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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.

Oh, You Shouldn't Have

It looks pretty clear to me on the website: “We are unable to accept donations between the following dates…July 4th (Independence Day) – Labor Day.”

So today I had all sorts of questions by phone and email: “Is it true you only accept donations on the Fourth of July and Labor Day?” “When you are accepting donations again on July 5th, will you come get my books?” “Do you accept books after August 1?” Each of these people mentioned checking our website to be sure of the information.

See, we need time to process what has been coming in this week, to say nothing of what’s been hanging fire from the previous weeks. There has been a lot of cleaning out around the Library this year, and I was moving books from there to there to here most of the winter and spring. So there’s a lot to catch up on.

I’d really like to take care of this multi-faceted collection of African-American studies, which includes books, LPs, and CDs. In CDs and LPs we seem to run the gamut: Roy Hamilton, Mahalia Jackson, the Four Tops, a number of Haitian and Jamaican artists…so many that one of my most reliable sources of unsolicited advice said, “You don’t want to put those out for sale before half-price day. Our customers would never buy such stuff.”

I’m not even going to get it out on Sunday if I don’t stop seeing SUVs pull up with more books. Yesterday alone, I had two retiring professors, one of whom specialized in 17th Century Europe and one of whom had spent his life in 17th Century New England. Interesting stuff, I guess, but it took me the better part of an hour to move it all into the building and find a place to stack it all.

It would have been nice to spend that time on some of the autographed things piling up. We don’t always find interesting autographs in the bags of cookbooks, but today we turned up a Neiman-Marcus catalog signed by Stanley Marcus, and a symphony fundraising cookbook signed by Mstislav Rostropovich. These must certainly be worth something to the right buyer.

But I couldn’t spare time to look up the prices because of the SUV which pulled up and unloaded a temple library, packed in large but not filled boxes which needed to be repacked before I could even drag them inside and find a place to stack them. I was always told that I could stack books to within two feet of the ceiling, but now someone has come along and said that piles of boxes that high are considered hazardous. Someone dropped by the other day just long enough to tell me that if I was good at my job, the piles wouldn’t be so high.

Well, see, that pile over there is the collection of assorted decks of cards somebody dropped off. Some are collectible and some are just decks of cards, but it takes time to look those up and figure out which are which.

Only I couldn’t because someone needed help unloading several shopping bags of catalogs, brochures, and other junk mail from the trunk of the car. This involved waiting while they sorted THOSE four bags from among the other bags of junk in the trunk. I did get a nice fringed banner saying “Welcome to Los Angeles”, which was treasured by some previous generation and may find a member of this generation to treasure it if only I can avoid stopping to lift five boxes of paperback mysteries out of the back seat of the car which pulled up just after that car which held six bags of art books and just before the donor with the shopping cart loaded down with travel guides and….

Sure, I love your books. It’s just that I’ll love ‘em more around mid-October.

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