Top Ten Things Not to Do In a Bookstore #JusJoJan

book store


This list is inspired by observing some pretty unusual things on visits to bookstores. I hope you enjoy it.

Top Ten Things Not to do In a Bookstore

10 In a bookstore, do not set up a Coleman lantern next to the most comfortable chair. If you do, at best you will tip-off the store personnel that you intend to overnight. At worst, once set up there is no way you can leave the chair without someone else jumping into your spot.(That double shot low foam latte is now calling on you for relief)

9 In a bookstore, do not decide to skim through a couple of rare books while eating a brownie. If you do, at best you’ll be able to avoid discovery of the brown frosting spot on page 121. At worst, you are now looking at buying a book whose price tag makes your monthly food expense look cheap. (Hard to eat a book right?)

8 In a bookstore, do not wear your jammies, bunny feet, and carry your Dachshund. If you do, at best you’ll be forced to stay in the juvenile section to quell the laughter. At worst, the store manager will place a call to the local mental health provider requesting an intervention. (The store seems just like home doesn’t it?)

7 In a bookstore, do not decide to review a book using your out loud voice. If you do, at best the rest of the patrons will ask the manager to throw you out. At worst, your review may not sit well with one individual who happens to be the brother of the author and best-selling author of the title,”Fear No One: Bear Handed Self Defense.” (He really does have big hands doesn’t he?)

6 In a bookstore, do not spend hours looking at the magazines. If you do, at best you may be taken for a homeless person embarrassed by the offer of a free cup of coffee. At worst, you may be mistaken for a secret agent who has been waiting for the contact person now being interrogated by Homeland Security. (What do you mean a phone call?)

5 In a bookstore, do not think you can do all your reading for free. If you do, at best you will be eventually recognized and asked to leave. At worst, the security camera has recorded all the times you made a margin note or bent a page, and your bill is now overdue. (You should have worn a mask. Right Sparky?)

4 In a bookstore, do not try to sneak into the erotic section. If you do, at best store personnel will think you’re going to steal something. At worst, the security department will hold it’s breath hoping you will make a fool of yourself on camera.(You know Erotica is a genre right? No need to sneak.)

3 In a bookstore, do not ask the manager to stock your book as if you’re a reader and not the author. If you do, at best the manager will ignore your request. At worst, the manager will ask for your name and telephone number so he can call you when the book comes in. (Wow that was embarrassing)

2 In a bookstore, do not ask the clerk if the price on the discounted book is the best they can do. If you do, at best the person will confirm the price as firm. At worst, the clerk will call the manager who will make note of your request and politely inform you that the price is firm while memorizing your face for the next encounter. (After all this place is not a flea market)

1 In a bookstore, do not come back for a while if you are greeted by name as if you are walking into Cheers bar. If you do, at best you are recognized as a good customer, and it’s okay. At worst, the store personnel has your number, and you might want to take the hint.(After three days fish and guests start to smell alike)

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  1. #8 tends to happen around colleges, but without the dog. I was always surprised how often students would walk around in pajamas. Guess you never know when a power nap opportunity will appear.

    I’ve also seen #2 happen in Florida where a tourist thought haggling was the way to go. It was both hilarious and cringe-worthy watching the employee try to explain that the price is the price. The tourist kept thinking they were playing hardball.

    1. The haggler must have been a retiree from NJ. I did pick up the PJ observation in a college town. 🙂

      1. Actually, I think they were from the Middle East where they have bazaars. Haggling is a requirement there. At least the one I went to in Israel was like that. Truly terrifying in a way because eye contact meant you already agreed to buy something.

      2. Then if you don’t they take the eye?

      3. They just keep coming until you buy something. Every slip of the tongue is used against you. If you say you’re running late then they try to sell you something to fix that. If you say you have to meet with a family member then they try to sell you something you can give them as an apology for being late. There isn’t even a pause when they snatch an opening and go after the deal. Impressive as long as you’re not the target.

      4. Makes a used care salesperson look like a slacker.

      5. Oh yeah. They’d eat Crazy Eddie and his Cadillac dealership alive.

      6. I haven’t thought of Crazy Eddie in years.

      7. No idea how he came to my mind. Wasn’t even sure I got the name right.

  2. I’m guessing you have done or seen these …. so I wonder which is which? 😉 … and we meet again Saturday night.

    1. Who me? Eat a brownie while looking at a first edition of “Gone with the Wind?” Nah. Yes, we do meet again and I think this time the kitty cats will be loaded for bear. *shake in boots*

      1. I’m sure you are shaking …. at least I want you to believe that I think you are.

      2. You can believe that you think I am.

      3. The series is split for the year … so all the marbles are on the line for the tie-breaker game. May the best team win – which we both know is the Bengals.

      4. Well, can’t argue about the best team. Saturday will tell the tale. I do know the Steelers seem to have the ability to cluch defeat from the jaws of victory.

