About 10 years ago I worked in a large chain bookstore (where I once actually selected this book as my “employee pick”). I think I was a pretty good bookseller, but there was this one conversation I had with a customer that in retrospect I find amusing. I was standing in the Science and Computers section when he approached, looking for books on a particular topic.
“Excuse me,” he said. “Where can I find books about pediaphiles?”
Hmm, I thought. He’s looking for books about people who are sexually attracted to children. Well that could be in psychology, or true crime maybe. “What kind of book are you looking for?” I asked.
“Just a general book.”
“Well, are you interested in the psychology of pediaphiles? Or case studies?”
With obvious confusion on his face, he said, “I guess I’m trying to find out how they’re made.”
“Well, I think that would be psychology. Let me look in the computer and see what we have,” I replied, catching on that we were somehow miscommunicating something, but unsure what that might be.
“I don’t think it would be psychology,” he said, “I think it would be here in the computer section.”
“Books on pediaphiles?”
“Do you even know what a pediaphile is?” he asked, obviously thinking I’m an idiot.
“Well, I thought so.”
“It stands for Portable Document Format. It’s what you use when you want to e-mail a document and retain the formatting.”
“Oh! PDF file! I thought you were asking for… nevermind. Yes, we have books on PDF files.”
And I haven’t been able to look at a PDF attachment the same way since.
Note: I know, the word is “pedophile.” But the prefix “pedia-” as in “pediatrician” threw me off. I’ve also recently learned that people who edit a lot of wikipedia articles are sometimes called pediaphiles. None of these people should be confused with podophiles, who have foot fetishes.