In Lieu of a Nobel | Newberry

In Lieu of a Nobel

So, as I have hinted, we are sneaking up on our sixth annual twenty-fifth anniversary Newberry Book Fair, or our first annual thirtieth. (See, we had our twenty-fifth Book Fair in 2009, but we called it the twenty-fifth anniversary, except someone pointed out that our twenty-fifth anniversary Book Fair would logically be the one in 2010, since this was the twenty-fifth anniversary of the first one, in 1985, and….. We ALWAYS get in trouble when we try to do math.)

We are trying to come up with proper celebratory ideas, “proper” in this case meaning something that doesn’t cost much and doesn’t get in the way of the customers. And what some people have come up with is a “Best of Blogsy” volume, comprising the thirty best blogs to appear in this space. (The four which were written by other people do not count, for though they may be better blogs, they are not by your Uncle Blogsy. Yeah, life’s unfair, but you learned that when you paid five bucks for a really great book at the Book Fair and one of your kids told you, back home, that you donated that to the Newberry in the first place.)

I don’t know: I was kind of planning to wait until after the Nobel Prize came through. But someone higher up in the administration has noted that this would mean we’d have to use 120 blogs, since that is unlikely to happen before 2104. This would quadruple the cost of the book, you see.

Anyway, a number of brave souls with great stamina are working their way through the entire run of the blog (which is sneaking up on its fifth anniversary.) I’m going to ask for your advice, but you needn’t wade through every single banana box joke or expletive about bags with handles that fall off. Just let me know if there’s a blog that especially haunts your nightmares. It could get a chance to be printed in black and white and be passed along to further generations. (Assuming further generations read.)

I have been making my way through the collection myself, and aside from noting the formatting changes that various computer systems have imposed on my prose, and wailing over the typos, I have observed a few rash statements I made about what I would do once these blogs were gathered in a book. I promised, for one thing, that the book would never be available on Kindle, Nook, or other e-Reader. In all honesty, I must admit this is beyond my power. If the Nobel Committee sees reason and send over the award, it would be uncivil of me to try to keep these works from the e-Reading public. You’ll be there, won’t you, watermelon fricassee, to explain the big words to them?

And on the principle that impressionable children would be unlikely to pick up the book, I vowed to reveal all the entries in my challenge to complete either of these sentences: “A Book is Like a Lover Except….” Or “A Book is Like a Lover Because….”

We’ll see, peanut meringue pie. I can probably get away with a few of the answers (“A Book is Like a Lover Because you get really upset if your friend borrows it without telling you.” “A Book is Like a Lover Except it doesn’t get upset if you forget its name.”) But most of the really good ones would raise eyebrows—and blood pressures—among the Powers That Is.

Such a book cannot be complete, of course: thirty blogs can give nothing more than a hint of the full flavor of the blog: like a mere teaspoon of tapioca meatloaf. But if it takes off, maybe the thirty-blog book will spread to the other Newberry blogs, and once they’ve all had a turn, lead to a Best of Blogsy II. So all will eventually come right.

Especially after I have picked up a banana box to bury everyone who emails me with “Best of Blogsy! Do you need to publish that because you’re running out of blank books?”


Tell us the one about the three bears, Uncle Blogsy!
So many blogs, so little time! Er, how much time IS there? I mean, what's our deadline?
Actually, they hope to come up with a working list by November 1. But they've promised to do another book NEXT time we have a 30th anniversary.

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