It’s time to play…

Who! Wants! To Be! A Bookseller!

I’m using the many exclamation points for the! gameshow! effect!  Because I just had an experience that all booksellers know well, and that I am turning into a game.  That’s right, it’s the guess-the-book-from-a-series-of-hints game!

I’ll post them as they happen.  As we get closer to the holidays, they should come thick and furious.  Here’s today’s, from a new customer (who was quite nice and a pleasure to help).


1. It’s a book of short stories.

2. The last name is unusual.

3. She heard about it over the summer, probably on NPR.

4. The man writes for The New York Times, and is young.

And just so you know, this is a true bookseller challenge, in the sense that not all of these hints are actually true of the book in question.  Haha!  Isn’t being a bookseller fun?  Just wait until you get paid, that’s when the fun really starts!

Guesses in comments, please; I’ll announce the answer in a few days.  The winner will be mailed something random and book-related from my house.


11 comments so far

  1. Jacqui on

    Oh, I am having flashbacks to my days selling books in the kids’ section, when people would want help finding a book they’d read at age 8. “It was a dog. Or a wolf. And he talked. And once he ate a pie. I think it had pictures?”

  2. Kathleen on

    Dangerous Laughter by Steven Millhauser?

  3. missy on

    Is it THE BOAT?

  4. Paul on

    When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris?

  5. Lil Fish on

    When You Are Engulfed or Our Story Begins by Tobias Wolff?

  6. Emily on

    The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz?

    A favorite request of mine — “It’s called The Red Orphan and the author just won the Nobel Prize.” Any guesses?

  7. Sarah Rettger on

    Emily, I’m guessing The Golden Notebook? Or My Name is Red?

  8. matthew on

    I’m guessing David Sedaris, but I see Paul got in there before me.

  9. Jessica on

    I told my bookstore coworkers about this, and they all loved the game — it’s our stock in trade! W

    We came up with LIKE YOU’D UNDERSTAND ANYWAY by Jim Shepard or THE SECRET LIVES OF PEOPLE IN LOVE by Simon Van Booy, though we don’t have high hopes for either.

    Our usual tactic would be to show the customer a bunch of books until something clicks, rather than cling to any delusion that they really know what they’re talking about.

    Looking forward to seeing the answer!

  10. Seth on

    Gotta be The View From the Seventh Layer by Kevin Brockmeier. Although, I did hear Nam Le read from The Boat on NPR…

    I guess it could’ve been Pat the Bunny, at that.

  11. […] (Confused about what game we’re playing?  Read this post.) […]

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