Sunday, November 5, 2006

Buckeye Book Fair

Sunday, November 5, 2006
Some of my books on display at the Buckeye Book Fair.

The Buckeye Book Fair on Saturday November 4 was really great. Not a single Fufkin in sight. More than 3,000 people who still read books came through the doors of the OSU-Wooster Agricultural Research Center to buy books at a modest discount and have them signed by the authors.
People were waiting at the doors before the fair opened. Most of them wanted to meet two authors in particular: Dick Schafrath (former Browns standout) and Judith Viorst (best-selling self-help and kids' book author).

Julie and I signed more books yesterday than we've ever signed in a single day. And it reminded me how truly bad my handwriting and spelling can be. I really have to concentrate to spell tough names like Bill, Bob, Sue. And forget Phyllis or Marjorie or Anais or Roquefort. Nothing more embarrassing than handing someone a book in which you've misspelled a word.

Unjoy Ohio's beautyfel brids! Bile Thomaspson, III.

They usually don't notice if you close the cover quickly.

BT3 with another happy customer. I am sending him a subliminal message: You NEED more bird books!

The folks running the Buckeye Book Fair treated us well and the show ran like clockwork.
The sign might have more accurately said BT3 is Permanently Out To Lunch.

Sitting at a table, authors had their name a sign on a pole overhead, a reversible table tent with the book titles and prices on one side and a catchy "I'll be right back" message on the other, and little pads of paper where notes could be written. On the sign poles was a little red ribbon of felt. When you ran out of books or needed something, you scooted the ribbon up the flagpole and, seconds later, a young Book Fair helper was at your side, ready to solve all your problems. We timed their response to the ribbon raising. The best time was 11 seconds. The worst was just over a minute. Usually we asked them to fetch more books for our table. But sometimes we had other requests.

bookkeeper Worker: "Can I help you Mr. Thompson?"
BT3: "Yes young lady. Do you think these wide wale corduroys make me look fat?"
Book Fair Worker: "Yes they do, sir."
BT3: "Get thee away from me, knave!"

The notepads furnished to us came in handy when someone wanted something specific inscribed in their book. They could write it down for you to copy.

For Lucy:
If you ever pull the football out from under the foot of my pal Charlie Brown, he has my permission to beat you to death with this copy of
Bird Watching For Dummies. With best wishes from a fellow traveler,


Some Ohio birding friends made the BBF scene, including Cheryl Harner and Su Snyder. And we chatted about birds and nature all day long. Lots of librarians there buying books for libraries. Lots of people buying books for holiday presents (bless you every one!).

JZ at her author station, selling Letters From Eden like hotcakes.

Most of all it was reassuring to see that books still play a vital role in the entertainment and happiness of many, many people. So I guess I'll keep on writing them. It IS pretty cool to be a book author and to have the experience of signing copies of your own books.

What I need now is a book on how to sign books with all the words legible and spelled correctly.


On November 5, 2006 at 4:24 PM Susan Gets Native said...

What a cool experience. And thank goodness people still read BOOKS, instead of just computer screens.

On November 5, 2006 at 6:31 PM Su Snyder said...

BT3: Nice seeing you this weekend. Hope you found Smithville. I wonder why you had trouble spelling "Sue". Su

On November 5, 2006 at 7:44 PM Anonymous said...

Out to the way you find humor in the small stuff! K from CO

On November 6, 2006 at 12:52 AM Bill of the Birds said...

Susan: U sed it!

Hi Su: We dropped big bucks at that store in Smithville. Thanks for the tip!

K: I wasn't joking....

On November 6, 2006 at 9:45 AM Rondeau Ric said...

Su, Ric, Bryan etc. English is so logikal.
No spell checker in your hand?
At least I'm ust a lousy tpyistt.

We are a family of readers. Before we moved to our small ( 900 sq ft) place we had a library of over 2000 books. We are down to approx 500 including a few Thompson and Zickefoose publications.

This doesn't include all the back issues of magazines - BWD- and woodworking stuff. That's another 800 to 1000 pounds.

Note to JZ, your name gives my spell checker fits.


On November 6, 2006 at 10:19 AM Patrick Belardo said...

Very cool! I came across my miniature copy of "Birdwatching for Dummies" the other day. It's the one that is about 2.5 in. square. I'll have to get you to sign it in tiny, illegible handwriting. Have you ever signed one of those?

And as long as you can spell your wife's and kids' names correctly and remember their b-days, you'll be ok.

Ric, my spellchecker too... not as bad as my co-worker "Araceliz" whose name comes up as "Caramelize".

On November 6, 2006 at 11:55 AM Anonymous said...

Don't worry...all signs point to only being temporarily out to lunch.

On November 6, 2006 at 1:48 PM dguzman said...

What a natty dresser you are! Are you and/or your author/artist wife coming to PA anytime soon?

On November 6, 2006 at 3:14 PM Julie Zickefoose said...

Hey Delia,

Keep checking my website "Meet Julie" button will give you appearances, many of them joint with Mr. Out To Lunch. Bill's appearances will be on
I know I'll be in Pittsburgh Feb. 7 at the Three Rivers Birding Club, and in OIl City May 10-11 at a new birding festival up there.
thanks for asking, and remember to blurt "BLOG!" as you approach.

On November 6, 2006 at 3:55 PM Bill of the Birds said...


Yes I've signed a few mini-Dummies books for friends. Hard to write that small.

Best spell-checked name correction I've ever encountered: Keen Caveman for Kenn Kaufman.

Kenn agreed when I told him about this that it's entirely appropriate.