Book Fair Blog | Newberry

Book Fair Blog

Every book has a story

Every book has a story.

Check in frequently to read the behind-the-scenes scoop on the Newberry’s popular Book Fair. The blog is maintained by “Uncle Blogsy,” otherwise known as Dan Crawford, Book Fair Manager.

Maps and Plans

I usually make up the maps for the Book Fair over the Fourth of July weekend, frequently sitting back and trying to make all the numbers fit while a videocassette of The Longest Day is playing. It’s a matter of positive reinforcement: I figure if these folks managed to pull off D-Day, I can make it through a Book Fair.

But the Fourth is a Tuesday this year, which throws off these grand old traditions. I threw numbers and subjects at the map last night, proving again to myself that figures DO lie, and that everything in the world is a quarter of an inch off. Anyway, I wound up with maps, and can give you a note or two about your shopping strategy. If things have moved, you may wish to turn right instead of left when you reach the door between room five and room six. Any last minute changes may result in a shop landing on the wrong part of the beach, leading to….sorry. Mixed up Preview Night with D-Day again.

Now, the major categories, the ones which anchor a room, aren’t going anywhere: Reference, Literature, Foreign Language, Art, Mystery…all those landmarks are staying where you remember them. This should make it easier for you to get your bearings. But the record amounts of History and Dance this year have shifted some other areas of attack.

How To, for example, is moving out into Ruggles Hall (Room 6). How To (Head) can thus sit a little closer to Psychology, and How To (Hans) can have a spot against the wall (taken last year by our huge Religion and Judaica sections) where all those Knitting books will show to good advantage (provided the sun shines that weekend. I haven’t gotten around to those arrangements yet.)

Speaking of arrangements, Music and Dance are big enough that they are shifting back into Room 5. There will thus be a nice table next to Records where the boxes of sheet music can sit up at browsing level. Dance, which for once this year has more books than magazines, will be sitting just off the hallway that runs outside of Room 5: when you look in at the door, you will doubtless see a couple of the dozens of photo books about Baryshnikov we are holding for you.

Putting musical pursuits in this place of prominence means we have had to shift Business books and the Computer section into Room 4, where our much larger Mystery and Fiction sections will live. Yes, I know this runs down the atmosphere of what has been known as the “Cheap and Easy Room”, but there’s a little logic in having Computer sit so close to Science Fiction. As for having Business and Law facing each other, you may insert your own joke here.

Some small categories which are always being shuffled around to fit into the odd corners left by the bigger categories. Sports is over HERE this year, Women’s Studies over THERE. I don’t know how it became traditional for Sports to sit next to Transportation, but it’s that way again this year, so if you find one, you’ve found the other. Fashion, similarly, is sitting next to Women’s Studies, which some people like and others do not, and Westerns once again shares a table with American Indian Studies. It isn’t exactly the same table as before, but it’s not in room 13 or something, either.

You’ll get used to these things. It’s like the planned first floor renovation: give it time, and you’ll find it hard to believe the place ever looked any other way. Or like the invasion of Normandy: it all looks so inevitable after it’s finished.

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