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Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Flotsam & Jargon

The Bookseller in his natural form, after the sun goes down.

All that bookseller jargon can get pretty confusing. So many evasive euphemisms flying around that it can seem like it's hard to get a straight answer from anyone in the book trade. Because we're very helpful and want only the best for you, we've put together a little glossary of terms below of common things you'll hear booksellers say in stores, and what they actually mean:

"It's not one of our strengths"
TRANSLATION: We've never heard of that before. You are a crazy person. Definitely not something we can and/or intend to help with. 

"My concern is the condition."
TRANSLATION: The book is a lost cause. Couldn't get more damaged if you threw it into a meat grinder. Hell, that might even be the best place for it. 

"You should try X bookstore instead. Sounds like their thing."
TRANSLATION: We hate that bookstore, and like to send them people who they definitely can't help in return for some long-forgotten slight. 

"Please, look around."
TRANSLATION: I haven't heard another human speak in 3 weeks. I'll put up with you for 5 minutes, so I can remind myself why I locked the door in the first place. 

"My margin isn't very high on this one. Can't do much of a discount."
TRANSLATION: You'll claw a discount from my cold, dead, mummified fingers. 

"Oh, of course. It's lovely to see you."
TRANSLATION: I have no idea who you are. I'm stalling for time. Help.

"Kind offer, but not for us, i'm afraid."
TRANSLATION: Get thy demonic book hence, before I call a priest to exorcise it. 

"Let me help you with that."
TRANSLATION: You have the look of a book destroying maniac, and I don't want to take a chance. You might be a murderer, an arsonist, or worse one of those people who folds corners in things they read.  

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