So July and August are Please-No-Books months. You remember the rules: if you bring ‘em in, we don’t chase you off, and we wait to moan about it until you’ve left. See, we have a lot of shifting and price research and map work to do this month, which your books will interrupt, increasing pressure and facilitating a tendency toward acid reflux and high blood pressure already noticed among our crew. (Yeah, yeah: I heard that. “So if we give you a vacation in July, why can’t you take books in August?” Because we have to move everything BACK, prune porridge. And please don’t call July a vacation. We’re still working, even if we’re not hauling in your collection of 1970’s diet books.)
It naturally follows that we’ve had a lot of really interesting books come in in the past week. I never know which makes my face turn redder: getting really nice stuff at the last minute or getting loads of crummy stuff in the eleventh hour. I’ll have them check the security cameras at the back door and see what they can tell me.
Anyhow, some nice folks brought me all the books they couldn’t fit into the barn. These are book people, cherry chutney. They piled all they could in the field, put the rest in the barn, and still had enough left over to fill thirty pear crates, apple boxes, and, yes, banana boxes. In fact, they brought me my first donation of books in a snack banana box. I must state that snack banana boxes are an entirely reasonable thing to put books in, quite nicer than their full-sized cousins.
I did not have time to go through everything (that’s one of the reasons that in July I’d rather not…oh, did I mention that already?) but I did pluck out a book which had been postmarked at the South Pole by one of the Byrd Expeditions, signed by two of the crew. The two men also wrote down what they did on the trip, which is helpful, and which hints to me that they had their marketing plan for this book set out in advance. Still, it’s a nice thing to have.
These boxes had just been stacked up when I had a visit from a lady with 24 bags of books on art and photography, all from a celebrity in the design and publishing world. The majority of these were good, solid, but unremarkable art books until I hit the one at the bottom of the last bag, with the original lithograph for its jacket. I managed to squeeze in time to research a price on it, which was not easy, with everything else that’s been going on. See, in spite of my asking people not to bring in…oh, sorry. Wasn’t going to mention that again.
I had found a place to stack all of these so I could price ‘em up and be sure they got into this particular Book Fair when there was a knock on the door and a lady brought in ten boxes almost entirely of plays, most of them in nice, crisp condition and representing quite a library. I will pass those along to a volunteer who is eager to price things so as to give me more time to do the things I need to do in July…the main one of which is to answer the door and try not to look too appalled at the car with the garbage bags in the back seat. (Which, by the way, she called Contractor Bags, a phrase I’ve never heard before. Someone asked if she had said Compacter Bags, which made more sense, but no, she actually wrote it in the receipt: Contractor bags.)
I see I have not yet mentioned the lady who brought me the music box, and that lovely copy, in dust jacket, of Mussolini’s novel, and…no. If I act as if I was happy to get the stuff, you might get the impression I want book donations in July and, if I haven’t mentioned it yet, I don’t.
Why not? Well, for one thing, more mosquitoes fly in every time I open the door.