| Newberry


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.

Gift Counselling

Oh, my donors are an uncommon collection of uncommon collectors. You should SEE some of the things you’ve been dropping off lately.

Many thanks for the ballpoint pen topped with a boxing kangaroo. (There are levers to make it throw a right or a left, or daze you with two punches at once.) The pen itself doesn’t work, but the kangaroo is in fine working order.

I was happy to see that single clear marble. Reminded me of one of my great online selling defeats. I had been given a massive marble collection to sell, and decided to do some preliminary research, to find out whether the marbles ought to be sold singly or as a collection.

Maybe you don’t know how technical the job of marble selling can become. European or domestic, they asked me: handmade or machinemade. Looked at those marbles for a couple of hours and found nary a label on ANY of them. I resigned from the marble business rather rapidly.

That’s a very nice set of wooden chess pieces in the classic plastic bag. I may not have mentioned this, but chess books are pretty swift sellers at the Book Fair, and chess sets are usually not far behind. It would have been nice to have a board to go with the set, but not to worry: we get two or three boards without pieces every year.

I was impressed by the boxed set of drinking games, which includes a deck of cards, a pair of dice, and a fake coin for flipping. I may have to hide this in July so it doesn’t get snaffled for the staff lounge. (Got some pretty serious green tea drinkers up there.)

The most immediately useful donation was probably the two dimes which slid out from under a flap in the box. I tucked those away, as you probably intended, in the Manager’s Retirement Fund (a portfolio currently holding a market value of about twenty-three cents.)

All this stuff has made me wonder what else you’re getting your dear old Ma for Mother’s Day. I assume you’ve got a stack of books for her–many of them probably purchased at some Book Fair the last weekend in July. I admire your forethought. But have you thought of the proper accessories to go with the books?

If you bought her cookbooks, for example, you will want to add a dozen cookies, or doughnuts, or cake, or pie. This will let her know you didn’t buy her the book for its roasted beet salad recipe, or even the tofu-tuna surprise.

Perhaps you bought her a stack of mysteries, or fantasies, or romances. That being the case, you might wish to include a tub of caramel popcorn or something like it, for sustaining the body while the mind is racing through the pages to find out when the heroine will realize the psychopathic killer is her brother-in-law Quinsie.

If you bought her some of the more serious novels of the modern age, a bottle of vodka, a jar of valium, and/or a case of antacids might be useful. The author was probably ingesting all three during the writing of the book, after all.

Maybe you bought her some of these wildly expensive knitting books we seem to get in such quantity these days. What you need to go with this is a photo album with pictures of that skiing trip you took last winter: everything from the pictures showing you all bundled up in the snow to the ones of you stretched out in front of the fireplace in your stocking feet. (This lets her know everyone in the family is already supplied with socks, mittens, hats, and scarves.)

Or perhaps you simply got her one of those Mother’s Day coupon books, with promises of hugs and phone calls and…oh, look here! There’s one that promises you’ll take her to the Newberry in July for some kind of book sale they have there.

You ARE a thoughtful child! Happy Mother’s Day!

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