Stay Home and Read a Bok | Newberry

Stay Home and Read a Bok

We are closed today. By that I mean that the doors are locked, the windows are sealed, and we have a security camera turned to make sure you do not try to slide down our chimney. (A month late for that, anyhow.) The Newberry has heeded the warnings of the Weather Service, and is discouraging you from risking your life to drop off that autobiography of Martin Van Buren which you had it in your heart to donate on January 30. If that’s all that will make you happy, well, there’s a January 30 next year, so far as I know.
There was some suggestion that we build a wall, but as it’s only for a day and a half (we plan to reopen at noon on Thursday, provided the weather does what the meteorologists think it will) it hardly seemed worth the trouble.
Anyway, we couldn’t decide whether to build it of snow, or copies of The DaVinci Code.
We are not short of books in any case. Someone braved the not-quite-record lows of Saturday to bring us a U-Haul load. I can tell those of you who were enchanted by last year’s major collection of Philosophy of Science, that we are going to have a goodly collection of it again this year, from another donor. This one includes a good more theological material than last year’s: so far most of one box contained selections from a century and a quarter’s debate over evolution. Bring cash so you can join the conversation.
We have also had a nice little collection of history relating to Jacksonian America, with a special concentration on the administration of Martin Van Buren. This is the second copy of Martin Van Buren’s autobiography this January. If you HAD brought yours in tomorrow, I might have been inspired to check the rumor I’ve always heard about the book. (Van Buren has always seemed to get a bad rap: one of the main accusations against him is that he was so obsessed by himself that he never, in all the pages of his autobiography, mentions his wife by name. I can think of several reasons for this besides being conceited, but none of the others are very complimentary. Personally, I think it was just his hair stylist who caused him all the bad press. How much respect can the electorate have for a president who looks like Larry of the Three Stooges?)
We are also seeing some themes develop in the Signed Book category. We have now added Moshe Dayan’s autograph to our Yitzhak Rabin, and we MAY still have a copy of Yael Dayan’s novel signed by her. There is also a nice little pile of TV personalities: Barbara Walters, Dan Rather, Phil Donahue…and if someone doesn’t donate a signed Dick Cavett, this will be the first year in a couple of decades without one. (Personally, I’d swap them all for one book signed by Tony the Tiger. The book signed by Captain Kangaroo seems to have disappeared…or maybe I just put it in a safe place. Funny that, even after the Grand Renovation, there are still find safe places I can locate only when I put something there and never again.)
We do have until July to sort all that out, even if we ARE all taking tomorrow off. You do that, too. Don’t leave the house unless you hear Tony the Tiger is signing books somewhere.

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