Open Thread

Flashback Monday Night OT: Book Fairs

Last week, the iconic Scholastic Book Fair came to my daughter’s school. For a week, we hear about the “super secret diary” with a real key for $9.99, a special Barbie stick book for $9.99, and a Justin Beiber poster for only $3.75! 

If you’re not familiar, the Scholastic Book Fair comes via truck and sets up shop at area schools throughout the school year. They sell books as cheaply as about $3, but put on display and promote items that are $10 and over. They also offer a fine array of novelty items, including tri-color scented highlighters. It’s a good student’s dreamworld, I tell you.

When I was a kid, there were posters of Kirk Cameron, and I remember getting bookmarks, not highlighters. I usually got an inexpensive book, a poster and bookmark, if memory serves. If I remember correctly, my mom usually bought the book, and I had to spend my own money on the novelty items. I made the same rule last week for my daughter, and she came home quite pleased with her choices.

Did the Scholastic Book Fair come to your school? What did you buy and who paid for it? Has your week started off on a good note?

24 replies on “Flashback Monday Night OT: Book Fairs”

Goals are being set up for my dept right now and my manager edited my copy a bit…

There is one section regarding communications with the team and she added, among other things, “Organize and schedule a guest speaker for team meetings.” Oh hell no. I am not going to drag some person in here to talk at 10 people in our dinky round table. Who would I bring? What the hell would they talk about? WTF. I crossed it off the list. I’ll keep the rest of her suggestions but that has to go.

From what managerial support book did she read that idea? I would not be opposed to tossing it in my compost bin.

Our book fair was about as big as our annual carnival. Apeshit would be the appropriate, inappropriate term.

I got SO MANY BOOKS. I think there was a discount if you hit a certain price point. I never got the novelty things. But I did totally get the super secret diary with real key (!) – it had a picture of a kitten on it. Somethings never change. :)

I remember one time, only having enough money for one book, I bought a choose your own adventure because it was like getting more than one book.  I even had to explain to my mom that I picked it because I could reread it and never have the same book.  I don’t think it quite worked out the way I had planned but I enjoyed it.

Oh, I loved the book fair! My approach with the kid is to place in his hands a twenty dollar bills, and tell him to get what he wants, but he’s gotta do the math and grapple with the fact that no, you cannot have everything. Money is a finite resource, kid.

I remember my mom doing more or less the same for me, with the added fact that I had a chore list that needed to be finished before I got my bookfair money. I didn’t have a regular allowance, so receiving a list of chores when I wanted to buy things was pretty normal. The perk to this was, that I could usually convince my mom to give me a bit of extra money by adding to the chore list.

Ah, it’s voting day here in North Carolina to… ensure that NC changes nothing, but perhaps does so in a more assish way. Yeah, it’s a making-up-words kind of morning. And Maurice Sendak died; his interview with Stephen Colbert is brilliant (if you need something to make you smile today, it’s my recommendation).

My Monday was really nice, but now it’s a Tuesday and the Fates seem to think I still deserve a shitty Monday experience. I overslept so I couldn’t work out, it’s raining (after a great sunny day) and I’m already at work but the real work won’t start in at least two hours. Humbug.

I remember when I was in elementary school, my school was part of the RIF program – Reading Is Fundamental. They would come in and set up tables full of books and we got to peruse the stacks. The first year they came, I found a book that I really wanted, but I had no money. The lady saw me looking and told me it was free. I was flabbergasted, and I couldn’t quite believe it, but she assured me that everyone was allowed to get a book for free. It was a wondrous day.

Oh man, I’d forgotten about the book fair! My mom was always the one who organized it, so I always got first dibs :-P. I think my mom paid for my books, but I was on my own for novelty items.

I was a very lucky kid because we lived less than an hour away from a Scholastic distribution warehouse, and every year they’d have a GIANT sale to clear out old inventory. Kid in a candy shop doesn’t even begin to describe my happiness at that sale. They had a “bargain bin”section where you could fill a cardboard box with damaged & otherwise valueless books for $20. And you got take your wagon down aisles and aisles of towering shelves, it was like a dream.

