Summer Holiday

We are rising toward the Glorious Fourth, the holiday also known as Independence Day. And yes, I know you already know what I’m planning to say7.

a. The Newberry will be locked up tight the fourth, fifth, and sixth of July, so no one will be here to accept any books

b. We’d rather not have any books after Thursday anyhow; that’s not the main reason we call the Fourth Independence Day, but it’s right in there

Yes, I know I will find some bags and boxes when I come back to work on the seventh of July, and no, I have not activated the death ray. (I knew I should have bought fresh batteries when Potash was having the sale.) But in the next couple of weeks I must prepare the path for 2800 or so boxes of books, two hundred bookcases, and a hundred tables to be set and ready for eight or nine thousand customers. There must be a way you can just hang onto that copy of The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya-Sisterhood until September.

Besides, there are so many ways you can use those books to have a great holiday weekend. If nothing else, there’s the old reliable method of swatting mosquitoes by swinging a rolled magazine. I try not to think about it, but I get evidence now and again that the good old and equally traditional method of punishing mosquitoes, flies, and other airborne pests by slamming a book shut on them is alive and well, though the insects are not.

Are you tired of Uncle Albert’s barbecue, where the burgers are charred on the outside and raw in the middle? Hang onto your cookbook collection. Uncle Albert won’t use them, but you’ll find a lot of the older ones include remedies for indigestion in the back.

We do not approve of using books in place of Frisbees, badminton birds, or skipping stones. If you own some books with plastic dustjacket protectors on them, however, these can be used at sporting events to great effect. Sunlight glinting off those plastic surface can be directed into an opponent’s face at a critical moment.

And all those books on carefree summer family games can be consulted for rule violations before one of your offspring strangles little Cousin Bitsy.

And don’t neglect those travel guides if you’re planning a road trip. I KNOW you have a talking map on your dashboard, but it can’t tell you you’re within a mile and a half of the World’s Largest Cheese Curd. It’s little side trips like that which can make a family vacation memorable (as well as punishing your ten year-old for almost strangling Cousin Bitsy.)

There are, in short, all kinds of reasons to hang onto your books instead of bringing them to us on the holiday weekend. Besides, you want fireworks on the Fourth, not on the seventh when I see all those donations on the dock.

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