Well, here it is, one year and one day after that first blog. One year of books and book fairs and records and record-setters. And who can forget all those blogs about banana boxes, eh, my little buttered parsnip? Most people, to judge by what’s being donated. (I should have been collecting them; I know that now. Just yesterday I got books in an alligator pear box, which would have been the cornerstone of a good collection, if I’d had a collection. By the way, Marshall Field’s hat boxes are not necessarily an improvement. They’re, um, round, and books are sort of rectangularish. Just thought I’d mention it.)
Somebody asked, just t’other day, if I don’t get discouraged once in a while, when that banana box comes in with all its copies of the 8-Week Cholesterol Cure, and The da Vinci Code, and the Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, and Golda Meir’s autobiography, and all those other books people want to pass on every blessed week.
“You must get discouraged,” he said. “What do you do?”
I told him even Santa Claus must get discouraged, between all the bad kids who want ponies and the good kids who ask for Grand Theft Auto XVII, the X-rated version. But we have to keep our spirits up, after all, thinking about the joy we bring. In fact, I get twice the joy of Santa Claus, because I bring joy to the people who give me presents, and I bring joy to the people who buy ‘em later on.
“And you never know,” I told him, showing him the latest donation which had just come in: fourteen boxes of dusty engineering texts of the sixties and computer guides of the early 00’s.
He’s too polite to say “Yuck”, but his face said it for him. He did say, “You’re going to throw these out, aren’t you? No one in their right mind would buy these, right?”
I said, “Just look.”
One of the grubby engineering texts and one of the grubby computer guides had my price already written inside, on the upper right hand corner of the first white page. The donor had bought those from us in the first place.
“Well,” said my philosophical visitor, “That proves that.”
“That there’s a customer for everything?”
He shrugged. “That we don’t make our money off people in their right minds.”
But who does, after all? Happy anniversary, booklovers and blogreaders.