4-6 weeks ago you did the unthinkable and burned through your allowance… on books!
You couldn’t help yourself.
There was always such a strong ENERGY surrounding every Scholastic Book Order release announcement. Your awesome teacher gave her full endorsement, creating a buzz that sent everyone rushing to grab one on their way out the door.
The whole process was undeniably addictive:
1) The colorful booklet! The advertising and layout was literary eye candy. Somehow without fail, Scholastic made the books look more appealing than any illustrator could ever do for a book’s cover. You would examine and reexamine each page and dream about owning it all.
2) The selection. It was a randomly perfect range of “books” ranging from Sports Illustrated for Kids Presents: Shaquille O’Neal, The Indispensible Calvin and Hobbes, to Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen. Oh, and Waldo, of course.
3) The bonuses! Each order came with bookmarks, stickers, erasers and other worthlessly wonderful collectibles.
4) The prices. Everything felt like it was a steal. $2.95 for Garfield marked down from $8.95? Gimme!
5) Filling out the order form like an ADULT! Quantity: 1. Subtotal, carry the one… Total.
6) Putting together the payment package. It almost had the makings of an art project. Materials: scissors, paper clip, pencil, envelope. Cut out the order form, pull out your wrinkled singles and three quarters (your teacher accepted your petty cash and would write one big check for the class), paper clip your money to the order form and seal it away in an envelope with you name on it. Completing the package was one of the few times you had satisfaction from licking an envelope (other occasions included: writing to your pen pal, entering in the Publishing Clearinghouse Sweepstakes, and mailing in your 200 Pepsi points to finally get that Pepsi CD case you’ve been eying all summer).
7) The delivery. The day always hit you on the blindside. After the first full week of nonstop recess discussions about your recent order, your obsession was lost through the following weeks which included dioramas of Blue Whales, Venn Diagrams, and the proper techniques for applying remainders in long division problems.
Then on a lazy Wednesday, 10 minutes before school was released, there was a unexpected knock on the door. Everyone paused from writing cursive “Z”s on their rough, brown lined scratch paper and whispered in excitement as your teacher opened the door.
It was the UPS guy, who looked like Mr. McFreely from Mister Rodgers’ Neighborhood! He must have enjoyed his job because he played the role perfectly, announcing his delivery of our treasures to the class with the same enthusiasm as when Biff brought George McFly his published books at the end of Back to the Future.
Your teacher made the rounds passing out the individualized packaged goods. You were dismissed once you got yours, but no one was in a hurry to leave.
Everyone had to stop and check out your package. It was (is) HUGE!
You really overdid it with that book order. While everyone else spent a month’s worth, you splurged with 2 month’s allowance and now you were finally able to bask in all of your shrink wrapped glory.
7) And definitely one more thing from the front page.
Too bad there’s nothing like this for us today. Kids really have this one all to themselves. Lucky!
I guess Amazon is ok… 😀