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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Weird Things People Say in Bookshops

The things people say about books!

Just recently,New Zealand Listener columnist Joanne Black, reported overhearing a father telling his wayward child that if she didn't behave she would only get books for Christmas, instead of "real" presents. Then, in a more amusing echo of this, I received an email from a friend in Cambridge, England, who had been mightily amused by a feature in the Financial Times about what people say in bookstores.

I came across something in Saturday's Financial Times (he wrote) that had us both laughing. It is on page 2 of the "Life & Arts" section, and is a selection of extracts "Things people say in bookshops" by Jen Campbell.

It begins with:

Customer: I read a book in the 1960s. I don't remember the author or the title. But it was green and it made me laugh. Do you know which one I mean?

It ends with:

 Customer: I'm looking for a biography to read that's really interesting. Could you recommend one?

Bookseller: Sure. What books have you read and liked?

Customer: Well, I really loved Mein Kampf.

Bookseller: .... ???

Customer: "Loved" is probably not the right word.

Bookseller: Probably not.

Customer: "Liked" is probably better. Yes, I liked it a lot.

Read more about Weird Things People Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell. (Constable, £7.99)

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