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Every book has a story

Every book has a story.

Check in frequently to read the behind-the-scenes scoop on the Newberry’s popular Book Fair. The blog is maintained by “Uncle Blogsy,” otherwise known as Dan Crawford, Book Fair Manager.


I thought I would bring you up to date on some of the stories and issues from recent columns. This is mainly because of the exciting response I had to Monday’s blog about looking for an athletic squad which would like to make us the Official Book Fair of the Chicago Whoevers.

No, there was no outpouring of offers (though I did not check my phone messages yet this morning.) But I did get a couple of offers for the Uncle Blogsy bobblehead I suggested as a premium. AND one of my unpaid (and unwanted) advisors did tell me I had done it all wrong as usual.

“You should ask the Cubs how much they’d pay to be the Official Baseball Team of the Newberry Book Fair!” she told me. I admit she had something there.

In response to my blog about three of the men who wrote classic joke collections, someone asked if I was going to do a history of elephant jokes a fad he especially reveled in as a child. “I especially liked jokes about trunks and ears,” he explained.

I do not believe I will be doing that column this year. I find it ear elephant. (We pause while you rush for a painkiller.)

Sales from the carts at the A.C. (Always Clever) McClurg Bookstore have been brisk, so I assume everyone took the blog about “set dressing”–casually leaving Christmas books around the house to make people think you’re busy–seriously. One person asked whether it was better to stock up on regular holiday cookbooks or the low-cal, low-sodium type.

“It depends on your visitors,” I said. “The last thing you want is for them to wait around to taste what you’re baking. OR you could just buy one of these Minute Tapioca cookbooks with the recipe for tapioca meatloaf in it. That scares off most folks.”

I have had two more calls from people with postcard collections, wondering if this is the place to donate them. I am going to have to develop an answer for this, something along the lines of “As long as you remember that anything the collection doesn’t need goes to the Book Fair.” They’ll still throw things at me up in Special Collections, but I’ll get a lot more postcards to sell come July.

Some fans of Peter Churchmouse checked in. I am insanely jealous: I didn’t even know there WERE Peter Churchmouse Christmas tree ornaments. I wonder if there were snow globes.

No, by the way, we almost never find snow globes in our donations. We have had books ABOUT snow globes, but that’s as far as it goes. The last snow globe we had came in with an estate about fifteen years ago, and involved meerkats…which live in the desert. Haven’t figured that one out yet.

We just received our second or third ever in thirty years cigarette lighter. This is a little metal elephant whose eyes are, I am informed, GENUINE EMERALD (colored cubic zirconia). He will have to take the place of that vintage troll we had donated, because SHE sold as soon as someone spotted her.

But we also have a very nice elephant watering can someone donated, as well as a bangle bracelet with two elephants engraved on it. So this may well be our Year of the Elephant, in which some happy elephant collector may find all sorts of treasures for their trunk.

(You should have seen that coming and mixed up more of that painkiller.)

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