Saturday, February 28, 2009


Customer: Do you have Dr.Phil's Relationship rescue?
Me: Sure. It's over here.
Customer: My husband and I are having some trouble. I hope this will help.
Me: Well I hope it works for you.
Customer: Yeah, we're not having sex anymore.
Me: Ummm... Oh.....
Customer: I don't know if we can get things going again but this book was recommended.
Me: So can I ring you through?

There are things I just don't need to know.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

There are some young adult novels over here...

I feel I must preface this post with a statement about myself.
I am not a book snob. I know a lot of them. I work with some. I am not one.
I really read just about anything, I believe that there is a time, or place or reader for just about anything. There are times I want something that I can sink my teeth into and will make me think or maybe learn something. There are times I want to be challenged. There are times I just want to be entertained by a fast paced thriller or imaginative fantasy and still other times I want to read something mindless and fluffy that I can just enjoy without guilt.
I am Not going to look down on someone because they like romance novels or D&D books. Hey, they're reading.

However, I admit I had some difficulty figuring out what to recommend to this lady,

Customer: I'm going on vacation and I'm looking for a light read.
Me: Great. A beach read. What kind of books do you like?
Customer: Well I want something that's not too hard to follow. Nothing as hard as Danielle Steel. I like her but they're kind of hard to follow.

This is where I begin to stall for time.
I've read some Danielle Steel; they are light, entertaining, and very very popular. I think of them like fairy tales for grownups. Not a darn thing wrong with them if that's what you have a hankering for. They are NOT however a hard read. What do you recommend without being condescending?

I went with Nicholas Sparks, not because I think he's any easier per say but his novels tend to be shorter and I hoped that might equate to an easier read for this lady.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Still looking for that ESP!

Customer: I'm looking for a book about a guy who gets lost on a mountain.
Me: Okay. Is it a true story?
Customer: I think so.
Me: Is it recent?
Customer: I don't think so. It came out around the same time as that movie about the boat and the big storm.
Me: The Perfect Storm? The one with George Clooney?
Customer: Yeah.

So I check it out and find out that The Perfect Storm came out in 2000.

Me: Okay so it came out in 2000. So the book about the guy lost on a mountain came out around then and it's a true story?
Customer: I think so.
Me: Okay, let me see what I can find.

I whittle the list of over 100 "guy stuck on a mountain" books down to the few between 1999 and 2001. I even try giving her the titles of some of the most popular books from other years.

Customer: None of those are right.
Me: I'm sorry, but there are so many books about people getting suck on mountains. If you can give me any more info about it I might be able to narrow it down some more but with just this info these all fit.
Customer: Well, I thought you could be more helpful.

WHAT? MORE helpful? More helpful than figuring out what movie from nine years ago you are vaguely referring to to find the book that you don't know anything more about then it's a guy stuck on a mountain. More helpful than finding out when that movie was made for you and then spending more than 20 min searching lists for books that match your info in the last nine years?
I'm going home now.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

No wonder people get frustrated with tourists

Customer: Do you have books with that language they speak in Dominican?
Me: Spanish?
Customer: Do you have books with Spanish words in it?
Me: Ummm.. like a Spanish English dictionary?
Customer: I guess so.
Me: Here they are.
Customer picks one up and looks at it.
Customer: This looks hard.
Me: Ummm, the English word is here, and beside it is the Spanish word and in the other half of the book it's Spanish and then English.
Customer: Well, this doesn't say appendix.
Me: It does in Spanish. That's the point. That's the Spanish word for appendix, beside the English word appendix. Here in the middle are common phrases like "where is the bathroom" and "how much is this" and the Spanish for the same phrase.
Customer: Don't you have an easier one? Like with less words?
Me: I'm afraid they're all pretty much the same. This one is the smallest, and it has the lowest number of words in it. I have some picture dictionaries but they're all pretty big, not really great for packing.

Ack! Any suggestions about how to make a dictionary easier to use? Anyone?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Old is not a taste!!

Customer: I'm looking for something for an elderly person.
Me: Okay. What kind of books to they like?
Customer: They're 93.
Me: Okay, but what kind of books to they like to read? Fiction?Non-fiction?
Customer: I don't know - don't you have something general for old people?
Me: Well, you could try one of the chicken soup for the soul type books, they're pretty generic... Or any of these sort of bathroom readers, or gift books - they're pretty good for anyone if you don't know them well.
Customer: Are they good for someone's who's 93?
Me: I don't see why not. They're good for most people.

This one is one I've heard in one form or another a ton of times and it's beginning to annoy me. Just because someone is older doesn't mean they become some cookie cutter "old person". Older people are still people - they have their own interests and preferences.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I'm beginning to dislike these books

Customer: I want book three in the Twilight series in paperback.
Me: Eclipse isn't out in paper yet.
Customer: No. I want book number three.
Me: In the Twilight series?
Customer: rudely. Yes. In Paperback.
Me: The third book in the Twilight series is called Eclipse and it's not out in paperback yet.
Customer: Yes it is. I saw it.
Me: Well, we can't order it yet in North America.
Customer: Fine, I'll get it somewhere else.

Where do these people "see" these books that aren't out yet? Do they surf websites in other continents just to be difficult?!?

Monday, February 9, 2009

A Little Vague

Customer: I'm looking for a particular word puzzle book.
Me: Okay. What's it called?
Customer: I don't know. It's $9.99.
Me: Okay. I'm afraid that doesn't really help.
Customer: I bought it from (names some bookstore in Toronto).
Me: Okay, I'm afraid that still doesn't help narrow down what book it is.
Customer: It's word puzzles.
Me: There are an awful lot of word puzzle books.
Customer: It's hard word puzzles.

It's been a really long day. I give up.

: Here are the puzzle books. Maybe you'll recognize it.

Friday, February 6, 2009

ACK! Exam Week

I make a conscious effort to remember that I was once one of those loud and sometimes obnoxious teenagers. Generally speaking all of the teens would come into the store are great kids. The problem is not the kids themselves, the problem lays in the fact that at that age it's NEVER one teen that you are dealing with. They travel in Packs. Large Packs. Large, Loud, Annoying packs who have the most asinine things they need to talk about a top volume.

For instance.

"Oh my God. Like look at that cover. It's so like gross."


"I like books like that" -pointing at a children's chapterbook "They're easy."

Why has the "Valley" girl talk not died off? WHY??????

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I might be cranky

Customer: I'm looking for a book about a family that had a tragedy it's fairly new.
Me: Do you know anything more about it? I'm afraid that's not ringing any bells.
Customer: Someone died I think.
Me: A new book about a family where someone dies?
Customer: Yes.
Me: I'm sorry, I really don't know what title you might be looking for. It's just too broad.
Customer: Well, you work in a bookstore. You should know the books that are out.

Now, I was polite and apologetic even to this woman....
How is it my fault that you don't have a CLUE about what it is that you want? I mean, we try to find things for people all day with no information and most of the time we're happy to do it but there is NO reason for you to get nasty if we can't get our ESP working that day.