Teacher: Next, we're reading Much Ado about Nothing.
(class groans)
Teacher: Back then, “nothing” was slang for “vagina.”
Class: Ooooh.

Enloe High
Raleigh, North Carolina

English teacher, reading Hamlet: “To die, to sleep; To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub; For in that sleep of death what dreams may come…” Alright class, we'll pick it up from there on Monday.
Frat boy #1: What the fuck was that about?
Frat boy #2: I don't know, man. Let's go kill some zombies.

Gettysburg College
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Overheard by: Alyssa

Russian girl: When I read in Russian, nothing can stop me. But when I read in English, I need silence.
American girl: That's what the music is for!

Moscow to Nizhniy Novgorod

Overheard by: Adam Nathan

Man to salesperson in hippie bookstore: Hi I'm looking for a children's book about how chemicals and global warming are destroying the earth.
Salesperson: Oh, sure, it's right over here!

The Bookshelf
Guelph, Ontario

Overheard by: The zoe

Library worker girl: That's a cute bag.
Library worker girl with clear purse: Thanks!
Boss man: But then everyone can see everything you have!
Library worker girl with clear purse: It's not like I got a gun or anything… I can always hide things between the books…
Library worker girl: Like your gun?

Kent State University Library
Kent, Ohio

Boy, holding bodice-ripper romance novel: Dad, is this a book for fifth-graders?
Distracted father: No. Put it back.
Boy: What is it?
Distracted father: Hardcore pornography. Put it back.

Fairwood, Washington

Overheard by: he was so hopeful

Literature professor, after reciting Hamlet's “To be or not to be…”: So now you all need a Valium…count on me to ruin your day.

English Lit Class
Anchorage, Alaska

Overheard by: Rosencrantz

Professor, discussing King Solomon's Mines: So they find the body in the cave, and it hasn't decomposed at all. Not such a strange thing, as those of you who've ever hidden a body in a freezer will know.

Carleton University

Professor, about a book currently sold out at the campus bookstore: This book has been required in my class for years. All the upperclassmen have this book. Borrow it! (whispering) Steal it!

Point Park University
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Overheard by: ZB

Eager freshman: It’s like a disco, but with books!

Harvard Yard
Cambridge, Massachusetts