A Paper Desire

When I was in grade school every few months or so the teacher would pass out these booklet flyers things on newsprint from Scholastic, and it always felt like the world was filled with unimaginable possibilities.  I would scour the pages and dream of having a new book in my hands.

On one of these occasions we were given an extra insert about joining the Scholastic book club.  There was a monthly member fee, but you would receive two books in the mail every month.  The books would be suited for the student’s age.

I think I must have been only in first or second grade.  All the details are a bit fuzzy, but I remember wanting it so very much that after the idea was pitched to my parents I was sent off to my room so they could discuss it. I think they wanted to discuss it sans puppy dog eyes.

I vaguely remember trying to listen through the door to their conversation without much success.  However, the final verdict was that I would be allowed to join.  It was a triumphant moment, and I received books every month for several years before my parents and I decided to stop.

At that point, they were sending me two chapter books a month and I wasn’t able to keep up with reading all of them due to school work and activities.  But I remember a lot of those books; particularly those from the early years.  I probably remember them because I read them over and over and over again.  I was especially a fan of the book called Underwear. I also thoroughly enjoyed No Dogs Allowed and Harvey Potter’s Balloon Farm.

Actually, I think my parents still have most of these books.  They are just packed away now.  I can’t imagine my mom getting rid of them.  She has a soft spot for these as much as I do.

It was also due to a Scholastic order mix up that I ended up discovering Harry Potter before it became the craze that it did.  One of the things that Scholastic did was enable students to purchase books at the end of the school year, so when you came back to school in the fall there would be books waiting for you.  I had convinced my mom to get me an Amber Brown book at the end of my 5th grade year all the popular girls were into them so when I came back to sixth grade (just across the hall from my fifth grade classroom), I could pick it up.

However, when I asked my former 5th grade teacher about it.  She said that some sort of error had occurred. By the time realized it, they were out of the Amber Brown book I had ordered.  In a pinch, she had picked me another one called Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I was less than pleased with this news, but thanked her anyway.

Well I’m sure you all know the end to that story. Love…true book love. I guess it was just a happy accident.

Those Scholastic flyers were the best, and I was excited to learn that they still send them out to school children today.  They still print them on the same newsprint and the ink still has a certain haziness to it.  And it seems that kids still get excited to take them home and try to pitch to their parents why they will simply die if they don’t get the books they believe they vitally need.

It’s wonderful to know that somethings don’t change because they don’t need to.  Thank you Scholastic for being the rock of the children’s book world.

Does anybody else remember these magical flyers?

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