Remember LAPTOP LIT MAG is here!! Check it!
Also Happy Birthday to my twin younger sibs. 16 today = driving. I’m a little nervous.
Yesterday, my former elementary school where my youngest sister currently attends, hosted the annual Scholastic Book Fair. If you follow the link and watch the kids in the video, imagine a 6-14 year old ginger kid who looked forward to this day of the school year more than the Christmas party free-for-all, field day, and summer vacation combined, and that kid would be me. Ok fine, take out the summer vacation, no kid is that nerdy that they enjoy something more than summer.
But I did adore the Book Fair. Each year, the gym transformed from a grungy place designed to torment children into the most magical place on earth. Tables literally overflowing with books. And what a variety! Clifford the Big Red Dog to Great Expectations. It was almost like heaven, but not quite, since I’m entirely convinced my heaven will look like my dearly departed local Borders. Each year, I collected my own money and parents’ spare change to wreak havoc on that place. No expense was spared (and still isn’t, whether it be print or Kindle format). I always returned to class with at least three plastic bags with book corners poking holes out of them.
It thrills me that nearly ten years after I’ve left the place, the tradition lives on. My sister – who doesn’t read much but likes buying things – gets to enjoy the same excitement I did. And the first step is owning the book. Once she has it and it’s hers she’s more likely to read it. It’s all about the encouragement.
Which is what is so fundamentally great about the Book Fair. It’s literally glorifying books right at the age where kids start idolizing things and creating their future life habits. If you present something as awesome to a kid when they are very young, odds are they will still think it’s awesome when they are older. Example – Rugrats cartoons. If you think about it, not really so great as far as concept, drawing, voices, everything else. But ask anyone who watched it when they were little and they will say something like, “Ahh, Rugrats. Good times. That was when cartoons were good, not like the stuff nowadays.” They’re really all on the same level, people, your perception is what has changed.
But something as broad as books don’t fade. There are too many different kids of books for people to be prejudiced against them as a whole. Reading is one of those things where – even if it takes you a while to get into it – once you find something you love and start reading it, you tend to not stop. Plus, you have to read to advance anywhere in this computer age anyway, so even if you don’t like reading, you’re reading this right now. Ha ha!
This year, in order to foster more love of reading, the school did something so brilliant, I can’t even stand it. For the first half hour before school began they invited all Dads to join their kids at the Book Fair and offered them free doughnuts.
Wow. Kids spending time with Dads who probably work and don’t get to see their kids much during the week while eating scrumptious breakfast/desserts (how do you classify doughnuts really?) while also surrounded by thousands of books. I could almost cry at the beauty. Just by making the event something special consequently makes the kids remember their experience. And what was the factor that brought this experience about? BOOKS! Within that half-hour alone, the powers that be made $1,100. Yea that’s right. Put everyone in a good mood, make sure Dad is paying and the cash just can’t stop flowing.
My sister came home with about ten books. Five purchased with Dad and five when her class got to go down later that day for those whose Dads were not able to make it. She’s in fifth grade and returned with:
She loves dogs
And Phineas and Ferb.
All perfectly acceptable fifth grade reading level books.
And I will deny this if you tell on me but sometimes I find myself watching Phineas and Ferb on my own, now that my soap opera has been cancelled. What? I never watched soaps or childish cartoons at nearly 22! Granted when I was in fifth grade, I came home from the Book Fair with the following:
Technically the love began in third grade, but I still dig these classics out. You can NEVER go wrong with Nancy Drew.
Not a lie. Fifth grade. Still have the copies. One is never to throw away books.
So my sister and I have different reading tastes. But we always knew this. I am the family reader, she is not. She may not be reading Pride and Prejudice but thanks to the Book Fair, she is still reading.
Had a request from Dear Friend Kristen, to update on my writing. Will do, but this post has gone on long enough, so next time.