Eternal Questions I | Page 53 | Newberry

Eternal Questions I

Let it not be said that this column steers away from controversy. Let it not be said that I am afraid to take a stand on delicate issues. I know, I know: it is best for the Book Fair if we all just laugh together and have a good time. But sometimes we MUST consider the questions that have burned in people’s minds for ages. So here goes:

Does taping a box of books shut make it easier to carry?

I will boldly go on record here as saying it all depends. If you’re talking about the bottom of the box, I’m all for it. I’m tired of risking serious spinal injury by straining to pick up a box full of Britannica yearbooks only to have the bottom fall out, sending me flying backward with all the books dropping on my feet.

As to the top of the box, well, no. No, the box, all other things being equal, is NOT easier to carry just because you’ve taped it shut. Furthermore, when people donate books that way, it just adds to the time it takes to empty out the boxes. (Oh, and if you want to talk about people who tie four knots in the handles of their shopping bags….)

Now, I am NOT telling you not to tape the boxes shut before you bring them in. Yes, they are easier for me to deal with if you don’t, but you may actually be thinking of other things than my comfort. (How dare you? And this close to Christmas!)

There are reasonable reasons for taping the boxes shut.

1. You plan to stack them outside your back door overnight, and you don’t trust your neighbors or the maintenance man not to take some.

2. You do not trust your spouse not to sneak back out some of the books he/she agreed to get rid of.

3. Your cat is just about to have kittens and you kind of figure I won’t want them. (How did you guess?)

4. A moth flew into the box while you were packing and you’d like to pass it along to a new home.

5. You didn’t clean out whatever it was you had stored in the box before you put the books in, and it smells kind of funny.

6. You just learned how to use that tape gun and you want to show off.

7. You haven’t really dealt with the separartion anxiety, and you might just turn off at the last minute and take all these boxes to the storage locker instead. (Your spouse is not coming along, I take it.)

8. You want to get clear of the Newberry before I look in the boxes and realize your set of the World Book lacks volume 12.

I am not going to holler at you for taping boxes shut, so do what suits you. I will make up my own excuse for you later. But, by the way, a set of World Book which lacks volume 12 makes an EXCELLENT Christmas present for that hard-to-buy-for person on your list.

(Wait for it.) Nothing says Christmas like an encyclopedia with No L. 

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