Well, one week to go, and this is so long for now. I must take a deep breath and dive in, and leave you to seek bookish blogginess elsewhere for a while. I expect to return to Cyberland around August 1, provided I have not been locked away for what I said to the woman who asked me if she could buy volume 1 of the encyclopedia this year, see if her kids like it, and come back to buy the rest in 2013.
There is no more time to pause in the day’s activities to tell you of the treasures awaiting you—the Uncle Scrooge comic books in German or the U.S. Olympic Team souvenir books from 1956 and 1960. No, I cannot tantalize you with the children’s books signed by Avi. There are boxes to be shoved out of the way, tables to be arranged, and donations to be cursed and hidden away. (Thanks to whomever left three unpriced books on top of a box in Room 6. That’s not how we like our donations, nor even when, but hey: one of the books actually conceivably belonged in Room 6.)
I can only leave you with the same advice I give you every year. Be nice, bring money, don’t expect too much. You may find a $100 book for $10, and you may not. We don’t claim to have the lowest prices in town: just good books at prices we thought would do something for you. Don’t elbow your neighbor TOO hard to get at that copy of Leo Albert’s verse first, and remember that although we boast of our air conditioning, it’s going to be a little warm and humid with eighty or so frenzied booklovers hunting for that first edition of Bridges of Madison County.
Most of the usual cast and crew will be there. One of our perennials, Evelyn Lampe, who has not missed a day of any Book Fair since the founding, will be cheering us from the sidelines due to medical difficulties. This does NOT mean you can try to get away with those tricks she caught you at in 1992 or 2009. Other people will be watching, and they will tell her you were naughty.
Architecture is where Chicago was last year, and vice versa. The Show Biz section is smaller; the Religion section is bigger. You’ll note other differences on your own. Every Book Fair has its own personality. So does every Book Fair customer: try to make yours memorable by its innate pleasantness.
We should have three items out for silent auction, and we will have a free book again this year. It’s the same book as last year (we were given a bunch more) but perhaps you’ve thought of other friends who would like a copy of a nice, big Chicago photography book.
Look, I’ve really got to go now: they’re playing my song. If I leave you for now with one bit of inspiration for the 2012 Book Fair, remember that a book bought here is a vote for the world of books over the world of cybertexts which can be changed at the whim of the entity which controls the device. And remember also, please, that this is Chicago. We expect you to vote early and often.