Does anyone else still get excited about book fairs? Not those big, tempting grown-up events that I've never had the luck to attend (and if I did, you'd never hear from me again) but those Scholastic book fairs we had when we were kids. I was reminded of that during a blog visit to Ally at Writing on the Wall: A Bit of Inspiration,
and remembered how much I loved those book fairs, but, being poor, it was like going to a fancy restaurant: I wanted to wolf it all down, but my budget only allowed for breadsticks.
Now, as an adult, I have more money, but I feel a little weird about strolling into a book fair and slapping some hard-earned currency down for an armload of posters, books and other brightly colored items, especially since I don't have any children of my own to use as cover. I guess I could employ a frontboy ('Hey, kid, here's a twenty, bring me back all the Scooby Doo they've got') but in today's security-conscious world, even that seems risky. ('Hey, why are all those kids running toward that middle-aged woman in the parking lot with a stack of Choose Your Own Adventure books? Seize her!')
When I covered book fairs for the local paper's school beat, things became a little easier, but by the time I got there, camera in hand, the little brats had scooped up all the good stuff, and there wasn't a Scooby Doo poster to be had. Sure, years of collecting toys and books made the purchases go easier ('Why, yes, of course, all this is for my...nephew), it still felt a bit odd, even for me.
I still get those wonderful, book-inspired goosebumps when I see a book fair sign. But these days, I don't stop. I keep going, like a mature adult, and head home.
Thank God for eBay.