When we talk about the wonders and marvels for sale at the Book Fair, we tend to concentrate on the thousand dollar books, or at least the hundred dollar books. Don’t let that fool you into thinking we don’t keep a few wonders among the fifty cent books and dollar books. (By the way, more of the fifty cent books are dollar books this year, but that’s another blog.)
Our three categories that sell best, based on pure percentage, are probably Dance, Classics (works from or about the eras of Classical Greece or Rome), and Paperback Literature. I don’t know what that means, but it must be significant. Some years we sell out completely in the first two categories, while 95% of Paperback Literature is generally gone by Sunday afternoon. (Frankly, 80% is gone by Sunday Morning. Come as early as you can.)
We have a goodly crop of Classics this year, with a decent number of volumes of the Loeb Classical Library among any number of different translations of Homer and Aristotle. Dance and Literature are up to last year’s supply, though in all honesty I can’t think of any standout donations this year.
Among other popular subjects, you will find a very nice selection of Cookbooks (thanks in part to a collection from the South Side, which was responsible for about fifteen boxes all by itself). The Chicago books have been blogged about a little already, but add to the previous blogs a few Chicago Social Registers over half a century old and someone’s collection of tomes on Chicago politics (almost all anti-somebody, of course. What else could you expect?)
People are generous with the large, unopened board games this year, and if I remember to wrap it before July 22, we have an elderly Autobridge, all metal and three times as big as the usual versions. Children’s books have been a source of great fascination: at one end of the spectrum we have board books and cloth books and plastic books and flap books and bettery-operated books and pop-up books for the toddler while at the other end we have series books I’ve never seen before (the Private series, the Clique series, and great, gloomy science fiction and fantasy series. We have oodles of Harry Potter, too, if you were looking for something to buy and donate to your local library or battered children shelter.)
We also have vampire romance series deluxe, from Anne Rice right up to the present. Most of these will be found in the Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror/New Age/What Have You section, and yes, we have books 1, 2, and 4 of the Twilight series. In fact, we have lotsa keen books priced well under a thousand bucks apiece. You can always inquire, via comments. (Oh, yes, tons of CDs this year, and records, and Michael Jackson is there. Did I ever tell you my theory of the late 50s in the Midwest? In just a couple of years so many icons were born in our area: Prince in Miinesota, Madonna in Michigan, Michael in Indiana, me in Wisconsin…it’s uncanny, really.)
All bets are off after opening time on the first day, of course. If you wait until 4 P.M. Sunday, you may have to make do with Bridges of Madison County and volume 16 (Tapioca to Tripe) of the Supermarket Brand Cooking Encyclopedia.