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Answers Unknown

“Uncle Blogsy….”

“Egad! Are you still alive?”

“Yes, you didn’t tie the knots quite tightly enough. Uncle Blogsy, is there ANYTHING you don’t know about books?”

“Oh, baby grasshopper, no one knows everything about books. There have been so many books through the years that no one lifetime would suffice for even reading all the titles. Anyone who says else is a rotten old fibber.”

“That’s why I was asking you, Uncle Blogsy.”

“I don’t know why some hardcover books are rough and some are slippery. I know it’s probably some secret ingredient in the cloth of the binding. There’s one publisher in particular whose books are so uniformly slippery that I try never to stack them more than five high when I’m carrying them. I don’t know their secret ingredient and I don’t know why they bother.”

“Is it so the books can be pulled off the shelf more easily, Uncle Blogsy?”

“I don’t know that, either. But to judge by the condition of some that come in, nobody takes them off the shelf in the first place.”

“Maybe they just look unused. Maybe the slippery cover makes them easier to wash when they get dirty.”

“This company doesn’t publish dirty books, young grasshopper. I also don’t know what it is about books that attracts cats.”

“Do books attract cats, Uncle Blogsy?”

“All reading material attracts cats, young grasshopper. Any time you spread out a newspaper or magazine or book for reading, a cat finds this an optimum sleeping spot. A cat also generally knows exactly which page you were reading and lies down there. Sometimes they get there ahead of you. I have friends who say that every time they think about tackling that stack of New Yorkers under the coffee table, the cat has curled up on top of them.”

“They need to get a Kindle, Uncle Blogsy, or a Nook.”

“I don’t know, young grasshopper. I believe the cats are wise to us. A regular reader of this column says his cat takes no interest in him when he reclines in his easy chair, but the minute he sits up to work at the computer, the cat is squeezing between his lap and the computer shelf of his desk.”

“Amazing, Uncle Blogsy! That’s hard to believe.”

“Yes, the cat….”

“Not about the cat, Uncle Blogsy. The bit about you having regular readers.”

“Just for that, young grasshopper, I shall not make the joke about laptops that I was going to finish with.”

“Do you see the tracks of my tears, Uncle Blogsy?”

“I am obdurate. If you want to hear the punchline, you must pay the Newberry’s Annual Fund a dollar as a fee for the privilege.”

“Uncle Blogsy, you don’t mean….”

“Yes. It’s one of my fee-lines.”

“If anyone’s looking for me, Uncle Blogsy, I’ll just be tying myself back to that chair in the old sawmill.”

“You’re a real cut-up.”

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