A woman came into the bookshop a year or so ago. She spoke really fast.
“You got that book about Madeleine McCann? That one about Madeleine McCann? You know, the book about the little girl, Madeleine McCann?”
We told her that Madeleine by Kate McCann was due to be published in May 2011. She returned the following week.
“You got that book about Madeleine McCann?”
The woman continued to return intermittently, always repeating the same questions, always getting the same answer. Eventually the book was published. A few months passed until the customer came in and made her usual request. Triumphantly a bookseller fetched the book and placed it in the customer’s hands. She barely glanced at it.
“No, I don’t think that’s what I’m after.”
A self-published author asked if we had her book. I was pleased to say yes and take her over to the shelf where her book is a face out with a local author sign highlighting it. She was unhappy. She said she wanted her book in the window. I tried to explain that we have many, many books. I could not have been more patient. She flung an arm out and one of her nails left a long scratch on my arm.
“I am old,” she said. “You should put my book in your window. Now what are you going to do about it?”
A woman approached the counter with a book from our 3 for 2 offer.
“Have you got a copy of this book without a sticker on?”
“I can just take the sticker off?”
“I would like one without a sticker on.”
I peeled the sticker off.