I note that when I wrote my last column on sorting games, I failed to mention that we here at the Book Fair also sell games. This is one of those things which make people call us eccentric.
See, we sell books on music, and we sell music, but we don’t mix these things together. Music itself can be found in the form of records, audiocassettes, CDs, musical instruments, sheet music, and who knows what-all else. Sheet music can be found in the same section as books on music, but those other formats are found in other places. Similarly, plays can be found in the Drama section, but books about the performance of plays are to be found in Show Biz, while books about the writers of plays are in Books and Authors. Actual performances of plays are to be found among the videos and DVDs, which are not far from those CDs of music, although this year audiocassettes of radio dramas can be found either among the audiocassettes in and among the music OR with the spoken word cassettes and CDs in Large Print, among the books on tape. AND, of course, any play recorded on vinyl will be with the records.
HOWEVER, board games, card games, and other such things are on the table right next to the books on Games. So it’s a lot easier. (Unless you want to talk about computer games, which are on discs, of course, and are over by the CDs. Let’s not talk about those.)
On the half of the Games table dedicated to actual games, you will find those AutoBridge cards of days gone by, souvenir decks of cards, and LOTS of Trivial Pursuit games. (We get about five Genus editions–that’s the basic set–for every other version we get, including the imitations.) This is also where we put our jigsaw puzzles, many but not all of which have been roadtested by special volunteers. (We attract puzzle-people, both of the crossword and jigsaw variety. This includes the Sudoku crowd as well. Had a six year-old drop by last week who allowed as how he and his mother are experts in the jigsaw line: he’s destined for Book Fair work, but his mother is philosophical about this.)
This year we also have a pair of those classic Tudor sports games: the kind you plug in and watch plastic football players wiggle toward each other. We have both the football and baseball versions, kept very nicely in their boxes for decades. These are iconic, but the appeal always eluded me. If I want to see football players moving futilely in all directions, the NFL season is only a few months away. I had more to add to that sentence, but to avoid hate mail, I’d best let you finish it anyway you like.
We also have at least one deluxe Scrabble set, some decks of cards from airlines that don’t exist any more, and, for those who need something less analog, some Nintendo object. It works, and I’d be more specific, but I don’t speak Nintendo. Anyway, I haven’t seen it lately. (I have to hide things like that, and sometimes I’m too good at this. And I resented the object. When I opened it, it told me the date and time, and I don’t like contraptions who are wider awake than I am. Coulda sworn it was Thursday.)
At last count, we had more boxes of games than we had boxes of books on games. Of course, board games take up more space in a box than a copy of Charles Goren, but even so, we should have something for everyone. Come early if you want one of those plastic football player games. By Sunday all we’ll have left are those metal puzzles that dare you to pull them apart and put them back together (frustrating children since the 18th century) and a copy of Trump: The Board Game. (Unless I put that one in Architecture this year, just to watch people foam at the mouth. The manager gets to play games sometimes, too.)