Once again this year, I would like to present for your recognition some of the people who made the 2019 Book Fair unique. From the people who had the right attitude, like the woman who grabbed her husband another box so he could keep buying books and the boy who pushed a box along behind his father, making truck sounds, to the ones who didn’t QUITE get it, like the indignant woman who strode up to me, declared “I liked the checkout room better last year!” and marched away. I can’t celebrate everyone (since I didn’t actually MEET the woman who wanted half price on a one dollar bookmark because it didn’t even have a ribbon) but I WOULD like to recognize those who did pass my way.
The Bronze Medal for Explaining Things goes to the father who, finding his child puzzled by a cassette, told him “The great thing about a cassette is that wherever you stop it is where it stops.”
The Silver Medal for Explaining belongs to the young woman who told her friend, who wondered why anyone would pay money for those little pictures, explained, “It’s called a POSTCARD. You mail it!”
But for style points, the Gold Medal has to go to the woman who pointed out to a friend that they were in the Peanut Butter Fiction section and then, as her pal was about to collapse in shock, explained that the PB stood for Paperback.
The Plastic Medal for Helping People Understand the Wrong Thing goes to the soul who took “all those books about Merlin and stuff like that” OUT of Science Fiction/Fantasy and put them in Children.
The Silver Medal for Being Unclear on the Concept has to go to the lady who asked me “Didn’t there used to be a bookstore in the lobby?” (We were standing in front of the Squirreling Section in front of the–closed for the weekend–bookstore.)
But I’m giving the gold medal for the category to the gentleman who declared, to no one in particular–twice–about one of the framed artworks for sale: “I believe that’s just a facsimile.” (I KNEW there was a reason I was charging ten dollars instead of ten thousand.)
The Motheaten Medal for Meanness goes to our teddy bear thief (we had been given a number of boxed sets involving a book and a teddy bear, which I found during the Fair with the bear missing. Why not just steal the whole set?)
The Gold Medal for the opposite goes to the customer who found she had bought a collectible book for a 99.5% discount on Half Price Sunday, and came BACK to give us the amount she SHOULD have been charged. If the Newberry awarded knighthoods, yours would be on the way.
The Bronze Medal for the Right General Attitude (besides the adepts mentioned above) goes to the person who had the T-shirt that said “Read. Eat. Repeat.”
The Silver in that category must go to either the woman who cried “I am SO glad I came!” OR her friend who said, “I told you you would be.”
But the Gold needs to go to the woman who stopped stockstill at a table and cried out, “There’s the ONE book I came here to find!”
The Glowing Globe of Optimism goes to the customer who asked if we had a copy of The Dictionary of National Bioography for sale. (For those not familiar with this unmatchable source of bedside reading, this is a set of volumes of biography running to, oh, about half a million volumes–okay, only a few hundred. We would not hide such a thing from customers. We couldn’t.)
And the Mournful Award for People Most Likely to Grow Up to Be Book Fair Volunteers goes to the boy who exclaimed, “There are millions of copies of that book EVERYWHERE!”
Next week: Happy New Year, as we face the 2020 Book Fair!