How Many Days to Go? | Page 78 | Newberry

How Many Days to Go?

I mentioned the volunteer who suggested once that we set up the Book fair like a Monopoly Board, and make people go around all the spaces before they could check out. There have been numerous suggestions on how to beef up the appeal of the Book fair by being less fanatic about just selling books and stuff, and doing more entertainment. I myself once suggested that it would be cheaper just to have me sing selections from the Book Fair Songbook, and just as bad for sales, and the debate ended rather abruptly. (I have more Book Fair songs around here somewhere, in response to those of you who have asked me to never, ever print one again. I’ll show ya.)

Anyway, one feature that gets suggested from time to time is the DAY, a proposal to have a special Day for something or other. Among those we have had:

Queen for a Day: One of the suggestions for our 20th Book Fair was that the founding curator wear a tiara all day long. The powers That Be asked me if I thought she would, and the expression on my face obviated the need for any verbal reply. (Remind me to blog about the big 20th anniversary Book Fair some day. It never happened, despite all the planning that went into the refrigerator magnets.)

Special Preview Night: Everybody stampedes in to Preview Night, right? So the idea came up: why not hold a Preview Preview, for people who give us $2500 or more? Then all these $100 donors would have to upgrade to $2500. I said I thought it was a good idea, since it feeds into my own plan to just run the Book Fair for the whole month of July someday. (Volunteers and staff would be allowed five hours each night for sleeping and remembering their home address.)

Dealer Day: “Those book dealers are all so rude,” said a brainstormer. “Why not just have them in for a special preview and then ask them not to come back for the rest of the weekend?” “Because all our non-dealer customers would lynch us,” I said.

Scavenger Hunt Day: A Golden Ticket worth untold riches (a $12 discount at the A.C.McClurg Bookstore, perhaps) would be hidden inside a book for the lucky purchaser. Or clues to where it is would be hidden in twenty or thirty different books. “Of course, they’d have to BUY the books, and not just rip out the page with the clue!” Sure they would.

Oprah-ning Day: The concept of having a VIP come and cut a ribbon to open the Book Fair keeps popping up. The concept of a headline reading “Oprah Killed By Stampeding Book Buyers” keeps coming into my head.

Sprinkler Day: We would set up sprinklers in the park on really hot days during the Book Fair. A special Outdoor Squirreller would hold their books for them to keep those dry. I’m actually thinking this would be a good idea this summer. In fact, if we made THAT the $2500 premium, it wouldn’t matter whether my signed Harry Potters are authentic or not. 

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