Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Book 18 of 2013: Weird Things Customers Say In Bookshops by Jen Campbell

I posted a little announcement when this book came out and I was torn between posting a review for it at the time and waiting and coming to it when I had actually written reviews for the other books I read before it. In the end I decided to wait purely because I wanted to avoid confusing myself and missing out a book review somewhere along the way.

More Weird Things Customers Say In Bookshops is the sequel to Jen’s first book, Weird Things Customers Say In Bookshops, and it pretty much does what it says on the tin! I happen to know Jen, as I’ve probably mentioned before, through a site that we both frequent. The first Weird Things book came about through a series of posts on her blog about some of the crazy things that she has dealt with in her job at a bookshop; the sequel has come about because it seems that people just don’t stop saying crazy things!

Mr Click surprised me with a copy of this book one day after work which was obviously very exciting. I was in the middle of reading another book at the time but luckily it wasn’t a long one and I was soon able to read this. I couldn’t really help comparing it to the original Weird Things but it’s not the sort of book that you have to worry if you’ve not read the first, though if you do read More Weird Things you will definitely want to go out and get your paws on a copy of Weird Things!

If anything I think I enjoyed this one more than the last. Whereas with the first one I was familiar with quite a few of the quotes, this one was almost entirely new with the exception of a few quotes that Jen had shared on Facebook or during the run up to the book’s publication on her blog. I’m guessing that’s because these were compiled with the intention of putting them in a book, whereas the first blog entries were purely for the entertainment of her blog readers.

Once again the Brothers McLeod provided the illustrations. They’re quirky and fun and they complement the quotes from the customers well. As before I couldn’t help but wish that there were more. I realise it’s not at all possible for every quote to be illustrated, but there were a few in there that I’d have loved to have seen how they interpreted them.

It’s one of those books that you can’t help but read extracts out to whoever you’re with. I ended up finishing it before I went to work which was probably a good thing because my family are probably more used to me sitting with a book and sniggering to myself than my colleagues would be if they found me in the canteen doing it. I can’t wait to see what Mr Click thinks of it because he loved the last one and I tried to resist the temptation to read out all of my favourite quotes because I want to see whether his favourites are the same as mine.

Probably one of my favourite bits of the book is one of the final sections: ‘Weird Things Customers Say At Weird Things Customers Say In Bookshops Signings’. Try saying that ten times fast! You almost don’t want to believe it but then, if like me, you’ve worked with members of the public, you’ll know that people come out with crazy things like that all the time! My personal favourite from this section is the woman who asked Jen to sign a random book and couldn’t fathom why Jen was just signing one particular book.

As before there’s also quotes from other booksellers around the world. In a way it’s nice to know that the crazy isn’t just concentrated to Ripping Yarns in London, on the other hand, it’s kind of scary to think that the crazy is so widespread around the world! It also kind of makes me want to go into a bookshop and actually try saying some of these things, just to see how they react (and perhaps give them a shot of being featured in Even More Weird Things Customers Say In Bookshops). It would be a kind of public service!

I’m looking forward to seeing what Jen will produce next. It’s kind of cool being able to sit at work reading a book and when someone asks what I’m reading I can be like, ‘oh, just a book my friend wrote’. I’ve got both of the Weird Things books plus The Hungry Ghost Festival and I’m looking forward to adding whatever Jen writes next to my bookcase as well. I just hope I don’t have to wait too long. ;-)

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