Reader's Exchange

If you think librarians don't use four-letter words...

…you’re in for a shock. Clearly, some days are better than others here at the library, but an event we have planned for this week has inspired a whole string of brief but expressive terms. Brace yourself.

FREE. That’s right, I said it. If you drop by Readers Extravaganza this Thursday and are on hand for the prize drawings, you could leave with a great advance reading copy or new book (most are autographed) or other prize from this year’s BEA. No charge.

EXPO. As in Book Expo America: that’s the huge annual event mingling booksellers, publishers, and librarians at New York City’s Javits Center. Authors plug their forthcoming books and everyone tries to snag advance reading copies so they can prognosticate what the big hits of the coming year will be.

BUZZ. If you’re an author or publisher, this is the feedback you dream about—excited word-of-mouth advertising that could propel your book into mega-sales. So don’t be surprised if you see some of these (see next 4-letter word) around the gallery area on Thursday night:

BumblebeeBEES. But don’t worry. They’ll be fabric or cardboard versions.

FOOD.  I believe I heard Kate mention punch and cookies; you can certainly expect a nice treat to be served.

LINE. This signifies what I stood in (otherwise known as a queue), sometimes up to an hour, waiting to get a notable author to inscribe his/her name, just so co-workers, friends, family, and YOU could have lovely souvenirs.

DROP. This is what I’ve been doing--with names-- ever since I returned from BEA 2012. No matter what conversational topic is in force, I’ll find cause to mention that I had teeny little chats with Robert Goolrick, Dan Rather, Buddy Guy, Tim Gunn, Sabrina Soto, Lemony Snicket, Ted Dekker, Janet Groth, Amor Towles, Gillian Flynn, and others. A signed copy of Gone Girl is one of our prizes, by the way.

LOVE. Many other librarians paid their own expenses for BEA, as I did. For-profit employers may have more expansive budgets; librarians' greatest asset is their affection for new books.

MINE!   I’ve given away dozens of wonderful items so far, but no one gets my advance copy of Mark Helprin’s In Sunlight and In Shadow. Don’t even ask.


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