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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.

Santa Blogs IX

Dear Santa Blogs:

   I am going to remain calm and not resort to abuse, partly because I can’t decide whether you’re a fat old fool or a fat old liar.  I keep writing to ask for vampire books instead of these bunny books and books about fuzzy ducks my mother keeps buying for me.  Last year I got some thrilling narratives which involve bunnies AND ducklings, and BOTH were FUZZY.  My mother does not understand that I am maturing and need to learn about vampire stuff, like being invisible and twinkling and all that.

   Anyway, dearest mumsy seems to have taken your advice, you banana-fed bumpkin, and bought me some books secondhand, with other people’s names inscribed in them.  “To Paul from Grandma, 1996” and “To My Sweetest Blinnie from Mamma Rabbit, 1963”.  What do you suggest I do about that, frog flan?


 Dear Petula:

   I remember you, of course: your manners set you apart in a crowd.  My first advice, fried prunebread, is that if you really want to be invisible AND twinkle, you have troubles a mere blogger cannot fix for you.

   I have had a number of serial gifts come in, with more than one set of ownership marks.  There are plenty of ways to handle this.  One is with bookplates, as mentioned earlier.  Get a sticker with your name on it, and slap it on over the earlier owner’s name.  Other people cross out the original owner’s name and write their own underneath.

   But there are still other people (and that’s a good rule of thumb to go by in life, Granola Gravy) and they see no shame in letting the previous owner’s name stand.  They’ll do a tidy imitation of it right below, or right above, or on another page before or after the one with the first inscription on it.  It can be a fascinating—and sometimes profitable—use of one’s time, studying a book from, say, the 16th century, to trace the life stories of all the people who have scribbled their name somewhere in the volume.

   You are a link in a chain, dove croquette, from the birth of that book through the generations.  And it may be fun for you one day to pass the book along to your own little darlings, when they are at that formativre age when you wish they’d take more of an interest in bunnies and ducklings than in fanging the mailman…if there are still mailmen when you reach that age.

   In the meantime, muskrat dumpling, why don’t you consider writing your own books?  There have already been a few vampire bunnies and ducklings, but I am sure your views on the subject would be sui generis.

   This is the last blog of 2011, eager-eyed blog readers.  I am off to the west again, to enjoy a break among the rolling hills (and you should see them roll on New Year’s Eve.)  The Newberry is CLOSED for seven of the next fourteen days, so try not to drop off books without at least calling ahead.  Or you could wait until all the snow melts…if it ever snows.

   Keep warm, read a book, and pile up banana boxes for spring.  We’ll chat again in 2012.  L’chaim!

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