What Part of Aaaugggh Did You Not Understand? | Newberry

What Part of Aaaugggh Did You Not Understand?

There are bewildering questions we have received only once at the Book Fair—Where do you keep novels set in Philadelphia? Why don’t you put the books in order by price?—and there are bewildering remarks we seem to get every single year during our July book binge. You wouldn’t think more than one person would come up with these and yet…. Here are some of our favorites, in hopes we don’t have to hear them again.
You should charge more for that book; I paid $200 for my copy. Don’t come crying to me, spam and noodle pizza. You should have waited until the Book Fair.
Can I just come in and look around a while? I’m not really shopping, since I won’t buy anything. Do you really think looking without buying isn’t shopping? And besides, if you’re not going to buy anything, why should we let you in?
Can I bring in six boxes of books this weekend? THIS weekend? The last weekend in July? The time when we try to cope with 135,000 books, 8,500 customers, 4,100 CDs, and 1 Peruvian blowpipe? No, you may not. We don’t want to seem greedy.
I have a book just like this one you’re selling for a thousand dollars. Can you write me out a letter saying MY copy is worth a thousand dollars? Ah, you sly devil, you can’t get my autograph THAT easily. And it does kind of cut back on my credibility if I write out letters attesting to the value of books I haven’t even seen. Tell you what: you give me the book, and I’ll write you a receipt…saying you gave me a book.
I have a book just like that one you’re selling for a thousand dollars. Can you come around to the house, look at it, and write me a letter saying it’s worth a thousand dollars? You guys don’t give up. I know a letter signed by me is worth its weight in paper, but I am not in the business of going to people’s houses (which more often than not seem to be halfway between here and Cleveland) to appraise books. There are people who do this for a living: ask one of them. And, anyway, I can’t go to your place; I’m busy answering questions at the Book Fair.
If I find that a book is ridiculously overpriced, can I get the cashier at Checkout to change it? No. We have a two-step procedure for when you find a book is priced at more than you wish to pay. Step 1: Put the book back where you got it, Step 2: walk away.
I see you put Born Free in the Nature category when I know it was a movie, so can I put it in the Show Biz section? No. We have a simple, two-step procedure for when you find a book in the wrong place. You, er, may have read it somewhere before this.
Can I take this collectible book outside and show it to my husband, who’s waiting for me in the park? Tell you what: I’ll hold the book up and you can take a picture of it with your phone and send that to him. Much less weight to carry.
Can you hold these fifteen boxes of books I’m buying for me until next Wednesday, when I can borrow the car back from my daughter? You know, some cab drivers LOVE to discuss your books with you as they drive you home.
I left my reading glasses at home. Can one of your volunteers come with me, and read me the titles of the books? Actually, there are plenty of cab drivers who would wait for you outside your house while you run in and get your glasses.
Where do you hide the good books? You know, there are a few cab drivers who will drive you to the Lake on a dark night and drop your body where no one will find it.
There you go. Just carry this ready reference guide to some Book Fair FAQ, and you may make it into the blog with some wildly original brainteaser. Or in any case you won’t go swimming in the lake in a concrete bikini.

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