Inquiring Minds

Both the Book Fair’s new categories for 2010–Blank and Fashion–did well. Fashion, you may recall, was added because so many people asked where it was in 2008 and 2009.

Questions this year did not lend themselves to anything so constructive, though there was a modest surge in people asking where we kept our metaphysical books. On further inquiry, it seemed that some of these people meant yoga (Health), some meant astrology (Science Fiction), and some meant philosophy (Philosophy). I think we will not be adding a Metaphysical section any time soon: we might have to give up sixty other categories just to cover everything people want.

Other notable inquires included:

Do you have a section where all the books are fifty cents?

Um, no

What a bother!

Where are the books that are inspirational, like chicken soup? (I knew what they meant.)

My husband is looking for a novel about the robber barons in the early days of the railroad, but we can’t think of the author or title. (This was maddening because I knew at once what book they wanted and could see the cover…but not the title or author.)

Who was the 12th president of the us? (Your sign says Ask Me)

Two people came in and asked whether the books were divided up by subject in any way. Why, um, yes, we have two categories: books for people who can read are in here, and the rest are in the park. That door will take you to the park.

Two other people, shuffling a bit, asked for some specific books of a delicate nature. No need to blush, friends. I know you need ‘em for your master’s thesis

And two people asked for books on magic and its history, which led to further questioning on whether these people wanted stage magic of “practical” magic (the latter, in both cases.). .

But I believe my favorite remark of the weekend was an answer, given by one customer to another, who had asked what the squirreling section might be. “Squirrelling,” she said, “Is where they have these little takers who take and hold your books for you.”

We are now looking into the possibility of starting a Newberry Jazz Band called “The Squirrelling Section and the Little Takers.” 

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