We prepared ourselves, in Monday’s column, for the onslaught of what elevator music companies once called the Winter Holiday Mix. And you know what comes right after “Toyland” starting to blare out over the loudspeakers in the stores? That’s right: Thanksgiving!
(If you don’t know why a December music mix comes before a November holiday you wither a. don’t understand our calendar or b. know a lot more turkey carols than I do.)
Thanksgiving, or Black Friday Eve, brings with it the promise of food and football, of family and fudge. It also, in my neck of the woods, brings back that annual warm feeling of “Where is Uncle Jasper going to sit when you have three hundred books piled on the couch?”
In this time of harvest across the country, families consider the crop of books that has naturally grown up through the warmer months and shriek, “Where did those come from? What are we going to DO with all these books?”
So it is harvest time for Book Fairs as well. We do not, let me tell you, accept donations of Uncle Jaspers, but we will help you clear out all those unsightly, clutterly books you don’t want your cousins from Tallahassee to see. You COULD rent a storage locker, you COULD refuse to invite anyone who won’t bring a side dish and take away a book, but most people start packing in a panic and carry the books to the Newberry. We will welcome your surplus book crop and give thanks for it all.
And yes, yes: I know you were expecting it. This is your annual warning that we will NOT be around to give thanks for your books on Thanksgiving itself. The Newberry will be locked up pretty tight on November 28u, 29, and 30 (and would be closed on December 1 anyhow, that being Sunday.) So try to get your books in before Gravy Thursday or after Giving Tuesday, because on the days inbetween, we cannot spare anyone to slip outside and draw the orphans in out of the cold. (You may also wish to be cautious about November 23, when the Festival of Lights parade will be assembling in the streets around the Newberry, and traffic will be iffy, especially after noon. You could sit and listen to the steel drums rehearse for a couple of hours, I suppose.))
As noted before, our loading dock does have a roof over it, so there is some protection from the elements. But that roof can do only so much in the Windy City, and we will not be around to check on deliveries every day, as we do when the joint is open. In fact, to be fair, you should take SOME notice of the fact that coming with a truckload of books at 5 P.M. the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, though technically within the rules, will NOT cause loud cries of “Thanks!” from the Book Fair crew.
We will try to reload the receipt form box before the holiday closing, for your tax purposes in case you HAVE to drop off books. (Maybe Aunt Booney came all the way from Tallahassee with those ten boxes of books from Grandma’s house that you forgot you told her last Thanksgiving you’d love to have. Side effect of too much gravy.) There will be a very thin crew inside the building at all times, and if one of them gets bored, she or he MAY decide to pull these inside. But your best bet is, as noted, before Thanksgiving or after the first of December.
That way, worries about what became of your copy of The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood need not disrupt that family singalong. (TELL me you’ve downloaded the lyrics of Strawberry Snow for the entertainment of your cousins and aunts.)