As the Sparks Fly Upward | Newberry

As the Sparks Fly Upward

I am, um, discouraged from using fireworks inside the Newberry. I would have mentioned this before, but I didn’t know it was going to come up.

So though I am grateful to the person who dropped off the boxful of chemistry textbooks, I am not entirely sure what to do with the rest of the contents. I thought of keeping the panel from the pack of Camels where you wrote down that all-important phone number, but decided it wouldn’t mean much without the rest of the story. The broken pen was as easily sorted as the battered textbooks. But the sparklers?

Hanging onto those was an option, but I wasn’t quite sure where I ought to store them. Libraries are touchy about fireworks, as mentioned, even the relatively non-explosive type. Then, too, I was troubled about the context. (Were they your bookmarks? Were they left over from a party for graduating Chemistry majors? Or what?)

Mind you, the timing of the gift was excellent. Most of our patriotic holidays are coming up: the Fourth of July, Flag Day, Memorial Day….

Yes, yes! This is another one of those Please Don’t Bring Books When We’re Closed blogs! I KNEW I could use those sparklers for something. We are going to be locked up tight on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday this weekend, and no one will be available to haul your books indoors. Don’t bring us any presents. We will still be accepting donations for another month, so there is no need to rush them all in on Friday, either.

In any case, we are well provided with books at the moment. I have just done another quick inventory to see which categories are going to be especially bountiful this year. This not only gives me something to write about but also gives me the information I need when deciding what’s going where. They’ve nearly got all the new floors and walls put together, so we’re going to need to rush in and fill the spaces.

For those of you worried about our Art section, it has been building nicely since I last mentioned it, and should now provide ample opportunity to empty your savings account. (Remember our motto: If you have any money left, you aren’t having a good time.) Antiques, meanwhile, has grown to nearly double its 2017 size, thanks to a couple of big donations of price guides and that big collection of books on antique firearms.

Poli Sci is still down, but that seems to be normal for an election year. (People donate their political books in odd-numbered years.) But Business is booming, so if you need a few more books from people telling you how to mind your business, here they are.

We have been flooded with craft and home handyman books of late. If you’re planning to take up embroidery, quilting, furniture building, or woodcarving, stop by our How To (Hands) section. You won’t have trouble finding it: it looks as if it’s going to be twice as big as last year. Its cousin, the How to (Head) department, seems a little shy this year, but we’ll still have plenty of books on the power of positive thinking (including that new one on how America has been destroyed by positive thinking books. It takes all kinds to make a Book Fair.)

Nature and Science are up, thanks to big donations mentioned earlier in this column, and Paperback Romance, after several apathetic years, has blossomed. It would take that whole wall in Room 4 nowadays (but Room 4 will be somewhere else, and that wall has holes in it for exhibits.)

Many of your other favorites are at or near their usual levels. Only three or four categories seem to be lagging, but I’m not going to tell you about them lest you feel you need to drop off books this coming weekend. Remember, we are CLOSED, and we don’t want donations over the Memorial Day Weekend.

Not even if I’m out on the lawn burning sparklers.

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