So here it comes: another opening, another show. I stop blogging for a while and we all try to make it through. (The Book Fair, not the lack of blogs. Though I admit life without Uncle Blogsy is like a morning without halibut soup.)
It is now that I wonder whether I have told you everything you need to know, and nothing that would discourage you from showing up in our lobby, a fistful of dollars in your hot little hands.
Did I tell you the dates? (July 27 if you’re an Associate, July 28 through 31 for General Admission.)
Did I tell you it’s free to come in during the General Admission hours? (That’s Noon to 8 P.M. Thursday and Friday, 10 A.M. to 6 P.M. Saturday and Sunday)
Do you know how to pay for all those books? (Cash, check made out to The Newberry Library, most major credit cards.)
Do you know how much to buy? (As much as you can carry…each day. You’ll be bringing friends to help carry things for you, won’t you?)
Are you aware that the Newberry is a building poised between centuries? (We don’t have pay phones any more, but have not yet installed an ATM. There ARE public ATMs within three blocks of the place. The nearest pay phone is probably in The Twilight Zone.)
Are you aware of the goodies you will not find together anywhere else on earth? (Norman Rockwell’s autograph, Swedish paperback mysteries, promotional rock CDs, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s last three books, A. Conan Doyle’s first book of Sherlock Holmes stories, small bags of unused greeting cards featuring kitties, and a plumb line.)
Have I mentioned that we have roughly two TONS of art books for sale? (Believe me: I’ve lifted ‘em.)
Have I mentioned the rare opportunity you will have to buy an 800-volume set of reference books? (If you’re decorating a house and need a bunch of dark blue volumes, have we got a bargain for you!)
Do you remember that this Book Fair is INDOORS, in a building which is AIR CONDITIONED? (Yeah, once we get a few hundred people in there, it won’t feel very cool, but trust me: you’d be less comfortable outdoors.)
Do you remember last year, when someone shoved you aside and snatched up the very last copy of The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood from under your very hand? (We have more: try again.)
In short, are you mentally and morally prepared to come and join the fun? Are you ready to hunt for books you didn’t know existed, to run across old friends (human or printed), pull out a rare LP by that polka band that played for your parents’ wedding, gaze on our collection of framed opera posters, and just generally frolic among books with other book-minded people?
Then we will do our very best to be ready for you, to make sure the drinking fountains provide cool water, the lights are bright enough for shopping, and the treasures hidden just enough to make them good hunting. Be nice to the other customers, don’t expect Uncle Blogsy to be witty (by the time you see him, he’ll have been on his feet for fourteen hours, on three hours sleep), and don’t be caught short of cash. And watch for the bloggery if we all make it through to the other side of the summer.