Not that you asked, but yes, I do occasionally rent books instead of selling them outright.
No, it isn’t a throwback to the days of rental libraries, when you paid two cents a week to borrow the latest Elinor Glyn heavy breathing romance. And no, I do NOT want to develop this into a major sideline. it’s just that sometimes people want to use books temporarily. If they can’t guarantee I’ll get the books back, they buy ‘em, but when they need the books for a brief spell and intend to bring them back, they pay a bit less and get to haul ‘em twice instead of once.
I have blogged before about the year I had the professional library of one of Chicago’s pioneer female gynecologists come in. I did NOT mention that at roughly the same time, a nationwide retailer decided to decorate its display window with books. They thought of the Newberry Library immediately, as who wouldn’t, and we helped each other out. If anyone noticed that the summer line of fashion was displayed in front of ten dozen bound volumes of Obstetrics Today, nobody told me.
We’ve provided stage props for a couple of different theaters. I was sorry that I didn’t know Steppenwolf’s production of “Rock and Roll” involved dropping dozens of LPs from above the stage. I have hundreds of albums eminently suited for just that purpose. And, hey, if you’re ever sitting around, scraping the bottom of the barrel for something to watch on television (the thing with the big screen that you watch when you don’t feel like getting your phone out of your pocket) and you come across a one-third star movie called “Baby’s Day Out”, check out the books in the millionaire’s library. We boxed those up and sent them over.
There have been gala dinners with book themes where Book Fair books formed part of the centerpiece (I got back more than I sent over, but all that added candle wax did nothing for the price of the books.) And at least one realtor likes to show apartments with books in the bookcase and an apple pie in the oven. He rented books from us only once, when he was just starting out: apparently several of his clients after that just left their books behind, assuming he wanted ‘em. He didn’t need my help any more. We didn’t care. He never brought us any of the apple pie, either.