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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.


“Uncle Blogsy!”

“Kindly don’t shout, young Bookhopper. This is a library.”

“But you’re always telling us the Library is upstairs, and this is just the Book Fair.”

“Maybe you should run upstairs and make sure it’s still there. Come back next week.”

“Uncle Blogsy, what subject would your blog book go under at the Book Fair?”

“This is a rhetorical question, of course. No one’s going to donate such a rare and wonderful work of literature.”

“Of course, Uncle Blogsy.”

“You want to work on your straight face, Bookhopper. I won’t have to dent so many unabridged dictionaries dropping them on your feet. Where would YOU sort the book?”

“I know better than to tell you what I’m thinking, Uncle Blogsy.”

“You impress me.”

“That I need just the one dictionary on my foot to learn my lesson?”

“That you think, Bookhopper. Of course, since it is a collection of essays, it could go under Essays.”

“But they’re essays about books: shouldn’t it go into Books & Authors?”

“That is also a very good answer. It could, with justice, go into either category. This brings up the principle of one subject ‘trumping’ another.”

“Is that the Games category, Uncle Blogsy?”

“When considering whether to put a book into a large, general category or a smaller one, we try to reckon where the book will sell faster. A life of Martin Luther King, Jr., for example, could be put into Biography or African-American Studies. But since African-American Studies sells better and faster, it trumps Biography, and the books goes into the second category would be the better one.”

“But both Essays and Books & Authors are general categories, Uncle Blogsy. Essays is smaller: would an unwary customer find the book faster there?”

“Both categories would be trumped by Humor, which is a popular category. It might sell faster there.”

“Whether it’s funny is a philosophical question, Uncle Blogsy: should I put it in Philosophy?”

“And they’re humorous columns dealing with an annual event in Chicago. So it might with justice sit among the Chicago books. That’s a highly popular category, so it might trump even Humor.”

“Cookbooks are popular, too, Uncle Blogsy, but you never put in the tapioca meatloaf recipe.”

“If I did, the book would wind up in Military History, as some people treat tapioca meatloaf as a weapon of mass destruction. But as the book was published in such a limited edition, I think I might finally decide to put it in Collectibles.”

“But didn’t you just do a blog last week about things that are limited editions and not worth anything? Ow!”

“Those unabridged dictionaries should go in Reference, Bookhopper. And that’s about as much as we should talk about where I think YOU should put a book. I might say something unclassifiable.”

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