Light Bulb Overhead | Newberry

Light Bulb Overhead

I have been getting a number of suggestions in reply to my request for ideas about what to do this July instead of having a Book Fair. I am particularly gratified by the number of responses since I don’t remember having made a request for ideas. I suspect it’s just a case of anxiety on the part of those people who realize they cannot come up to Uncle Blogsy in his sweat-stained white and purple apron and tell him what he’s doing wrong. I am just as grateful for their digital advice as I ever was for the old analog version. You can see I’m smiling, right?

One of the daftest…most innovative suggestions is that we have an online wine and book party. I can exhibit some highlights from the Book fair, or the Newberry’s own collection, and give advice on how to pair them with wines. I think I know what this person’s book club meetings are like, and I advise you to join the group before all the barstools are taken.

Anyway, anyone who comes to the Book Fair regularly should already know that with Karl Marx’s Das Capital you want a red, with gardening books you serve rose, with books on psychosomatic illness, you want a champagne, and with the books on astronomy, you want a nice Saturn.

No, please don’t send me any advice about this. The doctors have given me their advice, and it involved the word “incurable”.

Other people have suggested a big name online lecture, possibly by one of our best selling authors. Well, Robert James Waller, the author of Bridges of Madison County, has slipped this mortal coil, as has Irma Rombauer, author of the Joy of Cooking. It might be safer for your Uncle Blogsy to go try to ask them, though, than to go, cap in hand, to Dan Brown (The DaVinci Code) after all that’s been said in this blog. I rather hope Rebecca Wells, author of The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood AS WELL AS The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder, might be flattered enough by the sheer number of times she’s been mentioned to give a little talk on how she comes up with her titles.

Some people agitate for a more hands-on experience. Just put bookshelves in the first floor lounge (formerly the coffee lounge before arguments about the coffee boiled over) and let people bid for a chance to go in and buy books. Highest bidder gets to go in and spend as long as they like, all alone. “It’s not like anybody’s going to be allowed to lounge in there until the virus passes,” they told me. “So you could have the first year-round Book Fair!”

We’d have to, since after the person was done shopping, we’d be required to quarantine the room for a week before the next customer could go in. At this rate, we’d get all the book from the 2020 Book Fair sold by, oh, 2040.

“Have a mammoth book swap in the parking lot,” came another grand suggestion. “This would help out the people with books to donate and the people who really want to get MORE books could come by and take what they want. No money will change hands, so you don’t even have to be there, and if anybody comes down with something it won’t be your responsibility!”

And every book dropped off will be carried away, so there’ll be nothing to clean up, right? And all we have to do in exchange for no profit whatsoever is to give up our parking lot and our moral code for a day. Cool.

“I know what’ll bring in LOTS of money!” said another person. “Just have Uncle Blogsy give online readings of his best blogs about banana boxes and gift inscriptions!”

I kind of shuffled my feet. “Gosharooty,” I said. “I don’t know if that would bring in a LOT of money.”

“It will if you lock their computers so they can’t get away from the website unless they pay up,” said my advisor. I know where you live, Guacamole Goulash. I’m going to schedule that book swap in your kitchen. I’ll even tell you what wine to serve. Anything with sour grapes.

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