FAQAA | Page 78 | Newberry


I need to rerun some of our most-asked questions (Frequently Asked Questions Asked Again, if you keep track of acronyms), just for those who came in late. If you dislike reruns, I do have a new one, which I have been asked once in a while, but heard three times in the past week. And, anyhow, I’d be a rotten columnist if I couldn’t think of new ways to complain about the same old things.

Do you take paperbacks? Yes. People buy paperbacks, you see.

Do you take cookbooks? Bibles? Paperback mysteries? Pay attention: we do NOT discriminate against any book based on its subject matter, provided it isn’t something positively illegal. The things we don’t take are a matter of saleability. We can’t see people buying used Reader’s Digest Condensed Books for the same reason we can’t see people buying old New Yorkers or National Geographics. They already HAVE plenty.

Can I deduct this donation on my income tax? Yes. We are a 501(c)3 institution, and your donation is deductible.

If I give lots of books, can I come to the Associates’ Preview Night without paying to be an Associate? Um, would you look over that question, my little bacon cupcake, and think it over? If you look closely, you will see it is the ASSOCIATES’ Preview Night. This means you need to be an Associate, which is something you become if you donate to the Annual Fund. (And at that, you have to donate at the $100 level or above to make the cut-off for Preview Night.) I can ask, of course, but the folks in charge of the Annual Fund do not usually accept books in lieu of cash. Neither, by sheer coincidence, do the people who send us the bills for light bulbs and toilet paper. Are you getting the picture, maplenut roll?

If I get a receipt from you showing gave a hundred dollars worth of books, could I get in to the Preview without additional payment? You’re not listening, sugarlump.

If I got an appraisal saying I gave more than a thousand dollars’ worth of books, could I…. Look very closely at the screen, my goulash gumdrop, whilst I try again. If I brought ten people into Whole Foods, and each of them bought a hundred dollars’ worth of groceries, Whole Foods would probably still not knock a hundred dollars off my own bill. Anyway, if I give you something in return for your books, it’s not a donation, is it? Then you can’t deduct it. So we’re really both happier the way things are, aren’t we?

What if I give you all the books from my grandmother’s estate? She was an Associate, so shouldn’t her books get me in? Coconut croissant, if you show up on Associates’ Night, I will personally order volunteers to fill your pockets with Reader’s Digest Condensed Books and drop you into one of the soup pots at Whole Foods. Maybe if you give them all those books, they’ll let you drink the soup. 

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