Book Fair Bartlett

Have I mentioned I get to talk to lots of different kinds of people in this job? LOTS of different kinds? Lots of DIFFERENT kinds? Here are a few memorable quotations from Book Fair donors and volunteers this spring.

When it makes me throw up, the price isn’t very high.

(The Cookbook Lady, about certain of her treasures for 2010. The recipe involving a packaged cake mix, a canned frosting, and a bag of M&Ms particularly tugged at her heartstrings..or some other internal organ.)

When in June is your Book Fair?

(I get this one a lot. Nowadays I just say “June fifty-ninth”.

It’s a bad sign when your John Waynes sag.

(We had just received a boxed set of John Wayne videos in which several of the cases were empty, so if picked up at the empty end, the whole box sort of wilts. I think, though, that this speaker may well have stumbled onto one of the basic rules of life.)

You have to do this all year, don’t you?

(Well, of course, dear: otherwise my John Waynes start to sag. I hear this from donors who see the pile of book boxes.)

When do you start sorting them?

(This is what they generally say next. “July thirty-fourth” is the answer.)

Where do you have the Book Fair?

(The usual answer is “All over the first floor, making us one of the few air-conditioned Book Fairs”. My favorite response to that was “The first floor where?” See, we call it the Newberry Library Book Fair because we hold it somewhere else.)

Oh, no, sir, please. They’re heavy. I’ll carry them.

(I get this a lot from donors with boxes of books. I already know about this; I lift boxes of books at least once a year. I don’t mind so much when I hear it from some healthy thirty-one year-old marathon running type. It’s when I get it from people with white hair that I start to worry that I look older than my twenty-some summers.)

My daughter had these, so they’re fifty years old now.

(Get thee hence, sir. I had some of those books as a child so they could hardly be…oh dear.)

You must really enjoy your work.

(Sure, these are all laugh lines. My hair is this color from the stress of constant joy. And you can get used to sagging John Waynes.) 

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