I first discovered Jen Campbell by chance when searching for some new poetry book recommendations on youtube as I wanted something new to read on holiday in Bulgaria. Jen Campbell is a booktuber, author, poet and works at an antiquarian bookshop (although I’m unsure if she still works there now due to doing numerous book tours and writing workshops.) On discovering she has had some of her own books published I wanted to check them out. I felt considerably drawn to ‘Weird things customers say in Bookshops’ because it has been a while since I’ve read something lighthearted, funny and relatable. After many months reading highbrow tomes about Yoga & Hindu Philosophy I needed a break to leisurely chuckle to myself over a comedic book and ‘Weird Things customers say in Bookshops’ did just that. I can relate to a lot of the hilarious conversations because I also work part time in retail and my mother was a manager of Harvey’s furniture store and so reading through the pages of this book brought back memories from when I was little and my mum would come home and act out weird conversations she’d had with her customers, One particular lady was called ‘Mrs Fookit’ who asked whether a sofa she was interested in was impermeable because she suffers with sweaty thighs, and I have plentiful tales from when I worked in Ann Summers, Athena Gift shop and Primark.
At times I’d laugh out loud at this witty, little book and I’d then have to share the parts I have read with others.
This is also what I love about the book, it’s a great little conversation starter, it’s a wonderful mood booster and a brilliant Birthday or Christmas gift. The book itself is a lovely size to pop into your satchel, the illustrations throughout are cute and reminiscent of retro newspaper comic strips and the book conversations are short and simple, perfect for your early morning commute on the train.
With customer comments like:
“Do you have this children’s book I’ve heard about? Its supposed to be very good. It’s called “Lionel Ritchie and the Wardrobe.”‘
“I read a book in the sixties. 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?”
“Do you have any pop-up books about sex education?”
It’s hard not to laugh and also visualize the look on the book sellers face having heard such ridiculously, peculiar remarks.
This book is a funny and honest look at the ridiculous realities of retail and it really makes you wonder how these customers can function as adults in the rest of their lives?
The one critique I have of this book is that it has a dust jacket and this is purely a personal opinion based on my lifestyle. Books with dust jackets, to me, mean they can’t leave the house in case it catches on something and tears.
I’m always on the go, if I am not traveling abroad, I’m here, there and everywhere in the UK and I’ve always got at least 3 books in my backpack. I’d prefer an edition that is paperback or hardback with the cover already printed on it. But this is just a personal preference and the tiniest criticism. Overall this book is refreshing, cute and amusing.
Jen Campbell has also written & published other books, I think I’ll end up purchasing all of them soon. Check them out in the links below!
FRANKLIN’S FLYING BOOKSHOP Children’s Picture Book
And here is her youtube channel for everything bookish! Jen is a pleasure to watch because her enthusiasm for books, writing, poetry and Literature just radiates through the screen so please do check her out if, like me you are a book lover.
Fancy reading more book reviews? Click on the links below:
Quotes I like from The Book of Dharma by Simon Haas
Book review of Alchemy of the Heart by Elizabeth Prophet
Book Review of Shamanic way of the Bee by Simon Buxton
Book Review of Love poems from God by Daniel Ladinsky
Book Review of Yoga for Travelers by Jennifer Ellinghaes
Book review on yoga books (miscellaneous)
Book Review on Kinfolk Magazine issues 11 & 12
Beautiful children’s books part one
Book review on the Book of Symbols by Taschen
Book Review on the children’s picture book ABC Dream by Kim Krans
Book Haul on Art Therapy Books
Book Haul on more Art Therapy Books