Friday, April 27, 2012

Announcing A New Release and Call for Entry: WEIRD THINGS CUSTOMERS SAY IN BOOKSTORES

You know it has happened to you.  You're blissing out inside your favorite bookstore, wrapped up in another world within the crisp pages of a new book—or the crinkly ones of an old favorite—when suddenly it happens.  Another customer single-handedly destroys your literary wanderlust with words that sends you reeling.  Perhaps something like:

"You know, I'm not sure I've ever really read a whole book before..." or maybe, "Do you have any books by Jane Eyre?"

Do you laugh? Do you cry? Do you heave multiple books in their direction? Regardless of your impulses, we sympathize with you.  So much so that hundreds of these "Weird Things" heard in bookstores will now occupy a book of their own. Overlook Press is thrilled to announce publication of Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores, a collection of outrageous conversations showcasing the most unusual and uproarious comments seen and heard from booksellers around the world.

Based on writer Jen Campbell’s firsthand experiences working as an independent bookseller in North London’s Ripping Yarns and Scotland’s Edinburgh Bookshop, Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores collects a miscellany of hilarious and peculiar conversations overheard between bookstore staff and customers. Inspired more than three years ago by a patron who asked whether Holocaust victim Anne Frank had ever written a sequel, Campbell began taking note of the strange and wonderful questions she received as a bookseller, sharing the stories she heard through a series of popular posts on her blog. Campbell decided to write a book when actor and comedian John Cleese tweeted the simple question, “What is your pet peeve,” to which she immediately knew her response, “The weird things people say in bookshops.”

Stocked with pitch perfect comedic exchanges gathered from booksellers around the globe, Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores features real-life remarks ranging from the obvious and the oblique to the abstract and the absurd. 

“Did Charles Dickens ever write anything fun?”

“Do you have this children’s book I’ve heard about? It’s supposed to be very good. It’s called Lionel Richie and the Wardrobe.”

 “Do you have any pop-up books on sex education?"

Following the release this month in the UK by Constable & Robinson of Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops, Overlook’s North American edition will contain content selected from that version as well as new material gathered from booksellers in the United States and Canada. Beginning this month and continuing through the end of the industry trade show, Book Expo America (June 7th, 2012), North American booksellers are encouraged to submit their most irreverent customer conversations to for an opportunity to be included in the fall release. To be eligible for inclusion in Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores, participants must include their first and last names as well as the name of the store in which their conversation took place. Submissions selected for inclusion will be announced in July.

For those of you not in the bookselling business, we want to hear from you, too! Starting May 1st, we hope you'll share any delightfully despicable comments you've overheard in bookstores by tweeting at us @overlookpress with the hashtag, #weirdthingsbook. Every week, we will highlight the best quotes you send in!

With accompanying illustrations from renowned animator Greg McLeod, this testament to the boggling and the bizarre celebrates weirdness in all its forms. Proving that the customer isn’t always right, Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores is dedicated to heroic booksellers everywhere. 

Connect with Jen Campbell on Twitter, Facebook, and her blog.

"So funny. So Sad...Read it and sigh."--Neil Gaiman

1 comment:

Artichoke said...

When I asked a customer why he wanted to return his book (a Hebrew edition Torah) he said, "I didn't want the Japanese edition, I want the American one!"