Tag Archives: Scholastic

I Miss Scholastic Book Fairs.

24 Jan

Do you remember those? I do.

In elementary and middle school we’d get handed a catalogue to take home once every couple of months; a catalogue filled with all different kinds of books. Beautiful, wonderful, life changing books. I’d race home with it gripped tightly in my tiny hands and beg my parents to let me order dozens upon dozens of books, but in the end I only ever got to order two or three at most. Then my mom would write me up a check and I’d diligently bring it back to school, along with the filled out order form, and wait patiently for weeks until the books would finally arrive. I loved when they did because, not only did it mean finally getting the books; it also meant the Scholastic Book Fair was coming to our school.

For my school, Holy Family, this meant that for an entire week our library was turned into a bookstore. The tables and ledges were jam-packed with books for all ages. We could browse books, toys, manuals, magazines, and gadgets all week long, and purchasing if we could afford it. There was even a day devoted entirely to the Fair, where, per class, we’d get to spend a certain amount of time browsing all the books, in case there were any others that struck our fancy. I remember my mom showing up for some of them, and I remember begging her for more books. She usually caved and bought me them, since she was a kindred spirit and enjoyed a good book infinitely more than I ever would at that age.

I remember these book fairs. I remember getting in trouble during class for reading. I remember my mom reading Harry Potter to my brother and I each night. I remember my dad guiding me through the first book that I ever read on my own. I remember reading ten books at a time, and switching between them whenever I finished a chapter in one. I remember how Wrinkle in Time was the first book that ever made me cry. I remember how everyone called me a “little bookworm” throughout elementary school. I remember always loving reading.

This has been heavy on my mind today because my Young Adult Fiction class discussed how reading is so heavily reinforced when we are small children, but once we get to high school adults sort of stop trying to impress books on us. High school was most definitely the time in my life when I read the least. Sure, I can chalk this up to my discovery of the internet and how I’d talk on the phone for hours with Connie about basically nothing and how TV became a priority, but… I don’t know. Maybe if my mom had been alive during my high school days reading would have stayed with me more. I still read during those four years and I guess my love of books never truly went away, but I just feel like high school forced me to read so many dull books (Ethan Frome, The Awakening, Grendel… ugh, gag me with a spoon, just thinking about those books makes me bored). Maybe if we had read more books like The Secret Life of Bees and To Kill a Mockingbird (my favorites I read in high school) then I would have never fallen away.

I’m just glad reading’s back in my life. I’m glad it’s something I now make time for every day, even if it is just before bed and I only get through half a chapter before I pass out. I’m glad I’m discovering so many better authors, like Sedaris, Green, Martin, and Sebold. I’m glad reading is, once more, my constant.

Now if only I could just ditch Moby Dick and read The Fault in Our Stars instead…