Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Book Fair

When I was driving to work this morning I passed by a local middle school that had signs out front advertising a book fair. Those signs got me kind of nostalgic.

I know I've said in my About Me facts that I love to read, but that that love didn't develop until after college, when required reading became a thing of the past, and reading for pleasure was actually something I could enjoy. But I remember being a kid and being so excited when the book fair was coming to our school. I remember more from the elementary school book fairs than the ones we had in middle school. And really, the memories I do have are faded at best.

My mind pictures something like a traveling book store that showed up in the school library for a couple days. I know I always begged my parents for some money that I could bring with me so I could buy a few new books. And it isn't as if the books offered were deep or anything. They were children's books. The novels that you'd find were generally around 100 pages long. Though, these days, I'm sure you'd have more of the books aimed at the Harry Potter audience.

The book fairs are what introduced me to Alvin Schwartz's Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series of books. I loved reading those stories over and over again. Also, in those days, for some reason, I was into Garfield comic strips. So the book fair usually gave me the chance to buy whatever the latest collection of strips was. These days, Garfield just doesn't do it for me anymore. I mean, come on. He pushed Odie off the table. Didn't see that coming. It just keeps on getting funnier every time.

I also have a vague memory of buying a book about a substitute teacher that turned out to be an alien. I think the alien may have been an early arrival of part of a future invading force. Why would anyone try to take over the world beginning with some random 3rd grade classroom? Now that I really think about it, the plot of that book is kind of pathetic. If anyone knows the book I'm talking about, back me up here. I think the title had something to do with the teacher glowing in the dark. Like one of those Cocoon aliens, only not as nice or floaty.

So let's come back from that tangent. I think book fairs are cool. I just don't think I'd get as excited about them if one came to the bank where I work. They would probably only offer boring books about finance and statistics. I think I'm better off just browsing Amazon these days.

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