Unearthing Controversy | Newberry

Unearthing Controversy

“Uncle Blogsy!”

“So, young Bookhopper. Given up on social distancing?”

“No, Uncle Blogsy. I found out it’s supposed to be six feet apart and not six states apart, the way you told me.”

“Drat the Interwebs!”

“And six feet from you seems safer anyway. Uncle Blogsy, they did the Big Book and paper Show last weekend online, as a virtual Book Fair!”

“I saw that, Bookhopper. I explained in last Friday’s column that wouldn’t quite work for us.”

“And the Printer’s Row Litfest which would have been this coming weekend is now on Labor Day weekend!”

“That’s not a good fit for us, either, apprentice. By then, they’ll have plans in place for all their normal autumnal seminars and other activities, and there won’t be room for a big Book Fair. If we’ve even reached the point of letting fifty people gather in one place.

“Will that be the new normal or the old normal?””

“Probably some new new normal that we haven’t thought of yet.”

“Maybe they’d let you hold A New Normal Book Fair in a semi trailer out in the parking lot!”

“If you think I can’t hit you with the DaVinci Code at a distance of six feet, Bookhopper….”

“No, but listen, Uncle Blogsy! You could have a Book Fair every weekend with just four or five categories! One weekend you could do Mysteries and Science Fiction and one weekend you could o Cookbooks until you get through all the categories! You could even do one weekend just for copies of The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood!”

“And let customers in at six-foot intervals. Tempting, but of course, there’s the sorting problem.”

“No, there isn’t, Uncle Blogsy! Once people go through the truck once we’d make them leave so they wouldn’t have time to come and complain about your bad sorting!”

“Where IS that copy of the DaVinci Code? Half of them would be so busy wiping the fog from their glasses because of the heavy breathing inside their face masks that they’d miss the books they want and blame us. And what about the people who came looking for a life of Chuck Barris on Biography weekend only to hear we sold it three weeks ago in the Show Biz books? They’d accuse us of deliberately hiding their books in weird categories.”

“That wouldn’t be fair, Uncle Blogsy! You just accidentally hide books in weird…missed me!”

“It’s all this working from home: I’m losing my timing.”

“And you could start with the categories that are easy to sort, Uncle Blogsy.”

“I hope you remember how to be silent, Bookhopper, because we will have a two minute silence in commemoration of the passing away of your brain cells. There ARE no easy categories. I explained a few columns ago how even Children is open for interpretation.”

“How about Archaeology, Uncle Blogsy? Who could argue about Archaeology?”

“Never underestimate your opponent, Bookhopper. Drawing a line between Archaeology and History is tricky. In Roman and Greek Archaeology, there’s Classics to be considered as well.”

“But Archaeology is anything that’s dug up, and History is what’s been written. That should be simple!”

“Ah, young apprentice, what seems simple to the young mind is bitter hardship to the one which has learned to see. At one end, we have the relics of primitive man, and so many people would put that into Anthropology. And a lot of ancient history moves gradually from relics dug up to written material. A life of Cleopatra, for example, might go in Archaeology, Biography, Classics, or History.”

“I see, I see. People would come out of the truck saying, “That Uncle Blogsy! Eqypt us again! Ow!”

“You should’ve known I could dig up another DaVinci Code.”