Queries from the Curious | Page 55 | Newberry

Queries from the Curious

I have had a few questions come along this week, and the answers to some of them might be of interest to you. What I said about the caller after I hung up might be more entertaining, but you know this is meant to be a family blog.

I donated some books by mistake two months ago. Could you find them and send them back to me?


Aren’t you even going to try?

If you had donated them in September, there might be a chance I could do it in November. If you donated them in February, there might be a chance of my doing it even in June. But there was a Book Fair last month, turnip muffin. Those books are gone with the wind.

Can I get a copy of Gone With the Wind?

Frankly, my dear….

I just bought a book that says it’s the Copyright Edition. Is that the same as a first edition?

Sometimes. A copyright edition is a book published in England by an American author or in the United States by an English author just to stop up gaps in the copyright law. Sometimes extra material was added to a previous edition published in the home country, to make it a new edition and thus eligible for copyright protection under the law.  A copyright edition, in that case, qualifies as “first thus”, indicating that it is the first appearance of this new material.

Is it worth a lot of money?

Depends on the book.

What book should I buy that will be worth a lot of money?

A book that costs a lot of money is frequently worth a lot of money.

What book can I buy cheaply today that will be worth a lot of money tomorrow?

Any book at all. It kind of depends on your salesmanship.

You don’t understand. What I’m really looking to do is buy something at a low price from you and sell it at a high price to the Newberry.

Let me just see if I understand what you’re asking me for. You want me to point out a book which I have priced so badly that you can buy it way below market value and then resell it at an inflated price to my employers, who have the right to take–absolutely free of charge–any book which is donated to the Book Fair.


[I need to pause for a moment to assure you that this was put to me in complete sincerity by someone who believed I would answer it the same way. The question that follows is similar, asked by a trusting and innocent soul. And yet there are people who regard Uncle Blogsy as a grim old curmudgeon who frightens small children. I do sometimes frighten small children, but only by screaming at what their parents ask me.]

I understand that your mentor, the Curator Emerita of the Book Fair, is moving to Assisted Living.

That is true.

Has she used up all her postage stamps? I can use them, so if you give them all to me….

Excuse me. I have to go frighten a hundred small children.

Add new comment