April Showers

Well, looking back, I’d say it has been a good time. There was drama and comedy, unexpected surprises, moments of moroseness and cries of joy. I suppose, if I had the chance to do it all over, I’d do it much the same way.

I refer, of course, to the month of April, one of our periodic “Please Don’t Bring Us Any Books” months.

We started the month with fifty boxes of religion and philosophy and finished, well, we’ll see what today brings. As I have said, probably too many times, we do not chase book donations away during these moratoria: we don’t want to be in a position where we have to say, “No, we can’t take that Gutenberg Bible; we have all these paperback romances to price.”

There was the donor with seven and a half tubs of opera CDs. (He thought he was donating nine tubs, but one was half full of picture frames and the other was full of antique lamps. I’ll keep you posted if we wind up selling the lamps.)

There were forty-two bags of shiny new mysteries and fantasy novels. There was, of course, the collection involving that first edition Lord of the Rings and Hobbit. (I don’t believe anybody bought that first edition of the Tolkien Reader last year. We may have a Tolkien case in this year’s Collectibles.) There were two people who said they were bringing over lots of art books who actually did bring lots of art books. (The difference between what people say they’re bringing and what they actually bring is the stuff of a thousand blogs.)

These art donations do not include twenty big heavy boxes from the library of a former officer of the Art Institute. (I don’t like to give out names, but there was also a selection of International Harvester material.) We had ten boxes of opera LPs for those of you who want to compare them with all those opera CDs. (Both these people were the type who want to compare artists, and buy multiple versions of the same opera.)

In another corner of the world of culture, we continue to get lots of these box sets of entire seasons of television shows: Charmed, Buffy, Midsomer Mysteries, and one series I will not name which we get so often I have quietly awarded it the “See It Once, You’re Done” prize. There was also a small box of DVDs from a newspaperman who got them direct from the studios for review. They are all stamped “Not for resale”, but that meant HIM, not us. I will not allow studio rules to keep me from selling that pompon-festooned box of “Secret Diary of a Call Girl, Season 2”.

There have been three donations of fine and delicate examples of 20th century typography, unopened boxes of stationery, magazines on maritime archaeology, and a 1300-page account from a conference on pulsars and protostars which I am calling the “charm bracelet edition”. Somebody, to prove a point or to pass a dull moment, drilled a small hole straight through it.

By gummibears, I can hardly wait until Thursday, when it will be May and we’re accepting donations again, just to see what comes in next. This optimism is entirely dependent, of course, on how many people pull their SUVs to the dock today,

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