FAQ Back at Ya | Page 49 | Newberry

FAQ Back at Ya

This is another partial rerun: more of those same questions that need to be answered every year. I wouldn’t mind so much if it wasn’t so often the same people asking them every year.

Why are these big paperbacks in with the hardcovers? For the same reason the little hardcovers are in with the paperbacks. I do keep explaining this, chocolate torte flambe: the books are separated in some categories so they will be easy to shelve in an efficient manner. So yes, you do find trade paperbacks under the sign that says “Hardback Literature”. The crystal ball was offline when we were naming the categories back in ‘85, and we didn’t know the new format was going to be such a hit.

Can someone come and look at my books and tell me what you want? No.

That doesn’t sound like sweet, lovable old Uncle Blogsy. What blog have you been reading, kumquat pudding? Here’s the thing of it: first of all, we take just about anything you want to give us. Second, so many people who are more decisive than you, beet bread, are sending so many books in that I really don’t have time to catch the bus, ride out to your place, and study your bookcases. Now, if you have a collection of 17th century atlases or 14th century manuscripts, the Library may very well send somebody to talk to you. But if it’s your grandmother’s collection of Thorne Smith and James Branch Cabell, just send it along. I’ll look at it all when it gets here.

This fellow wrote one good book. Why do you clutter the Literature section with the rest of his junk? So come July I can say “Roger Kaputnik? He’s in literature,” instead of “Roger Kaputnik? Well, one of his books is in Literature, and two are in Almost-Literature, and all the rest are in Fiction, except, of course, for his Rhubarb Cookbook”. Just saves time during the Book Fair. It does no harm to lump all the fellow’s fiction together; we aren’t bestowing any honor by so doing. At least, so far nobody’s new book has used the blurb “Included in the Newberry Library Book Fair’s Literature Section For the Eighth Straight year!” (Any publishers wishing to try this, though, are welcome to contact our Development Department. Operators are standing by.)

Do people still even buy reference books? Sure. They may need to look up how to spell “Wikipedia”.

Where are the books I donated? Somebody bought them already. You really know how to pick books, pork hock croquette. Those books just flew out of here the second the doors opened. (Yeah, I remember. You gave me that set of Kipling in red leatherette with the covers falling off. They honestly did fly out of the library. It just wasn’t in the direction you may be thinking. Anyway, you’re supposed to be here to buy somebody else’s books. If you just came to ask me questions, the first one’s free, but the second is twenty bucks.)

Isn’t that a bit steep for a question? Make the check out to “Newberry Library Book Fair”, thank you. Every twenty helps. 

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