This might be the best OT topic ever to cheer me up ahead of my 2 finals tomorrow!

BRB looking up distribution centers and moving next door so I can do this too! I loved the fairs when I was a kid, and filling up bags with books would have been heaven. Our library’s book sale let you do that the last day, but their selection sucked.

Ooo I know your pain. Earlier this semester I woke up for an 8am class right at 8, and I was the one in possession of my group’s homework assignment that was due. Turns out my horror at letting my group down was a pretty good motivator- I was in the classroom by 8:07. Although I only had to pull on pants and bike a few blocks- no way would I ever have managed to pack a mean, much less two.


I’m sorry your day sucked, but I’m impressed!

The book fair seemed more popular when my daughter was a girl. When I was kid — right up through middle school, if I recall — we got Scholastic Book order forms. Once a month and you could pick relatively cheap books, plus posters and gift sets. I used to beg my parents to order me books from them. And a horse poster. I always got a horse poster.


It took me a moment, but I remember this now! I was pulled out of school in the middle of third grade and homeschooled until I went off to college. Due to all the trauma that was public school for me, I don’t remember much of my earlier childhood at all. But I vaguely remember something like what you describe! I remember sitting in it and reading the books for as long as I could.

Unfortunately my week is not starting on a good note. I am so freaking exhausted. My drive is finally caving. I only have week or so left to push, but I can only take paper-stress, living situation-stress, and getting-out-of-my-element stress for so long. I’ve never dealt with stress well, and all the living situation BS had already sent my motivation down the tubes from the get-go. So I’m not handling the addition of end-of-semester-motivation-drain very well.

I didn’t do jack shit all weekend. And I’ve done very little shit today. I should be grading and paper writing, but I just can’t get myself to actually sit and work!

Thankfully I got the draft I finished back, and the professor really liked it. He was also the harder professor of the two for whom I have to write papers for. And I’m also told that I can possibly get an extension on the other one until the end of May. Which is tempting, but I wonder if I should go for that. I always feel like that sort of thing is an admission of defeat. Or laziness. Even though I’m told I’m a very hard worker.

I’d say that’s one of my biggest weaknesses. I don’t know when I can’t finish something because I didn’t work hard enough, and when I can’t finish something because I can’t work any harder. In theory I know dealing with all this stress can it really hard to get your shit done…and even though I’ve been experiencing this the whole semester…I keep thinking it must somehow be my fault that I can’t get motivated.

Well, this ended up longer than it should have been. Hopefully this doesn’t sound like a bunch of whining, because it feels like it is.

Asking for extensions when you need them is not admitting defeat. It’s refusing to turn in subpar work in order to meet a deadline, or alternately refusing to compromise your sanity to meet a deadline. If getting an extension will make your life easier and facilitate sanity and better work quality, ask for it. They exist because your professors know that sometimes having a bunch of deadlines fall too close together makes it impossible to get things done.

Yeah, I know you’re right. I just feel so blah about the idea. I never ask for extensions!

But I also used to consistently stress myself so hard that by the end of the semester, I had a nervous breakdown, because I wouldn’t ask for extensions and I wasn’t going to accept less than an A.

I never learned this skill, though. In my mind, it sounds like, “hey, I suck and didn’t get this done, please give me more time?” Arg. I’m just going to have to suck it up and do it.

Again, if it helps, try and focus on the idea that you are asking because of too many convergent deadlines. Professors really do offer them because they know that sometimes no amount of time management wizardry can give a student enough time to finish all their work if they end up with major projects coming due at the same time.

I felt weird about asking for an extension until I worked a side job helping a professor unfuck her office in prep for a move. I mentioned that I had a big studio project coming due at the same time that I owed her a paper, and she told me to give her the paper the next week because I would be too busy with my studio work to give her paper the time it deserved otherwise. No guilt, no side eye, just the acknowledgement that I had a crap ton of stuff to do that semester and I couldn’t do it all at once.

Oh man! I Loved the Book Fair! It was my all time favorite thing in elementary school! My mom always set a price limit and let me choose what books so long as I paid any money over her limit (usually I just went a penny or two over, knowing she’d let me slide with a few cents).  I kind of miss book fairs.

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