Book Fair Futures Trading '10

I’ve done my preliminary boxcount for the second annual 25th Book Fair, and I know you want these wildly important statistics hot off the laptop.

See, all the year long, as we sort and price and pack, the books go into boxes with cryptic notes like “PB Lit” or “Poli Sci”. You may not notice this because these are tucked away under tables when you show up. But we keep a running count of how many boxes we have packed, and a list of what we’ve packed. Come this time of year, I can sit down and analyze the list by subject. Then I block in the arrangement of the sale. If I know I’m going to have three times as many boxes of westerns as last year, I can shift and shuffle. This is why what you are looking for may not be EXACTLY where you found it last year.

It also gives me a chance to write a quick blog to tell you what’s coming.

2009 was the year of the big Anthropology donation, necessitating a whole lot of pricing and packing back in August through December of ‘08. That didn’t happen this year, so subjects like Anthropology, Archaeology, and such are back to normal levels. 2010 is the year of the big Art donation, which took up much of my time in September through November of ‘09. With weeks yet to go on packing books, we nonetheless have 50% more Art books than last year. Pawn the children, warm up the credit cards.

Local institutions have been tidying odd corners of their buildings. Due to one such clean-up, our Music section is about a quarter larger this year, and our collection of sheet music is well past last year’s. (Think hymns.) Similarly, our Science section is triple last year’s size. Quality is in the eye of the beholder, but if you’re looking for quantity, we can at least guarantee that. (I don’t believe I’ll tell you what institution is responsible for this, but if you want to fill your shelves with astronomy, just drop right over.)

Continuing last year’s trend in Book Fairs and elsewhere, Business is down. But, hey, our Political Science section has nearly doubled. I priced Political Science, kids, and I can guarantee that half the collection comprises books with the theme “Those guys over there aren’t REAL Americans; we are!” I can only stand and wonder at the realization that we have books to offend anybody anywhere on the political spectrum. It’s a sign of the times.

I suspect that it’s another sign of the times that we have three times as many boxes of blank books as we do of the Greek and Roman Classics, but I’ll let you analyze that one yourself. 

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