Not a Good Day for Titles

Josie Leavitt - June 26, 2013

I’m not sure if it was the heat and humidity yesterday, but nary a person in the bookstore could remember a title. I thought I’d share some of them.
– The Pow Pow Dog
– The Red Head was the only thing I had to go on. She thought it was an adult mystery. Turns she wanted The Hare with Amber Eyes.
Brothers and Sisters, the customer emphatically stated. Turns out he was looking for Team of Rivals. I think this says more about his siblings than anything else.
– “Something about cities. I heard it on PBS” turned out to be The Metropolitan Revolution.  This was only made possible by the customer actually remembering the name of the PBS show.
– “You know, the one. That one.” The exasperated customer was getting irritated. I asked if maybe she could tell me anything about the book, anything at all, so I might be able to help her.  All she said was this, “I can’t believe you don’t know.”
– “Something about mice. You sold it to me last summer.” I sold a lot of books last summer, and a surprising number of them actually had to do with mice. I was stumped, until I looked up her customer record (we track customers only for our frequent buyer program where you get $10 off every $100 you spend – it comes in handy at moments like these) and could see she was talking about Tum Tum and Nutmeg. Turns out she didn’t want it, she just wanted to know.
So, what crazy garbled titles have you gotten this summer?

9 thoughts on “Not a Good Day for Titles

  1. Carol Chittenden

    We had quite a little hunt last week for a customer’s request “Bender Brothers.” It turned out to be “The Burgess Boys.” Whew! Of course she expected we’d know because Amazon had been advising her that she’d surely want it.

  2. yamster

    Had a customer once seeking a book whose cover featured a woman in a white dress on a blue background. Argh!

  3. Diana

    I’m really terrible I suppose because I see these instances as a challenge and usually don’t rest until I find them.
    One of the best however was “I want that book you wouldn’t stop talking about when you started working here.” Lol which was of course Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. 🙂

  4. Kathy Ellen Davis

    I’m not a bookseller, though I was for a short while.
    I just read a ton of books because I love them, and I get to count it as work since I’m a writer.
    Two of my best ones came from the same friend.
    She’s great, but a little spacey.
    My friend: “Hey, what’s that one with the double-named alligator?”
    Me: “Um, do you mean ‘Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile’?”
    and, the best I think:
    My friend: “Well, all I remember was that there was a dog who had a magic piece of grass or something…”
    And it turned out to be Sylvester and the Magic Pebble.

  5. dena price

    Two years ago, patron requested “The Maid.” Couldn’t find in our library nor in any other nearby. Was adamant that that was the title, practically screaming, “What do you mean you don’t have it”, “It’s very popular” and of course, “I pay your salary!” Long story, short, she wanted “The Help.” Handed her the book. No thank you, no apology.

  6. Emily

    I work at a public library, not a bookstore, but the garbled titles are the same. I have two favorites that I’ve been asked for, one by and adult and one by a kid. Adult: “It has fruit on the cover.” Eventually I learned it was nonfiction and a former bestseller: Freakonomics.
    But my absolute favorite is the kid who asked me for “Johnny and the Really Big Oranges.” (He wanted James and the Giant Peach.)


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