Banana-Box-Free Holidays | Page 75 | Newberry

Banana-Box-Free Holidays

So we are now approaching Labor Day, which is the milestone not only of summer and vacation time, but also of the Book fair. Because we have this little shindig at the end of July, we try to forestall donations during this period so we can concentrate on taking things apart, putting them together, and all the excitement involved with that. Labor Day Weekend is the boundary of this “Please try Not to Donate” period. There is also something else vaguely interesting about it that I thought it might entertain you to know.


What I mean you to understand by this is that we REALLY would like you not to donate books during this period. The joint is locked up. Staffing is at a minimum. Even if the guard on duty notices books being dropped off, there’s still a good chance the books will just sit on the dock until Tuesday morning.

It’s not like the last two months, when we simply suggest that it would be best if you didn’t drop off books, so we can work on holding a Book fair and then starting over, trying to find where we left off. We honestly would like to avoid spending time bringing in donations, though, of course, that box of books about Plato, published in four different countries in four different centuries, was nice to see. Six different editions of Anabasis may also entertain our Classics readers in July, 2014.

See, if it rains this weekend, the books will get wet. If someone is wandering by, looking for something to burn because they were out of charcoal at Walmart, all those National Geographics you left us may disappear. It’s not like these last two months, when we merely mention it’s an imposition to have books dropped off on us. (Though I believe we were given nearly ten thousand dollars’ worth of art books, including two books with original lithographs by Braque and one with original lithographs by Picasso.)

It’s supposed to be very hot and humid for much of the weekend. Why spend your time hauling books in simply to subject them to conditions which can warp them and loosen the glue that holds them together? We have excellent conditions for preserving books inside, but the doors are locked, and I will not be there to bring them in. (Unlike that nice collection of books by the prolific if eccentric Chicago historian Dempsey J. Travis.)

In short, I think you should not trouble yourself to try to drive through all that holiday traffic just to bring me all those management textbooks you’ve had in the attic since you picked up that MBA. We don’t want books even more than we didn’t want them in August, when someone started this year’s collection of political autographs by bringing us one book signed by Edwin Meese, and one signed by both Newt Gingrich AND his daughter.

Have a great holiday. And if I haven’t mentioned I yet: DON’T BRING US BOOKS; THE DOORS ARE LOCKED.

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