A Wheelchair User’s Bookshop Pet Peeves


As some you know I use an electric wheelchair to get around and one of my favourite places to visit while out shopping are book shops. Every time I go past them I can’t resist but going in. I can spend anything from 10 minutes to an hour in them. But in the last couple of months I have found that some of the stores I visit have changed the layout of the shop floor as well as the way they display the books, and that is one of the reasons I decided to write this post.

The first thing I have found is that bookstores like to move around their book displays. Although this is great it can be very difficult to manoeuvre around. Especially when they add tables to display the books and don’t leave enough space in-between for wheelchairs. It’s great if your able to walk around, but try going around a tight space in a wheelchair. Trust me it takes a lot of concentration and manoeuvring and even someone who has had years and years of experience moving around in a wheelchair it can still be very difficult. In fact, on a few occasions I have actually nearly toppled a few books of a table as I’ve had move around a tight space just to get to the next display.


My second pet peeve is when bookstores stake their books on tables. This is the worst. Again, if your able to stand it’s great but if you can’t well you’re screwed. Bookshops might think this is a great idea because it means they can stock more books but if your seated you can’t see anything but the edges of the books.  

20190330_10572420881531846960040.jpgThe picture above shows the exact view I get and as you can see I can’t see most of the titles on this table display. There are more books in the middle of the table that I can’t see at all.


This is another display table at the same store as the picture above. This table it’s a little bit better but not much, again I could see the books that were on the smaller stacks and the ones on the sides. But could see or reach the books in the middle of the table or the higher stacked ones.

The next two are from another of my favourites bookstore and one that is only 20 minutes bus ride away.


This display table is not too bad as I can always see the books they have, but I can’t reach the middle ones. The major problem with this display is that it’s really close to the shelves and it’s very difficult to manoeuvre around. Especially if I want to get to the back shelf.


I couldn’t take pictures of the other display tables that are all next to each other as there were too a few too many people looking at books, and I didn’t really want to take pictures of them, as I didn’t want them thinking I was a weirdo.

Oh, another thing I’ve noticed is the tills in book shops are normally much higher than those in regular shops. Again, makes it very difficult to reach up and put books down to pay for them, especially when you’re sitting down, and have limited movement in your arms.  Does anyone know why bookshop tills are higher? Can any of you guys who work in bookshops answer this question. I tried asking some of the friendlier bookshop assistants but they couldn’t really answer and most of them had said “Oh, really?? Haven’t really noticed that”.

Finally, bookshops need so many more assistants on the shop floor. Most of the time there aren’t enough staff on the shop floor so I end up leaving without finding what I went in for  as there is no one to help me with reaching and getting books. This might be good for my bank balance but it can also be very annoying when I’ve gone to buy a specific book, because I thought it would have been quicker for me to get it in-store rather than waiting for it to be delivered to my house. But, in the end I end up ordering the books online because there was no-one to help. 

Anyway, rant over about my bookshop pet peeves. I hope I didn’t bore you too much and that you actually found this post interesting. I just wanted to share some of the things that annoy me when visiting my favourite shops.

I’m also working on another bookshop pet peeves post so keep an eye out.

In the meantime let me know in the comments if you have any bookshop pet peeves, even if you don’t have a disability. I may use some of your comments in my next post. If you don’t want me to just let me know. 

You can also find me on: Twitter || Instagram ||Goodreads ||Bloglovin


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