Their Books, My Books, YOUR Books

I know all of you have clicked on our website and, AFTER reading Uncle Blogsy’s latest pearls of wisdom, clicked on the Adoption program page to adopt a quote or a picture or a manuscript. But since this adoption is a mere cyber-adoption, and you can’t take the item home with you, I would like to point out that you CAN do tribute to the item you adopted by hunting for a reasonable facsimile of it at the Book Fair next

If you adopted one of the quotations: you can certainly find Twelfth Night or Alice in Wonderland or Moby Dick at the Book Fair. (You will not find a Dancing Baptist—at least not the same one up for adoption.) The Collectibles section no longer has the edition of Alice in Wonderland signed by Alice, but we do have a couple of massive 19th-century folio Shakespeares.

We have none of the images for sale, not even the picture of Thornton Wilder with Gertrude Stein. But we’re going to have decent assortment of art and photography this year so you can hunt up images of your own. We’ve also received some more prints and posters, and a nice collection of cartoons clipped from Simplicissimus in the days when work by Kathe Kollwitz could be found there. There will be at least two new shoeboxes full of postcards, and there’s this frog…no, that’s not an image I want to dwell on.

We do, as I have mentioned, have a rather beat-up copy of Le Boite a Joujoux; I have not checked our CD or record selection closely enough to see whether we have any of the other selections available for listening. It wouldn’t surprise me. We have Enrico Caruso singing “Over There”, and somebody’s Shaun Cassidy collection, and someone’s Ramsey Lewis collection, and even a few blues 78s this year.

Naturally, we have none of the manuscripts for sale, but we can sell you a copy of Winesburg, Ohio, or the Autobiography of Malcolm X, and we even have some rare printings of that letter from Thomas Jefferson to his daughter. If you want really interesting manuscript material, you’ll have to check some of the inscriptions in the Signed Collectibles. Or, if Celebrity is less important to you than Content, the inscriptions in other parts of the Book Fair. (I’m still worrying about “To My Own Cinderella, Who Lost More Than One Shoe at the Dance”. Two shoes? A sock? This was in a copy of Let’s Eat Right To Keep Fit, so there may be a lot to this story.) In the map section, we do have some modern facsimiles of the Gangland map of Chicago for sale. You can also get these in the A.C. (Admirable Choice) McClurg Bookstore in the lobby, which also has the modern reprint of that 1905 Photographic Automobile Map, using photographs to show how you drive from Chicago to Lake Geneva. Sort of an early experiment in virtual travel. We can offer you an official 1966 U.S. Air Force map of the delta of the Mekong River

And we can sell you three of the four books: Don Quixote, Moby Dick, and Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. We don’t have a copy of William Morris’s the Dream of John Ball as far as I know, but that doesn’t mean we won’t get one by July 27. After all, who would have guessed we’d a book which proves breast cancer is caused by wearing underwear, an explication of Scripture which proves that though dancing and lipstick are bad, only bobbed hair is specifically forbidden, and a volume of Tristram Shandy autographed in 1767 by Laurence Sterne? (Nope, never did find the other eight volumes.)

I think adopting something online is a good preliminary exercise for coming in and adopting, oh, three bags full on a Thursday at the end of July. (And four bags full on Friday, and six on Saturday, and better rent your UHaul now for Sunday because a lot of people have the same adoption plan you have.) 

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