This post was written by Joanne Corrielus, the fall intern in the Corporate Communications department.
To help foster my love of reading at an early age, my parents bought me a bookcase to store all my beloved titles. Over the years, in addition to borrowing books from the local library, I had managed to buy stacks of titles from the Scholastic book fair, which quickly turned my room into what looked like a book warehouse! When my parents realized my book collection was expanding far beyond the capacity of my bookshelf they came up with a plan to help manage my book collection. My parents put me on a book budget.
Before my book budget, I was able to buy unlimited amount of books from my school book fair. However, with my new book budget in place I now had twenty dollars to use wisely. For my parents this book budget wasn’t a punishment, or a plan to get me to stop reading, they always encouraged my love of reading. For them, it was just a clever way to slow the pace down at which I added to my book collection—and a plot to help organize my room!
Attending the book fair on a budget, I quickly learned the importance of being financially responsible. Instead of buying every book in my sight, I had to sit back and reflect as to what books I really, truly wanted to purchase. I also got to put my math skills to the test. My goal at book fair was of course to still buy as many books as I could, however, that meant my mental math skills had to be sharp!
I’ll always remember my elementary school book fairs because they made me the conscience shopper that I am today. The skills I learned the book fairs have had a lasting impact on my life both in literacy and math. As I reflect on my own personal experience at the book fair and learning to budget, I asked my colleagues to share their favorite book fair memories. Here’s what they said:
Alex: Like most students, the book fair was one of the most exciting times of year for me! However, there was one time, when I was in third grade that I forgot to tell my parents the fair was scheduled so I didn’t have any money to buy books. Luckily I had just enough money left over from my lunch to buy a Clifford eraser. I remember loving that easer so much that I never actually used it to erase anything!
Anushka: The book fair was always the best part of the school year! It was always such a tough decision for me to try and pick which two or three books I wanted out of all the options there. But one year I remember in particular was the year I found one of the ‘Give Yourself Goosebumps’ choose-your-own-adventure books on the shelves. I had read one of them from my school library and LOVED it, but I didn’t own any. So when I found one in the book fair I was totally over the moon!
Julia: The first book fair I ever attended was here at work… last year! We didn’t have them in my elementary school, something which I am retroactively very jealous of other kids for having been able to experience! I know I would have gone crazy in a fair, because I get kid-in-a-candy-store-itis in any kind of book sale scenario. And the Fairs themes are so fun. I did tons of shopping for my daughter and family members at the employee Fair we had last year. It was the best!
Michael:Growing up in a single-parent household, money was tight – so there was no guarantee that I would be able to buy books at every book fair. One fair moment made me a lifelong reader forever. I vividly remember a book fair happening on Grandparents Day. On this day, the whole school performed for our grandparents and had a special lunch with them. After the celebration, my grandma took me to the book fair and said I can pick any five books I wanted – since I “earned” it through chores. She knew it was hard for my mom to make ends meet, so she stepped in and helped me discover the joy of reading that day – and a big red dog named Clifford.