Bookstore Bingo

3 Dec

The phone rings. I answer it (within the first two rings, of course).

“Hello, this is <Bookstore Name> in <Location>, Anna speaking, how may I help you?”


“Hi, do you sell books?”
No, the whole “Bookstore” part of our name is a joke, we really sell sticky widgets.


“Hi, do you have a book?”
Nope, we’re fresh out.


“Hi, I’m looking for frerkhtngrmwth.”
“Could you repeat that? I didn’t hear you clearly.”
“I’m looking for frerkhtngrmwth, by Thrrlblwrt K Hamthripth. You know, her new book.”
“Um… let me put you on hold just a moment and I’ll check.”
<checks new releases section for books with titles that sound like frerkhtngrmwth.>
“I’m sorry ma’am, I don’t seem to have any copies of frerkhtngrmwth right now.”
“Oh alright. I’ll try online.”


“Hi, I was wondering if you had <Obscure Book Title>”
“Give me just a moment and I’ll check the shelf.”
<checks shelf>
“I’m sorry, sir, we don’t have a copy of Obscure Book Title right now.”
“Why not?”
“Well, we’re a used bookstore, so our inventory is really unpredictable.”
“But I checked your online inventory and it says you have it.”
“…. We actually don’t have an in-store or online inventory. Are you sure?”
“Well, I looked it up on Amazon Dot Com, and it says you have the book!”


“Hi, I’m looking fer books on Yew-Bun-Tew Lye-Nucks. It’s a computerin’ book.”
“Just a moment and I’ll check the shelf for you. … I’m sorry, right now all we have are Red Hat books and some generic Linux books.”
“Naw, I don’t need them Red Hat things. I need a Yew-Bun-Tew book. Thankya though.”
<I actually had an extended conversation with this gentleman, and he knew exactly what he was talking about. But I had to try REALLY hard not to giggle.>


“Hi, I need a copy of Sandy Backerack for my kid.”
“uhh… do you know what kind of book it is?”
“He says it’s a play.”
“Well, I can’t find a record of any book with that title, are you sure that’s it?”
“Yeah, that’s what he said.”
“You’re sure it’s not Pygmalion? That book is on a lot of reading lists right now.”
“Yes I’m sure. It’s called Sandy Backerack and it’s about a guy with a really big nose.”
“You mean Cyrano de Bergerac?”
“Yeah, that one.”


… to be continued …


9 Responses to “Bookstore Bingo”

  1. Tami December 3, 2010 at 8:05 am #

    HILARIOUS. Oh man, I’m crying here. Sandy Backerack!

  2. falconesse December 3, 2010 at 9:21 am #

    “I’m looking for a book. It was over there last week… (*waves vaguely, encompassing half the store*) It had a blue cover. Do you have it?”

  3. Cynwise December 3, 2010 at 9:40 am #



  4. Bika December 3, 2010 at 9:47 am #

    I can totally hear the Texas in that Linux guy. Haha xD

  5. Fallah December 3, 2010 at 10:58 am #

    Oh God. I have a friend that used to own a small bookstore. Her stories were hilarious. I love the Lye-nux guy in this collection. And Sandy Backerack! Ha!

    I’ve developed a Sixth Sense for deciphering what my customers mean when they aren’t using the proper terminology but sometimes they stump me good.

  6. Claire December 3, 2010 at 2:57 pm #

    I loved these stories, they reminded me of working at (insert name of major video game retailer here).

    “I’m looking for Super Mario.”
    “On what system?”
    “Playstation 2.”
    “Let me go in the back and check.”

    And then I would just stand in the back room for 5 minutes and bang my head against a wall.

  7. Caulle December 3, 2010 at 6:11 pm #

    You mean you guys *aren’t* amazon dot com? Oh, sorreh!

  8. Sarai December 6, 2010 at 9:20 pm #

    Quote- “… to be continued …”

    Yes please!

    It’s almost as bad at my grocery store. Gotta love those customers though. They provide amusement along with ensuring you get a paycheck that week. >.>


  1. Your guitar is broken « Seven Deadly Divas - January 6, 2011

    […] built, and that was often where myself or another repair technician would come in. Inspired by Anna’s bookstore post, I bring you a few of my favorite moments from that […]

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