So two weeks from today, the balloon goes up. At 4 P.M., July 25, we’ll…no, dear, there won’t be a balloon. It’s a figure of speech meaning that the big event…no, it’s not because of the costs of balloon insurance. We’ve never had a…no, you did NOT watch a balloon go up last year. That is, we didn’t have one going up. What you saw is between you and your doctor. No, I know your doctor doesn’t go up in balloons. Can we just start over, please?
Two weeks from tonight is the Associates’ Preview for the 2012 Book Fair. People who give money to the Newberry are recognized in a number of ways, depending on how much they give, and one of the ways we recognize those who give $100 or more is letting them in to this special evening. If this is all news to you, here are the answers to your questions.
YES, you may come to the Preview IF you are a Newberry donor at the $100 level or above.
NO, giving $100 worth of books to the Book Fair does not count. You must have given more liquid assets. No, slipping me a bottle of Diet Dr. Pepper does not count.
YES, you can still donate and get in on Wednesday, July 25. Send your donation by mail or through this website. Click on the proper place and you will be taken to somewhere that will automatically put you into the database (provided your credit card is good.)
NO, there is no limit to how late you can pay the $100, though donating at the door during the Book Fair is a bit complex and slows you down when what you want to be doing is dashing into to get all those copies of The Help.
YES, there a couple of things you need to do besides give money. You should have an Associates’ Membership Card and/or (preferably) the special invitation we send out only to Associates. We will have your name on a list besides, but carrying the proper bit of paper speeds things up.
NO, you do not have to wait in line from 3 A.M. on to insure you get in right at 4. In fact, we wish you wouldn’t. At 7: 30 Wednesday morning, someone will be handing out numbers. Wait patiently for your number and, once you have it, GO AWAY. The line assembles at 3 P.M., and everyone is expected to respect the numbers handed out earlier.
YES, that invitation Wednesday night means you can bring One Significant Other (and babes in arms associated therewith). It does NOT mean you can bring your sisters, your cousins, and your aunts.
NO, not even if you carry them in.
YES, you are absolutely allowed to come after 4. As long as you have one of those cards that shows you’re an Associate, you can come in at any time between 4 and 8 P.M. In fact, it’s a little quieter if you come at 4:15.
NO, you do not need to get a number to wait in line if you’re planning to arrive after the line has already gone inside.
YES, there is something of a rush at 4 P.M., but it isn’t as wild as once it was. When the level of donation went up, a lot of the running bookmen decided to come in at noon on Thursday, when admission is free. So there is actually a lesser chance of being trampled if you pay to come in Wednesday night. (People do still gather to watch the Rushing of the Bookfiends on Wednesday night, but it wouldn’t impress Hemingway these days.)
NO, you may not come in on last July’s Associate card. No, even if you paid on last year’s Preview Night, which was July 27. It’s in the fine print, potato pie: your donation is good for just one Book Fair, despite your having paid only 364 days ago.
YES, if you have last year’s map, it will help somewhat, but How To will be in a different room this year, as will Architecture, Antiques, Gardening, Chicago, and who knows what all else. The maps are free; pick up a new one when you get here.
NO, all the good books are not scooped up on Wednesday night. There will be some good ones left if you wait until Thursday. Some people will regard you with amazement and call you a paragon of patience, but that’s their own opinion.
YES, whether you stand in line on Wednesday at 3 or Thursday at 11, you will be expected to wait outdoors. Yes, even in the rain. Yes, Even then. (You should have thought of that before you left home.)
NO, Ernest Hemingway will not really be there to watch people rush in. That was just a bit of humorous hyperbole of the type…no, jasmine jellyroll, he did NOT go off in the balloon.