Extra Stories | Newberry

Extra Stories

The guidebook to Cairo is inscribed “To Gary, to let him know I am learning that Cairo is the mother of all.” The person who was sending the book to Gary did not sign his own name, so I can’t ask HIM what it was all about. Maybe Gary would like to let us know, if he remembers the book.

It is always a mistake to assume the person donating the book to the Book Fair has read it, or even the inscription. We had another book inscribed “To Sophy, who will be a great writer and write books like this one day, if she ever bothers to read this one.” Not only would I like to know what all of THAT means, I wonder if Sophy ever did read the book. She could write me a letter, if she did become a writer.

Yes, those books you struggled through the weather to bring us last week once again include those with more stories than they show on the printed page. I THINK I’d like to hear the whole story of Robin, for example.

We had a boxful of books on the spiritual nature of true love. I will not say more on this subject since, after all, Valentine’s Day is coming. And, of course, I want to SELL some of these books, so expressing the degree to which my stomach quivered after seeing all these different books in hardcover explaining the largely inexplicable in buzzwords made popular on talk shows would not enhance customer demand.

It was kind of sweet, I guess, that Robin was given every one of these books as a gift. The first one I picked up said something like, “For Robin. To the Spirit and Love of our relationship, Love Eric.” How sweet, I thought, clutching my abdomen.

The next one had a similar inscription. “To Robin. This says everything I would say to you, Love, Perry.”

Three-quarters of the books are inscribed endearingly to Robin. And no two names at the end of any inscription are the same. Eric, Perry, Moose, Mike, Aaron, and a host of others all expressed their love to Robin on the front free endpaper of a hardcover book on love.

So fill me in on the story, guys. Was Robin an instructor in a Personal Relations course, and you each wanted to give her a book as a testimonial at the end of the semester? Was Robin a budding librarian, asking every man she dated for a book? Or did Robin simply attract dreamy, spiritual types? Maybe she dropped all these books off at the Library because she’d decided to run off with a pro wrestler. Inquiring minds….

I’m just as mystified by this weighty tome on history. It came in in an estate, so I suppose I’ll never know. The owner (the person whose estate this was) bought the book for herself in October of 1949, noting that on that first white page. But, some distance under it, she has written, “To Georgie with love, Merry Christmas 1949.”

So she gave the book to Georgie two months after she bought it and wrote her name in it, and yet, somehow, it was in her possession when she checked in to the library in the sky in late 2018. Did she LEND the book to Georgie for Christmas? Did Georgie die somewhere along the line and leave all of his/her books to the original owner of this book? Could you add a note in your book to explain these things so they don’t obsess me while I’m trying to price this stack of Freddy the Pig books?

Maybe Georgie ran off to Cairo with Robin. Sophy could write a book about it.

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