As If You Needed More Thrills | Page 9 | Newberry

As If You Needed More Thrills

So, as I have mentioned before, we are coming up on the Sixth Annual 25th Anniversary Book Fair. This, if you would like someone else to do the math so you can save yourself for your taxes, makes this our 30th Book Fair.

I ran into some notes I jotted down in 1993 (obviously with a crayon and Big Chief notebook, as I must have been about three years old at the time and…what? I gave the game away when I mentioned the Big Chief notebook? Yeah, well, if you’re so young you wouldn’t have caught that, so there.) Our Ninth Book Fair was the first Book Fair to feature those collapsible bookcases, and new categories like Games, Military Fiction, and African-American Studies. Military Fiction was huge on the bestseller lists in the early 90s, and we thought it would be a big hit at the Book Fair. Hasn’t been a big draw so far, but what’s twenty years between friends. And it was Afro-American Studies in those days, before it became Black Studies, and then became African-American Studies. But that’s a whole nother blog.

I found some notes from 1990, and see I mentioned the first appearance of a donor I could not have realized would encumber my life twice a year right up through 2013, with those big drop-offs at five minutes to closing time where every book had to be considered individually and added to a tally sheet so that receipt…as I was saying about Christmas, the trouble is part of the tradition. Can’t make an omelet without breaking a few frying pans, and so forth.

But you didn’t tune in here to read while I reminisce. What I’m getting to is that an awfully lot of history seems to have been happening while I thought I was just sorting, pricing, and packing. And we are still going back and forth trying to think of ways to mark our thirtieth Fair.

The naming of Lampe Landing is in the works, and yes, yes, that Best of Blogsy Book is still simmering. But that’s just one more book at an affair that has thousands. What ELSE can we do?

The insurance will not cover a massive fireworks display and, anyhow, there are nearly as many fireworks displays in July as there are books at the Book Fair. It’s too hot that month for a Book Parade, although there were some nice ideas for floats celebrating Bridges in Madison County, DaVinci Codes, and Ya-Ya Sisters. (The person who submitted pictures for a Fifty Shades of Grey float has been asked to save it for the staff barbecue.)

Auctioning off a chance to be first in line at the Preview would start riots and it’s not the 30th anniversary of the 1968 Convention, after all. Some sort of major banquet is a possibility, but Uncle Blogsy has resolutely declined to jump out of a cake, so what’s the point? (It’s not that I mind frosting in my whiskers—they’re kind of frosted these days anyhow—but if I’m in the cake, I can’t steal all the figs wrapped in bacon at the buffet. Be reasonable.)

You know what this is leading up to. What would YOU suggest as a way to mark a thirtieth Book Fair? All reasonable suggestions will be considered. All unreasonable ones will be sneered at in this column. You won’t even have to wait twenty-four years like that donor with the car full of…oh, never mind. It helped fill the time.


I think leading up to the event it would be cool to gather stories of people's "best Newberry Book Fair find" and post them on the website/Twitter feed. You could solicit stories from Associates and visitors. For a Fair event, consider a costume contest -- literary figures or characters. It might be too hot for Victorians, though.

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