AAQ

It’s time, I suppose, to answer some of those Annually Asked Questions. This is for those of you who have not slipped back to reread Uncle Blogsy’s advice from previous years. (Though what you were doing that was so important, I couldn’t…curing cancer? Bah! That takes all day?)

WHO GETS IN ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT, JULY 27?

People who are Associates at the $100 level or above, that is, those people who have donated $100 to the Newberry since the LAST Book fair. (It’s on the card, mayonnaise melba: your Associates’ Card is good for one Book Fair only.)

HOW WILL YOU KNOW?

You’ll be carrying the nice little invitation we sent you (and kind of told you to bring with you. That’s in the fine print, too.) We also have a list, so that will be on hand to resolve any confusion.

IS IT TOO LATE TO SEND IN THE MONEY?

It is never too late to send in the money. We’ll sign you up at the door, if necessary, though that’s kind of a pain and delays you at a critical moment so perhaps you’d rather mail or email a donation right away.

CAN I BRING SOMEONE WITH ME?

Your invtation entitles you to bring one Significant Other and any children so young as to need to be carried. If you walk in carrying your son-in-law, the thirty year-old book dealer, we will chuckle at your audacity, and ask your babykins if he wouldn’t mind coughing up a hundred books or going back outside until tomorrow.

WHEN DOES THE LINE START?

The line to get in forms at 3 P.M. Wednesday. Before 3, you’re allowed to come inside and get a ticket. This ticket is not the same as your invitation. This ticket bears only a number. We give these out so that the people who are waiting in the park at 4 A.M. can go home and get some sleep. We don’t need our fans hanging around the lobby while we’re doing last minute touch-ups. Come in, show your invitation, get your number, and GO AWAY.

IF I BRING MY INVITATION AT 4:15, DO I NEED A TICKET?

Bringing your invitation at 4:15 generally means no waiting in line and just walking in to buy books. Of course, if we have news cameras outside to film the line waiting to get in, you won’t be there to wave at your mom and dad.

I STILL HAVE MY MAP FROM LAST YEAR AND AM PLANNING MY STRATEGY; WILL THAT WORK?

I have had to move a few subjects into different rooms this year, but not many: Law and Crime, Proofs, and Show Biz are the main shifts. I have moved things around within the rooms, though: we have LOTS of records and videos to find room for, and I’m trying something particularly kooky in the Art and Cookbooks room, partly because of the strange books we have this year and partly to try to make a little more space for the customers.

IF I WAIT UNTIL THURSDAY, WON’T THE GOOD STUFF BE GONE?

That’s what some of our Wednesday customers like to believe. I personally don’t believe it’s possible for them to look through all 119,000 books and skim off all the cream. What you really need to do, chutney cupcake, is come every single day and take notes. You might want to come two or three times a day just for a good comparison. (Bring money.)

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