Thursday, November 29, 2007

Remembering the goosebumps

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.


Virginia Lee said...

You know, hon, all you have to do is be a community volunteer for a school that regularly holds bookfairs. That way you might even get first dibs! :D

Nita said...

What Virginia Lee said. Besides, where's the fun in being a mature adult and driving past a book fair? And, if they are so rude as to ask why you're buying so much good stuff when you have no children, I know a child who will love this stuff. They don't have to know the child in question is you. You are still a child at heart, right? When someone asked my husband once how he managed to find the best little boy toys to give as gifts he said, "I just look for something I'd want. After all, I'm still a kid, I just have a grown-up body."

Danette Haworth said...

When I was a college student, I was very excited to buy my first hardcover dictionary.

Rebecca Laffar-Smith said...

I get the same kind of excitement (and my purse gets the same heart attack) when I walk into any bookstore. It's a thrill to see wall to wall books and get lost in all the possibilities. I just wish I could afford to spend more on books, as it is I tend to let an electricity bill or two bounce because of a book binge. :-)

Of course, these days my daughter is old enough to read for herself (and her brother isn't far behind). We'll be venturing into next years book fair prepared to spend a small fortune. The kids bookshelves are already overflowing but you just can't have too many books.