I suppose I should be grateful that everyone is asking. I really wish it meant you’re counting down the days until you can buy this Zoomba kit. But no, I know what you mean by it.
“How much longer are you accepting books?” everyone asks me. This means either a) they will bring in books before the cut-off date or b) they will bring in books after the cut-off date. I suppose there has to be a third kind, the kind of people who were just LOOKING for a reason to postpone packing up books, and, whatever I say, will decide they’ve waited too long, and put it off until after the date when we reopen our donation box. (Well after; they will put it off until the end of next June, when it will be too late again.) Anyway, that kind of person has very little impact on my daily work, so I don’t know much about it.
Anyway, it is not that I am not grateful to the two donors who each donated a boxful of vintage Edgar Rice Burroughs paperbacks. (I would ask the one who priced them all, presumably for sale at some other venue, why the price is higher on those where the woman on the cover has…never mind. I expect I can guess.) But we DO have this Book Binge at the end of July, and we need some time to set up tables, move boxes, and so forth, and so we request a temporary halt to donations.
I like to say this cut-off extends from the Fourth of July to Labor Day. I say it that way because I think it’s easier to remember than, say, “July 1 to September 1”. I have been proven wrong repeatedly, but I’m sticking to my guns. We had a surge of donations just before Memorial Day, because, somehow, a lot of people think we shut down then. Other people think we stop on May Day. Naytheless, I shall insist on using two holidays: maybe someday people will decide we ONLY accept donations between Christmas and New Year’s Day.
And, anyway, we’re closed on the Fourth of July, so we can’t take donations. We actually like to shut down at 5 P.M. on July 3. But I can’t go around saying, “Well, we don’t want any donations between 5:01 P.M. on the third of July until 8:01 A.M. the day after Labor Day.” That throws off the people who want to bring us Thai cookbooks—in Thai—over the holiday weekend. (Our collection of cookbooks in Thai will be found in the Foreign Language Section next month, NOT in Cookbooks.)
We will NOT be turning people away who drop off books during the forbidden days. This would involve posting a guard at the door by our Donation Missile, and that seems a bit much, since those doors will be locked against the general public soon. (People with books to donate will have to buzz to get the doors unlocked, or take their donations to the old spot on the Loading Dock. We have cameras at both places, so at least we will know who dropped off those eighteen boxes of old computer manuals. By the way, those old computer science journals you dropped off turn out to be rather pricey—they’re aimed at people who can think in higher numbers than most of us—and will be found in our Computer section in July.)
And nowadays, we have to go into so much detail. Somebody actually called me to say, “I know you don’t want any book donations in July, but will you take records?”
What we’re trying to do, see, is put a pause on ALL Book Fair donations while we turn our minds to the nuts and bolts of the process. Cash donations are still welcome, but we’d like to press Pause on books, CDs, LPs, CD-Roms, magazines, catalogs, prints, bookends, paintings, and exercise equipment. (I haven’t decided where I’m displaying paintings this year, but I’m working on it. If that piece of medical equipment you sent was a hint, we’re not taking it…literally.)
So please, in the month of July, turn your mind to all the books you’ll be taking IN. It will take us a while to get ready, and YOU have to start talking yourself into buying this signed first edition of Death of a Salesman.