Adjust Your Calendar

People have been calling with one of two questions lately, asking when the sale starts and when donations stop. The first questionn makes me happier than the second, which provokes a number of answers, given the fact of 200 boxes last week and another 54 yesterday. (I will not mention the seven garbage bags filled with books, for fear my remarks may lose me my reputation for infallible optimism.)

But for those of you who are curious, we would like to see no more donations after July 3. This gives us one more reason to refer to July 4 as Independence Day. Of course, the thought of receiving no more donations after July 3 is a wistful daydream; I’d like to see that winning Lottery ticket, too. I know from experience that donors will not flag nor falter. But for those who insist on rules, our closing date for donations is the Third of July.

Did that play on the word flag make up for my blue serge joke on Monday? Didn’t think so.

SPEAKING of holidays, however, I note there is another one coming up. If you look past the “As Good As Black Friday” Sales (I never thought I’d be complaining about stores cheapening the original meaning of Black Friday) you will find that Memorial Day is this coming Monday. This is a day of parades and patriotism, a day to decorate graves and salute the fallen, a day for fireworks and remembrance.

Do you think you will remember that the Newberry is closed for three days?

I hate to get personal when you have serious holidaying tyo be about, but Memorial Day weekend is one of those periods the Newberry observes by locking its doors. The reading rooms are closed, the bookstore is closed, and the back door through which donations are accepted is closed. Anything you drop off will be subjected to passing browsers, rain (or snow, given the Chicago spring), and investigation by curious ants, looking for copies of H.M.S. Pinafore or the Pirates of Pen’s Ants,

Still didn’t make up for the blue serge joke? Tough audience.

There has been a trend in recent years for people to think we cut off donations at memorial Day, but it is not so. Do not confuse the two patriotic holidays. The Fourth of July is where we like to stop. (Plus, we’re closed on the Fourth, which is why we tell you the Third.) You do NOT need to rush things in over the next two days, especially when I already have a surge going on. I will not make the blue serge joke again, but is is also still Smurf Month. I have been offered some handpainted pillows, a collection of unused greeting cards, seven bookcases, and a couch.

I’ve accepted the cards, which I can sell right next to our postcard display, and I have accepted the pillows, since they are small and easy to store. I always turn down bookcases: I’ve mentioned this before. And I have definitely refused the couch. Sofa, so good.

Okay, I give up.

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