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12 Awkward Bookseller Moments

Being a bookseller is a pretty fantastic job, but booksellers are humans and humans can be very, very awkward. Therefore, booksellers can be very, very awkward. Here are 12 Awkward Bookseller Moments. (No booksellers, books, readers, or bears were harmed in the making of this list. Unless you count feeling awkward as being harmed. In which case, yeah, there's a good amount of that.)

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12. When you show up to work in matching cardigans & spectacles

"Wednesday is my cardigan day!"

"Wednesday is my cardigan day!"

11. When the recommendation...

"This is my fav---"

"This is my fav---"

is way, way off the mark.

"Ugh, I hated this book."

"Ugh, I hated this book."

10. When the computer says we have 5 copies

"They're in our history section."

"They're in our history section."

but we can't seem to find them.

"Weird, they should be right here."

"Weird, they should be right here."

9. Age appropriate questions...

Are these books appropriate for my 10-year-old? She's really into clocks and she wants to be a pilot.

Are these books appropriate for my 10-year-old? She's really into clocks and she wants to be a pilot.

...can be very, very awkward.

She's a really good reader!

She's a really good reader!

8. When you have trouble spelling a difficult author name, like, KRZHIFANOVSKI

KRIZHANOVSKY

CRZIHANOVESKY?

KRAVAZHOVSKI?

AAARHGH! NOW I CAN WRITE THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A CORPSE!

(PS: It's KRZHIZHANOVSKY. His first name? Sigimund? Sizizmund? Szigimundz? Steve! His first name is STEVE!)

(PS: It's KRZHIZHANOVSKY. His first name? Sigimund? Sizizmund? Szigimundz? Steve! His first name is STEVE!)

7. When someone tries to return a "gently" used book...

and the use was not so "gentle."

6. When an adorable child settles down in the kids' section...

OMG! It's like Bear is reading over the adorable child's shoulder! You just want the moment to last forever!

OMG! It's like Bear is reading over the adorable child's shoulder! You just want the moment to last forever!

...just as the author begins a brilliant AND profanity laden reading.

Yes. Steve Almond is brilliant & yes, he currently holds the record for most f-bombs dropped in the course of a reading. (You should show your appreciation for his profanity and his brilliance by reading his new book Against Football.)

Yes. Steve Almond is brilliant & yes, he currently holds the record for most f-bombs dropped in the course of a reading. (You should show your appreciation for his profanity and his brilliance by reading his new book Against Football.)

5. When someone finally asks about radically experimental works in translation...

"Excuse me. Will any of these book challenge my understanding of narrativity and expand my relationship with otherness?"

"Excuse me. Will any of these book challenge my understanding of narrativity and expand my relationship with otherness?"

when Josh is on vacation.

And yes, the official bookseller vacation uniform includes T-rex socks and a tiki glass.

And yes, the official bookseller vacation uniform includes T-rex socks and a tiki glass.

4. When You've Been Waiting a VERY Long Time for the Bathroom Key

"When I told them they should read Infinite Jest I didn't mean right now!"

"When I told them they should read Infinite Jest I didn't mean right now!"

And Sometimes You Wait For a VERY VERY Long Time

"I remember when I started waitn' for this here key. Anything happen with that Ernie Hemingway fella? Seemed like he'd be a real go-getter."

"I remember when I started waitn' for this here key. Anything happen with that Ernie Hemingway fella? Seemed like he'd be a real go-getter."

3. When your enthusiastic recommendation of a contemporary book...

"In this fun and entertaining novel, as much science as it is science fiction, Weir creates a compelling new hero."

"In this fun and entertaining novel, as much science as it is science fiction, Weir creates a compelling new hero."

...prompts the reader to gush about a classic you haven’t read.

"That reminds me of Bradbury's classic...oh...oh dear."

"That reminds me of Bradbury's classic...oh...oh dear."

2. The Bait...

"Thank you, Gary, for spending the last half hour talking with me about gritty police procedurals. I want to read every one of your recommendations!"

"Thank you, Gary, for spending the last half hour talking with me about gritty police procedurals. I want to read every one of your recommendations!"

..and Switch!

"But they're cheaper online."

"But they're cheaper online."

1. When Bear...

...is moist.

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