Things I Wasn't Going to Bring Up

            My thanks to those of you who have admired my voicemail message.  I am a great believer in “Entertain While You Educate”, and I do my best to get my points across with a little kick, to make them the more memorable.  For those of you who have NOT heard this masterpiece, the phone number is elsewhere on this website, but please don’t call to listen during the hours that I’m actually on the premises, or you will be disappointed by a live response.

            WHICH brings me to the matter I didn’t really want to talk about today.  I was having far more fun discussing naughty books, but there’s this bit of the message that isn’t getting across, somehow.  This is where I tell you that you can drop off books “roughly from 8 to 4, Monday through Saturday.”

            First of all, “roughly” does not mean toss the books overhand or dump them on the dock in massive garbage bags.  I am using “roughly” in the sense of “approximately”.  What I really MEAN is “it would work in better with the busy life of a Book Fair manager if you could bring in your books during the period mentioned.”  It does not forbid you from dropping off books at any other times.

            In fact, you can drop off books at any time at all, though the guards will wonder what you’re up to if you are stacking things on the dock at 1 A.M., and I, personally, will grumble if you drop them off on a Sunday and it rains that night.  I will also say a few quickly-chosen words if you knock on the back door five minutes before I had planned to go home, but in only very rare instances will you hear these.

            Now, I can understand your confusion.  This very website states that you can drop books off from 8:15 to 4.  So you can.  This doesn’t mean you will be bound in leftover spaghetti and thrown into the pit of poodles if you drop off books at 8:14.  I think this number comes from the fact that the exhibit galleries open at 8:15.  You don’t deliver books to the galleries (most of you) so I’m not sure why this matters.  Some of the guards, aware that the reading rooms are closed on Mondays, tell donors they cannot bring books in on Monday.  You can, actually, and a lot of you do.

            It is not Book Fair policy to mock your friends—I do that on a freelance basis—but I think you should know that they WILL get this wrong.  I don’t know what to make of the people who told me their friend informed them absolutely that we take books only from 10 to 4 Monday through Friday and 10 to 12 on Saturday.  Are your friends the problem, or is it you?  I have insufficient data for the analysis, though after I have gone through your collection of cookbooks, I may know better.  (That bookmark at the rhubarb-onion salad kind of tips me off.)

            “But you surely don’t want books in the afternoon,” someone told me.  “My friend says you have weddings and stuff in the afternoon.”

            That is true, but I do not, personally, attend these weddings, and so far, we have had none take place out on the loading dock.  I am grateful to this person, though, because I spent a pleasant hour designing a loading dock wedding, with a big cake shaped like a banana box and a rose-covered arch built entirely of copies of The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.  Instead of a bouquet, the bride will throw a garbage bag of economics textbooks into the crowd.

            I’d invite you all, but given your trouble with days and times, you’d probably show up late and the bag would land on someone unworthy.

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