Happy New Month | Page 70 | Newberry

Happy New Month

So, how was your Halloween? I did very well: people came up to me on the street and pressed Baby Ruths into my palms, murmuring, “LOVE the costume!”

I wasn’t wearing a costume, but you learn to take compliments (and candy bars) where you can get them in this world.

Now, if you were wondering what treats were left for me on the back porch during the holiday week, you DO understand that since October is a “Please Don’t Donate Books” month, these were more or less tricks. But some of these may turn into treats by next July. (Or earlier, depending on how the new bookstore is arranged this month.)

We had some fifty boxes come in as the first installment of an estate: fifty boxes of books on psychoanalysis, no less. The person who packed them up actually sorted them by psychologist: Freud, Jung, Bettelheim, Anna Freud, etc. There was lots of material on child psychology, that is, psychology dealing with people who are jung and easily freudened. No, that joke did NOT come in with them. I’ve had that one a LONG time.

What makes it worth mentioning is that one box was set aside for very early books in German, including some early and even first printings of works by Freud (but not his earliest stuff: he was already famous at this point), Wilhelm Stekel, and one book from 1904 on the use of hypnotism in analysis. From the looks of it, most of these books were part of a collection around 1921, passed to another collector somewhere in the 1930s, and were bought by the most recent owner around 2000 or so. I won’t require you to buy all of these books together, but it does seem as if they’ve formed a family over the last ninety years. Splitting them up might be traumatic.

We had a good, solid load of Illinois genealogical material: census collections, collections of marriage license data, and a book of newspaper reprints from an Illinois county in the 1840s. These were serious genealogists, who put together a lot of these books by themselves, and did a few books on their own relatives. None of this makes it any easier to figure out what to do with these nineteenth century family pictures. (The family packed it all up and sent it to me. Maybe genealogical interest isn’t hereditary.)

As usual, there was a smattering of doodaddery: a little wooden man whose head emits a sign saying “Accidents Cause People” when you press on his feet may be the prize here. (Which gives you some idea.) There’s a lovely doll cradle, as I mentioned before, as well as an assortment of pressed glass, a book catalog printed as a box of trading cards, and a testimonial cane presented to “the heaviest drinker of non-alcoholic beverages” at a local club. Perhaps you had to be there.

If anyone out there still buys CDs, we have had a small collection of Christmas ones arrive (I may have to play “If Mozart Had Written I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” before I put it out for sale) and a large collection of movie soundtracks. A collection of new and unused compilation DVDs of really bad Christmas movies, cartoons, and TV specials arrived just in time to perhaps put in an appearance at the bookstore on Black Friday or Magenta Tuesday or some other great shopping day in November. (Isn’t there a day in there someday for eating turkey? Used to be.)

Anyway, that’s how scary MY Halloween was. Next year may be different. Should I market Uncle Blogsy costumes and make some money, or would I be better off with the handful of Baby Ruths from passersby again? (What if they give me the gluten-free version?)

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