The Biggest Lie You’ll Hear in a Bookstore

“Shh. You have to be quiet in the bookstore.”

Bookstores have cafes and coffee shops inside them. They have kids running around and people searching for books. Sure they may be somewhat quiet when compared to other retail establishments, but there’s hardly an unwritten rule.

At my store we are constantly paging customers and employees over the loud speaker. Customers and employees are constantly interacting. Music is playing just about every minute the store’s doors are open. Sure people may not like the sound of the crying baby right next to them in the store, but that has nothing to do with it being a bookstore. People become nervous around crying babies no matter where they are.

Also, the door at my store makes a sound when it opens. Just another sound added to the many coming from bookstores.

So the next time you hear someone tell their kid to be quiet because it’s a bookstore, maybe call them on their lie.

Do you think bookstores need to be more quiet than any other place of business? I surely don’t.

18 thoughts on “The Biggest Lie You’ll Hear in a Bookstore

      • It’s mostly because people are reading, and are concentrating intently on something (almost like being in a state of study–and for some, it’s exactly like that). You could make the argument that a bookstore is the same way, but it’s really not. The point of a bookstore isn’t to read and leave, but rather to buy and leave. Libraries allow for borrowing but the library doesn’t rely on borrowing for its continued existence (like a bookstore’s sales impact the existence of the bookstore).


      • Except that’s that idea of libraries of the past. The ones around me always have some kind of event or seminar or class going on. There aren’t that many people just reading and/or studying. At least not in the ones I’ve been in.


      • The libraries around here usually have those seminars in other rooms. By-and-large, those around me are silent.

        Actually, I like the idea of a silent book store. People need to enjoy the silence every so often.


  1. Quiet is for the libraries as paranormalscholar said. I go in books-a-million and you can hear people talking and all types of things going on. So you know book stores aren’t meant to be quiet.


    • I know. But I’d argue that libraries aren’t even as quiet as they might have been just a decade ago. The libraries near me are always having some kind of workshop or event or something that really eliminates the quiet mandate. I don’t know. I don’t think the books care if anyone is noisy around them. 😂


  2. I actually hate quiet bookstores. It makes geeking out over finding that one long lost book so much harder, and plus it’s just plain awkward. 😞 On the flip side, I hate loud libraries. The only time I go to the library is when I *need* a quiet place to study (my house never sleeps), and if there’s a lot of noise I’m just like UGH PEOPLE HAVE SOME DECENCY TAKE YOUR SOCIAL GATHERINGS OUT THE DOOR AND FAR FAR AWAY FROM HERE. 😭


    • Hahahaha! I don’t even think of bookstores at quiet places. And I’ve never been to the library to study. When I was in high school I never studied. And I’d usually just study for tests in college the hour before class. Never at home or in the library. Eh.


  3. It would be nice for bookstores to encourage silence, or for customers to be quiet. But I am also finding that the libraries in my area are not practicing the silence or quiet policy. I find people in there on cell phones, chatting–it’s nuts!


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