversations on the shop floor.
From 'Did Beatrix Potter ever write a book about dinosaurs?' to the hunt for a paperback which could forecast the next year's weather; and from 'I've forgotten my glasses, please read me the first chapter' to 'Excuse me... is this book edible?' this full-length collection illustrated by the Brothers McLeod also includes top 'Weird Things' from bookshops around the world

The last time I was in London I stood in a book store looking at this book, wondering if I should buy it. At a price of £8 I decided it was too much for a short book which, once read, you couldn't do anything with rather than leave in the bathroom for guests to peruse. So a while later I borrowed it from the library.

While somewhat entertaining I didn't get the point of this book. Campbell might as well just have put the quotes on her blog. That format would have fit the content much better. The 119 pages long short book didn't have me laughing out loud and seeing as it only contains those quotes, I'll never reread it - there is no point. They won't get funnier or worse over time. They're not inspirational. I can't reinterpret them or the stupidity or weirdness. I haven't learned a valuable lesson. There's nothing to pass on.

Now obviously, a lot of books don't fill out those criteria despite being longer and containing plots and such. But like I said, this book - it should have stayed as a blog. Besides scraping in some money, I see no reason for publishing the quotes. And why a second book is being published, is beyond me.


Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops
ISBN13: 9781780334837
119 pages / published in 2012
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2013


Campbell's website can be found here: this is not the six word novel

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