Encounters in a Different Bookstore #2: Some Questions Asked

In the second round of chronicling other bookstore experiences, Stephanie Anderson of WORD (who will be participating in the Slice Conference mid-month) proposed we compare the questions we are asked by customers on any given day. Lists of queries below.

Saturday questions at WORD

Do you have a book about a white city?

Do you have The Summer Book?

Is there a bathroom here?

What’s a good book for a smart kid?

Do you have a book set in London or Paris?

Do you wrap?

Do you wrap?

Do you have the new book by Michael Lind?

Do you have anything about Batman?

Do you have tarot decks?

Do you gift wrap?

Have you read this?

Do you have book lights?

Do you have the new Talking Heads book?

Do you have birthday cards?

What’s the last book Paul Auster wrote?

Do you have a suggestion for a book for a four-year-old? How about a one-year-old?

Do you have a book for an eight-year-old girl? A boy?

What’s the book you recommended in your newsletter? About a girl?

Can I order a book?

Do you have Behold a Pale White Horse? Or maybe Behold a Pale White House?

Is it possible that you wrap?

Do you have a public restroom?

Have you read this?

What’s the third book in the Game of Thrones series?

Do you know what time it is?

Do you have books for kids who hate to read?

Why is this still in hardcover?

What’s a good place to eat around here?

Is The Invention of Hugo Cabret a graphic novel? Why isn’t it in the graphic novel section?

Do you have anything by Tao Lin?

Do you think my dad will like this?

Is this an okay card for a wedding for someone I don’t know?

Do you have the book that goes with these postcards?

Do you know a place nearby that does high-quality printing?

Do you have any boxes I could have?

What age do kids start teething?

So what kind of books do you sell?

What’s a good book about physics?

Do you know where the ferry is?

Do you have a bathroom my kid can use?

If my wife liked The Magicians, will she like this one?

Is this the last bookstore in New York?

Where should we go for dinner?

What time is it?

What’s your favorite book?

Do you know a book about learning to speak Finnish?

Could you wrap this?

How late are you open?

Who is Tina Fey, anyway?

Do you know how Hemingway wrote? Standing up, or sitting?


Sunday questions at Major Chain Bookstore

Do you have any books about elevator repair?

Do you gift wrap? E

verything’s self-service these days, isn’t it?

Do you have any more notebooks?

Can I buy this here?

What does the educator card do?

And you have the other two (Shades of Grey) books? Do they have the same title?

Can I put these on hold?

I can’t do it as credit?

Can you check and see if my order came in?

Can I get an easier bag? To put in the shopping bag?

How do I do the gift wrapping? Do I save any money?

Where are the bathrooms on this floor?

Is the receipt in here?

What’s a gift receipt?

Do you have anything for testing to see colors?

Where is Ender’s Game?

Do you guys sell just notebooks and folders?

Where are your planners?

I’ve read all the Shades of Grey books. What else do you recommend?

Pay here?

Do you have comic books?

What does a gift receipt do?

This is customer service?

Do you have a book called Finnish Lessons?

When are you open til?

You got those James Pattersons?

Do you have Fifty Shades of Grey? How much is that? In hardcover? But does it come in hardcover?

Where are the George R. R. Tolkien books? The Game of Thrones?

Can I get a gift card?

If I asked you to look up a certain book, can you do that?

What is the new Pete Hamill paperback?

Could I have also another bag?

Where is Time Out New York?

Are there books on tape around?

Do I have to sign?

Um, the restroom?

Do you guys sell newspapers?

Have you read this book?

Do I get a discount?

Is this the next book?

What’s your return policy?

Have you heard about any new editions of this?

Liz Mathews composes ads for many things science fiction and fantasy. Her writing can be found in magazines, catalogs, newspapers, brochures, and books; and on bookmarks, postcards, cable television commercials, and even doorhangers all across the United States and in some parts of Canada. She lives in Brooklyn but considers the cornfields of Iowa home.