Book Fair donations have been a little slow this month—perhaps because we keep telling you not to bring in anything—but this does not mean each delivery is not a little trick-or-treat bag all by itself. You have brought us any number of dear little gifts lately, including:
Three Pairs of Gardening Gloves: All unused, or they would be tricks instead of treats. I already have plans for repurposing these, among those of my friends who work in very cold offices, and are waiting to see if these get even colder as winter draws on.
A box of books from the sort of people who like to write inside where and when they bought the book. A lot of people do this, but I was impressed with the copy of “Chicago Steal” in which they had written that they bought it at the “Newberry Library Book Fair, 1992.” Liked it so much you couldn’t send it back for twenty-five years, eh? We’ll see if the next buyer donates it back in 2042.
A stack of Archie Digests: these sell reasonably well every year, but this year have brought on a crisis. Do they go in Humor, which is where we put them just about every year? Or, since we have introduced a new Graphic Novels and Comic Books section, must they go there, where they are going to be the wrong size to sit with the two hundred DC Comics somebody else gave us? AND what do we tell the people who demand to know why we didn’t put all those Batman comics in Children? (These are people who have not read any comic books lately. Honest, they’re just as depressing now as any mainstream graphic novel. Archie himself died in one issue last year.)
A green apple scented candle: Don’t you know everything this time of year is supposed to be Pumpkin Spice?
A World War II phrasebook for Melanesian Pidgin English: I’m sorry the set of records the Navy made to go with these aren’t available, and I’m sorry I can’t peek back in time and see how the instructor handled teaching the course. The handbook informs the reader that this is a language to be taken seriously. Even if the phrase for “Look out!” is spelled “Look out!”?
A collection of classic French cinema on DVD: Did you have to send these over on French DVDs, which will not play on most US DVD players? Or are you watching all of these on YouTube now?
A book on record collecting by a man who collected, among other things, 78 RPM discs with bird imitations on them: THIS will challenge out corps of record buyers come July.
A SIGNED copy of a bestselling author’s favorite blog posts: Now, that’s the way to blend old and new technologies. Her recipe for a turkey sandwich after Thanksgiving is by itself worth the price of the book.
A bag of jewelry, a bag of cartoon books (cartoons are NOT graphic novels, and neither are comic strip collections), a mildly obscene card game, a fairly violent political card game, a postcard of a drawing you did when you were seven (I am going to try to get this into the Newberry’s postcard collection: what’s one more?), a really, really old bottle of Elmer’s Glue….and these are the tricks and treats of a non-donation month.
What are you going to give us next month for Thanksgiving? To be continued.