This is the point at which I need to pass along some of the basic information on how to attend a Book Fair. I mean, of course, some of the nuts and bolts, not rules of behavior for the nuts and dolts. Such remarks would be not only ill-mannered but useless, since only the best and brightest read this blog anyhow.
How much does this cost? Prices are listed in the upper right corner of the first white page inside the book. If it’s one of those books where the designer got busy and didn’t put any white pages in, things are trickier: check the clouds and waterfalls and other white objects. Audiovisual materials will usually have a sticker on the back in the upper right, but hunt around.
How ‘bout them ‘Hawks? I applaud the players and the fans who stuck around through all those years when if game attendance went into three digits it meant Frank had brought the grandkids again. And I hope this means the Cubs may get a turn. But we were talking about the Book Fair.
Where do I pay? Head west on the first floor and look for a thick rope attached to stanchions. If you go to the right of this rope, it will lead you to an area called Check-Out, and they can guide you from there. If you go to the left of the rope you will find two rooms full of books marked Room 1 and Room 2, as well as another pair of rooms marked MEN and WOMEN.
Where are the restrooms? Besides the pair mentioned in the FAQ above, there is a newer and larger pair at the bottom of the steps you noticed if you came in by way of the parking lot. If you didn’t notice, head for room six, turn left before you get there, and take two small flights of stairs down. There is also an elevator.
Is the Book Fair wheelchair accessible? If you come in by way of the parking lot (the north side of the building), you’ll find our express elevator. Once you get into the book rooms, you will find that we have enough space between tables for a wheelchair to pass, IF the crowd of shoppers allows this and UNLESS some dim bulb has been stacking books in the middle of the floor again.
Is there a place I can stash some books so I don’t have to carry them all while I shop? Yes yes yes! Do NOT assume you have to limit your purchases by your arm strength! We have places called Squirreling Areas where a volunteer will take your bag of books, label it, and stash in until you’re ready to check out.
Thanks a lot! I bought way more than I can carry to Check-Out by myself. Now what? We have a special large order checkout area, and the volunteers there will come with a cart and help haul your purchases there. Please please, before they start, make sure you DO want to buy all those books and that you’ve looked at the prices. Check-Out is not the place for sorting through your pile.
Now I have more than I can haul home. Can you help? Sorry, kid. I can’t let the volunteers leave the grounds. They might escape.
What about those Blackhawks, huh? They are an inspiration to all right-thinking people and their 49-year climb reminds me of our own effort to make enough money to buy respect. (I’ll let you know how that works out.) But we really need to talk Book Fair game plans right now.
What happens to the books you don’t sell? A group of previously approved not-for-profit organizations—schools, prisons, shelters and counseling centers—comes in and cleans out whatever each organization can use. Anything left over after that has been sold to an out-of-state buyer who finds enough good stuff to keep coming back for them year after year.
How soon after the sale can I start bringing books in? We need time, friend, to heal our wounds, put things away, figure out where we put things away before the sale and now put them in the right places, and just generally wind down. We’d RATHER not see any books until after Labor Day. As always, if you MUST unload your books in August, we will not turn you away. But we will growl foul things about you and your little dog, too.
What did you think about those playoffs? Weren’t the Blackhawks great? The Blackhawks were great, are great, will be great, always have been great. But this is a column about how to shop at the Book Fair.
Okay. Got any books on hockey? Over next to that big silver cup.