“The oldest books are still only just out to those who have not read them.”*

Now’s when I show my ultimate dorkiness. One of my favorite events of the summer happens this weekend. Is it a music festival? A sporting event? Some sort of fabulous boating adventure?

Nope. It’s a book sale. The 22nd Annual Newberry Library Book Fair, to be exact, which is going on this weekend along with the annual Bughouse Square Debates. I went to the book sale last year and found all sorts of books on every topic imaginable: history, photography, art, literature, children’s, drama, poetry, biography, fiction, cooking, travel, language. Everything from mass paperback romance novels to old hardcovers that were practically falling apart to lurid pulp novels. My favorite part was the collector’s section, where they had so many old, out of print books, especially old children’s books. I found one that I’d been looking for over the years, only to open the cover and see that it cost $300! Oops, couldn’t buy that one. Another children’s book I picked up to look at was $2000!! I put that down right away in case I somehow wrecked it and had to buy it just by touching it or breathing near it. Another thing that was fascinating to explore were the inscriptions in the books. Many had names and dates inscribed inside the front cover, and many had messages of the “I hope this book gives you many hours of enjoyment, Love, Aunt Maud” ilk. It was like finding an old diary to open a dusty book and see a stranger’s affection inscribed there.

The Bughouse Square Debates, which go along with the Book Fair, are a celebration of free speech and soapbox oration, and a chance to speak out and heckle other speakers on just about any topic of the day.


22nd Annual Book Fair
Thursday, July 27, 2006, from 12:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Friday, July 28, 2006, from 12:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Saturday, July 29, 2006, from 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Sunday, July 30, 2006, from 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Admission is free; for information call (312) 255-3510. Parking is available at 100 W. Chestnut, 1025 N. Clark, or 100 E. Walton for $6 for up to six hours with Newberry validation.

Bughouse Square Debates
Bughouse Square Debates Saturday, July 29, 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Held in Washington Square Park

Bring your loudest heckling voice for an afternoon of soapbox oratory, Bughouse music, and poetry. Prizes will be awarded to the best speakers and hecklers. Exercise your first-amendment rights and relive the exciting public debates that immortalized Washington Square Park. Enjoy music and historical reenactments. Afterwards, voice your opinions on today’s issues in our open-mic segment.

Admission is free to both events. For information, call (312) 255-3510.

*-Samuel Butler

4 Comments so far

  1. liz (unregistered) on July 25th, 2006 @ 6:19 pm

    Thanks for the info… can anyone get up on a soapbox at bughouse square?

  2. James T. Struck (unregistered) on July 25th, 2006 @ 7:18 pm

    The Public Guardian goes to the extent of not only bringing police to peoples’ homes and handcuffing them after they are punched and the police describe the victim as intoxicated.

    They even take private bank accounts and post them on public documents. I asked the AG if this was identity theft. I did not give them private information.

  3. Artemis (unregistered) on July 26th, 2006 @ 9:51 am

    Liz – Looks to me like anyone can heckle (that’s the fun part anyway, eh?) and there is an open mic session after the historical reenactments.

    James – Er, what the heck?

  4. Katie (unregistered) on July 26th, 2006 @ 2:43 pm


Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.