And So, On With the Show | Newberry

And So, On With the Show

So here we are, a week until the Big Day. I assume you have done all the reading, and I also assume that you will not whine at me because there’s a quiz. This does not count toward your grade. (That depends entirely on what you say and what you spend next week.) But let’s see if you can come up with the right answers anyhow.

What days is the Newberry Book Fair open?

Thursday, July 26 through Sunday, July 29. AND, if you are an Associate at the Author Level or above, Wednesday, July 25.

What are the hours?

Noon to eight Thursday and Friday, ten to six, Saturday and Sunday

What number of books do you need to have written to be an Associate at the Author Level?

Ha! Trick question: you need only be a donor to the Newberry at $100 a year or above (for at least one year in a row.) This drops to $50 if you are a Junior Associate (meaning you are under 45.)

What will you find when you get here?

An amazing new first floor, the result of hours of planning and labor, with brighter lights, spiffier restrooms, fancier lockers, and a rediscovered doorway preserved since the 1890s.

What will you find to BUY when you get here?

“Wonderful things,” as Howard Carter said. We have about 145,000 books, several thousands each of CDs and DVDs, hundreds of LPs, a thousand or so postcards (NOT from the Newberry’s collection), a few dozen videocassettes (sorry: we were playing safe), a Peruvian blowgun, one of the first board games with lasers in the pieces, 8 x 10 glossies of Santa Fe locomotives, and so on. (Go back and reread the blog.)

What do you need to get along?

Patience and a positive attitude will go a long way. The air conditioning will be on, but it may be hard to tell that when you have hundreds of people in the same room, all vying for that copy of The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. Because the first floor is so different, we’ve had to try new things, moving this here and that there. What doesn’t work this year, we’ll fix next year.

What do you need to get your books?

A good eye and some smooth moves. Someone else may spot the box of Christmas Records the same time you do, so if you WANT Barbra Streisand’s LP, you’ll need to have practiced your diversionary tactics. (“Oh, look! What’s Kim Kardashian doing shopping in the Philosophy section?”) As far as paying, you will need cash, or a checkbook, or a credit card (Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discovery…we do not take Diner’s Club.) There are rumors that we will be able to take ApplePay as well. (Oh, and by the way, the Christmas Records are not in the same room as Philosophy…not that anyone will think of that if you just say “Kim Kardashian” loudly enough.)

I could go on. (Come to think of it, I did, from August to now.) But I think you’re as ready as I can make you. You are bound to find something you treasure above rubies that I never thought to mention. I’ll dive in now at this end of the pool, and if I make it all the way to the other end, I’ll report on what you found, what you asked about, how you behaved, and all the other joys which fit together to make up our first Book Fair in the New First Floor.

Keep cool, stay hydrated, buy stuff. L’chaim!

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