Well, if we should ever happen to be short of books for this Book Fair (it does happen) I now know what to do. Tell people we’re going to stop taking them after Wednesday. That’s what brings people in, I guess: the Limited Time Only Offer.
You have been EXTREMELY generous over the past week or so. Turn our backs for one minute, and an empty missile has not only been completely filled, but it will have produced a litter of small cardboard boxes all around it, filled with records and DVDs and old video games. There seems to be no limit to your generosity.
Oh, by the way, the person who dropped off that small collection of Cadiz chairs: someone has betrayed you. Apparently at some time after you dropped off this box of avant-garde armchairs, some miscreant took it away, removed the chairs, and then stuffed it full of paperbacks. Five hundred paperback books in one box: I know that couldn’t be one of OUR donors. Everyone surely has more sense than to pack a box three feet by two feet by two feet with mysteries and science fiction paperbacks.
Oh, and whatever was in that only slightly smaller box you dropped off a couple of days later? Same thing happened. Somebody made off with the contents and packed another few hundred paperbacks in there. Was it a shipment of flowers to congratulate us for our work? People are expressing deep curiosity about how you got boxes that heavy and unwieldy in through our glass doors, and I try to explain that you didn’t. Some unscrupulous person at the Newberry, who happened to have a thousand paperbacks in his pockets, stole those chairs and orchids, leaving paperbacks behind to make us think somebody had….
Sorry: it’s too tiring to talk about after the exertion of getting those boxes up on wheels and moving them downstairs.
Anyway, from July 4 until Labor Day, as usual, we are discouraging donations. If you call us and ask whether you can drop off books, you will be told “No.” As usual, we will NOT be posting a guard to chase you away if you drop books off, but next Monday we WILL get around to locking those glass doors which open onto the parking lot. Anyone trying to donate books after that will either have to come to the front door or get buzzed in at the glass doors, and in either case, the guard will see you, and snicker at you for not getting the message about dropping off books. (Mind you, the loading dock is still where it always was, but you wouldn’t do a sneaky thing like dropping off books there any more than you would pack five hundred paperbacks in a single box. Right?)
We do this “Please don’t bring us donations for a while” thing because there’s other work to do. See, what we need to do now is arrange our rooms and our tables and our bookcases and the four thousand plus boxes of books (this number does NOT include the boxes of CDs, DVDs, postcards, and other wonders) so people can come in and buy them.
And read them. And pile them up to donate to us. And wait until the first week in July to do so in entirely bizarre containers. It’s the Circle of Book Fair Life.