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Bookstore Etiquette

August 10, 2011

The Bookstore:
Definition: A shop where books are sold.
Meaning: A public domain where bookshelves logically take space and where the gaps are left to be filled by readers and customers.
What it is not: An extension of your coffee table or living room.

Some reminders from a concerned reader (who will be vigilant to bother those found guilty of the following:)

1. Shelves are not for elbows.

The culprit: Readers who cannot seemingly bear the weight of a mass paperback and need to lean it against the other books and rest their elbows on the shelf itself. Worse, if the book being read is not from the shelf’s section and later left behind on said shelf. (I will not name genres, I will not name genres *chants*)

Solution: Kindly step away from the shelf and hold the book yourself. Realize that some customers want to browse books blocked by your T-shaped form.

2. Reading a magazine? Do not spread it open on a table shelf.

…AND on top of books. Especially for bargain bins where books are usually not arranged in any order and hunters are eager to see everything that’s there.

Same as peeve 1, step away, hold the book and maybe, retreat to the magazine section.

3. Sitting on the floor.

If you are an adult browsing a non-children section and you have perfectly good working legs, please find a chair, stand up or if you really must, sit in a cross-legged position and be prepared to move aside to let others pass or let readers browse the books that you could be blocking by your formidable backs. (And don’t be an 8 year old and scowl upon doing so.)

4. The aisle…

a) Is not where you phone a friend or congregate in 4’s and 5’s unless your placement is entirely relevant (meaning you’re browsing or discussing a book)
b) Is not where you let the kids play tag and hide and seek. It’s very tempting to engage in those games, given the maze-like setting, but alas, not the proper one. If it’s not the sharp corners or the slippery floors that would get your child, it’s the ire of disrupted readers that would.

5. Quoting from MaryB

If you must walk between a patron and a shelf she/he is browsing, say “Excuse me.”

Because we are reading titles from book spines and covers and not just standing in front of the shelf for fun.

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