      5. They are in the Bengals head … which is the problem … and the Bengals do better in Pittsburgh than at home .. that’s crazy! … but supports my head-game thought.

  3. I struggle with #9 because I tend to carry a coffee and a cookie while browsing. My bookstore doesn’t carry rare books but I still worry over crumbs falling in-between the pages of a book I might be leafing through 😉

    1. Someone ought to invent a crumb free cookie. Could have a ready customer base. (of course the errant raisin could be a killer) Thanks, Marie.

  4. Ha!!! “do not wear your jammies, bunny feet, and carry your Dachshund.” That’s so outrageous it has to be true.
    I actually worked in a nice bookstore, a second job, nearly 20 years ago (wow how time flies!). We found coffee cups in the magazine racks all the time; often spilled.
    The thing that stands out the most is people wanting to “check out” a book. While we patiently explained that it was a book STORE and books were SOLD, they looked back, mystified.
    Then there were the ones who returned books — because they didn’t like the ending. :/ No wonder the stores are nearly all gone…
    Another great list, John. Happy first Monday.

    1. Thanks for the color Teagan. I can imagine all kinds of things going on that we civilians know nothing about. Have a beautiful week.:-)

  5. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    John Howell with more of his 10 things not to do list.. this time in a bookstore… chocolate brownies and rare books do not go together!! Excellent John thank you..hugs

    1. Thank you for the lovely reblog, Sally. Yes rare books and brownies are a no no.

  6. I love my little independent bookstore. I can take my dog and have breakfast in the cafe.

    1. They are the best.

  7. I could probably get away with the bunny slippers, too.

    1. I could see it now. -)

  8. Annette Rochelle Aben · ·

    Makes me want to open a bookstore! Oh, wait, I have always wanted to do that.. Too much fun

    1. Thank you Annette

  9. “In a bookstore, do not wear your jammies, bunny feet, and carry your Dachshund. “

    Ooops, it explains so much.

  10. I love this, John. Have always wanted to sneak in, running to the back wearing my footed pajamas, but never found the courage. Have to admit I did eat a brownie once, although I was extremely careful not to drop a single crumb! Great post and so much fun to read. Thank you!

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by.

  11. Reblogged this on Chronic Conditions & Life Lessons and commented:
    Fun to read but don’t forget next time you’re off to the nearest bookstore!

  12. You out did yourself with this one, John. I laughed more and more as I worked down the list. Great job!

    1. Thank you Jill. Nice of you to let me know.

  13. These are great, John! Perhaps those seeking a “free read” ought to consider checking books out from their library?? While it might not have the ambiance of a slick bookstore, and it might not carry the very latest titles, it’s often a nice quiet spot filled with interesting book-smells (unlike the digital versions!)

    1. Yeah and you can “set a spell” while looking at the books.

  14. Ha! These are so funny, especially numbers 4 and 3!

    1. Thank you Judy. I love it when these things make folks laugh (or even chuckle)

      1. Oh, it did that alright! 🙂

  15. Delightful post, John… I am guilty of several of those! Thanks for some humour today!

    1. My pleasure Lori. Thank you so much for the visit and comment.

  16. Are persons like me who already know what they are looking for and just go to the bookstore to buy it, that rare? I am tempted to do a PJ and bunny slippers run in though!

    1. There are some who have no where else to go so they hang. (and hang)

  17. I love hanging out in bookstores – thanks for these suggestion! Yes, I did enjoy them.

    1. Terrific. Thanks.

  18. I could probably work with these John but bookstores are like flypaper to me. I might need 10 more.

    1. Ha ha ha. Good rule is to keep your hands in your pockets.

  19. Too bad Barnes and Noble doesn’t have an erotic section. Or . . . so I’ve heard.

    1. Yeah, Barnes and Noble should be avoided at all costs.

      1. At least until they bring in the curtained rooms. Again, I heard about those curtained rooms from someone, somewhere at some other point in time….

      2. I never did unless it was the Barnes and Noble in Bangkok

  20. 11) Do NOT go through copies of whodunits you’ve read and underline every mention of the killer in the book.
    (I actually found a second hand book in which someone had done this)

    1. That would be a buzz kill alright.

      1. Yep. Although not as bad as the “spoiler troll” who vandalised a poster for the utterly brilliant movie, The Usual Suspects, on the London underground by drawing an arrow and the words “IT WAS HIM”, pointing to ________ ________!

      2. Aha, look what I found. The very performance I saw at Reading Festival ’94.

      3. Oops, wrong comment, but you get the idea.

    1. Thanks for the reblog

      1. My pleasure, John.

  21. I hope you didn’t happen upon #3 by trying it. …and thanks for the tip. *crosses off #3 on list of things to do*

    1. I did not try #3

      1. Probably just as well.

  22. Words to live – and laugh – by!

  23. I worked in a libraries while in high school and college. Nothing would surprise me.

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