Eternal Questions II | Page 46 | Newberry

Eternal Questions II

As noted, from time to time, I like to consider some of the eternal questions which have bothered mankind. What’s the point of blogging if you can’t indulge in a little deep philosophy from time to time? This seems to be a handy time to consider one of the hottest of controversies in our little world.

What kind of weather is best for the Book Fair?

Now, as I like to point out (as much as possible, and more, if possible), the Newberry has the biggest air-conditioned book sale in the neighborhood. So as far as shopping is concerned, the weather doesn’t make much difference. The basic question is about what sort of weather will bring us book-loving buyers in the greatest droves.

The answer to this is that there IS no answer. I am from Iowa, friends, from a town where weather was a matter of discussion but never of real argument. Every farmer knows, KNOWS, that whatever the weather is will be bad for business. I do not run into farmers very often at the Newberry, but the mindset is exactly the same. If I admire the cool, non-humid style of July, I must brace myself for the inevitable reply.

“Yes, but it’s so nice outside no one will want to come inside and shop.”

If, however, we have normal Chicago July weather (ninety degree heat, ninety percent humidity, one hundred percent miserableness) and I say, “Well, that will inspire people to stay inside and shop more,” I am certain to get the answer:

“Yes, but it’s so hot outside no one will want to leave their air conditioning to come here.”

Does Uncle Blogsy suggest that rain will force people to do more shopping?

“Of course they’re going to drip all over the books and kill sales to people who come in later.”

Do clouds come to cut back heat?

“That’s going to make it a lot harder to see in the big room.”

Will the sun be blazing in illuminate the titles for buyers in the big room?

“We won’t sell any literature: those customers will be facing the east windows, and they’ll be dazzled.”

Do you know, I believe I may have been too pessimistic back there when I said there was no answer to the question. There IS an answer. Weather always makes sales go down. What we NEED at the end of July is five days of no weather at all. Things will be perfect.

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