Book Fair 101 | Page 2 | Newberry

Book Fair 101

It is now a mere twelve days until all those copies of The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood are available to the public. As it is barely possible that some of you out there have never come to look us over, let us go over some of the basics.

We are open to the public, absolutely free, on July 26 and 27 from Noon to 8 P.M., and on July 28 and 29 from 10 A.M. to 6 P.M. Early birds are not tolerated. No, you may not “come in and just look”. What do you think this is: a library?

Books are priced on the first white page, in the upper right hand corner. CDs, DVDs, videocassettes and records have little stickers on them. So do some books which don’t have white pages. (Hey, that book that lists the names of heavy metal bands on all black pages? I discovered that the top edge of the book is light enough to mark the price on that. That and the book signed by Andre Dawson were the exciting discoveries of the week.)

The prices range from a quarter (highly unusual) to $3,000 (ditto.) I hate to embarrass the lady who called in to check on this, but the fact that we advertise a free Book Fair means admission is free. We do charge for the books.

If you find something without a price, ask a volunteer and the volunteer will come and find me. Please do not do this just for a chance to meet your Uncle Blogsy. I am not at my most ornamental in July, even if I am wearing an apron with purple and orange cacti on it. (Oh, and you WILL doublecheck and make sure you didn’t pick that book up at the A.C. McClurg Bookstore, won’t you? It’s the only retail bookstore for blocks around and I don’t want to be stealing their books.)

The books are sorted into about 66 categories, and many are sorted within the category. If you’re looking for something specific, inquire of one of the volunteers (they’re the ones in the aprons). A lot of them honestly enjoy the hunt. Don’t bother to ask for that book you read about in the blog three months ago. The answer to THAT question is always “It’s around here somewhere.”

You do not have to carry your books around indefinitely. We maintain special squirreling areas, where you can stash your trophies while you go out and pick up more. This service is free; no need to throw any peanuts to the squirrelers.

Our amenities include drinking fountains, two sets of public restrooms (one set on the first floor, the other in the basement), and air conditioning. No need to sweat on the books. The drinking fountains are near the restrooms, and the restrooms have signs. And more signs. And you’ll ask anyhow, won’t you? (The ones on the first floor are right before you go into room 2, but you’re going to ask anyhow. I remember you.)

We no longer have pay phones. I apologize to those of you old enough to inquire, and glower at those of you who just asked “What’s a pay phone?”

There is a Walgreen’s a block east of the building, and Potash Bros. Supermarket is two blocks south of the Walgreen’s, if you need to break for lunch. Please don’t bring food or open cups around the books. A bottle of water with the cap on it shouldn’t hurt us.

We have not banned scanners, cell phones, Blackberries, or other such devices from our sale. But we can reconsider that if some of you techies start acting like swine. The fact that you know how to push a button does not make you the only customer in the joint.

And yes, you really ought to come back every day, because we do try to make the array look a little different each day: rearranging here and there and dragging strange and bizarre things from the Treasure House as space becomes available. You can help with this effort by buying so much each time that lots of space becomes available.

Yup. We may not all of us be entirely in sympathy with the 21st century, but we do pride ourselves on offering a fully interactive Book Fair.


How is the children's book collection looking this year? We were the girls that got so "geeked out" last year by repeating over and over again "isn't this the most fun ever?" I'm looking forward to having a big cry in the checkout room....depending on how good the children's section is this year.
The children's section will be as large as last year's. There's a mix of old stuff--some souls cleaning out storage lockers with boxes in them from the 1950s--and newer stuff--parents deciding to clean out all the books they THINK their children have outgrown. (The children may well show up and buy them back, but that's THEIR business.) It should be fun (but even more fun if you bring money.)
This will be my first time attending the Book Fair. I just wanted to ask ahead of time, is it cash-only or will credit/debit/check be accepted? Thanks again.
Cash, credit card, debit card, or check are fine, assuming they're good. Books cannot be both good and fine, but checks can.

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