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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.

Have a Great Holiday (Somewhere Else)

The problems of the romance writer and the sportswriter are similar. There are only so many ways to describe how your hero gets to first base, but you have to make it sound new every time.

A blogger can find himself in a similar situation. I want to thank you for thinking of us and warn you not to think of us over the Memorial Day weekend.

It isn’t that I’m not grateful for the opera records. There are operas in that collection I’ve never heard of, and some of the operas I have heard of are on labels I’ve never seen before. But please don’t bring me any more of that collection while we’re locked up tight for Memorial Day.

We are closed on Saturday, Sunday, AND Monday this weekend, so although I am very happy with the two amazing collections of Lutheran hymnals which have come in, no one will be here to accept any more of them over the holiday. No matter how appropriate they would be on Sunday.

You did well to think of us when disposing of that collection of naval fiction–O’Brian and Kent, Ramage and Pope. And Memorial Day would, of course, be quite a suitable holiday for bringing in such militarily-themed novels. But the building’s locked up, see, so if you wanted to add some C.S. Forester to the mix, it would all have to sit outdoors until Tuesday.

What I’m trying to think of, sardine pudding, is a way of saying how glad we are for your donations, even when badly timed (those was our very first kickboxing magazine collection, even if bringing it in meant my lunchtime wound up stretched well into my afternoon coffee break), but that bringing them in when the building is closed would constitute bad timing beyond permission.

I never like to discourage donations, because I never know what might be in those bags with busted handles. (Did you know that was a first edition, first state of Ethan Frome? I’m going to ask a thousand dollars for it.) But though a donation MAY be safe out on our dock throughout the last weekend in May, there is always the chance that someone who needs to light the charcoal in the grill will realize that is the only sensible use for those paper shopping bags, and steal them, leaving your books alone and exposed to the elements. (You did apparently know that was the second state of the first edition of Two Years Before the Mast. I’ll probably ask a G-note for that one as well. Anyone who comes to the Collectibles section and hums a perfect note in G will get a round of applause, but no books. I expect you to be literate, not literal. Anyway, I have volunteers who’d argue that was an F-sharp and demand to know why i don’t provide tuning forks with the volunteer instructions and…where were we?)

So I need to think of a new, nice way to say that although I was very happy to see such an array of martial arts videocassettes, even Jackie Chan could not get into the Newberry when it is closed for a holiday weekend. He would have to sit outdoors with that rare encyclopedia of exploitation films and the collection of statuettes of the Buddha until we opened up on Tuesday. Is there some interesting way I can say that?

Because if there isn’t, I’ll just have to leave this space blank. And generous as you are, you haven’t earned THAT much of a holiday.

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