Book Fairs

Book Fairs

For over 25 years, Scholastic Book Fairs have been delighting children, parents, teachers, principals and librarians. They encourage a love of reading within a fun environment where a child can pick and choose his or her own books, indulging themselves in mystery, history, science fiction – and so much more. It brings the convenience of a bookstore right to the school.

Book fairs were an exiting time, whether they occurred every month, twice a year or even just once a year. It was a chance for kids to read exactly what they wanted to, a chance for them to bring the book home to share with their family, and the ability to read the book over and over – with no need to return it to the library. Book fairs were also among some of the first shopping choices kids were allowed to make all (well, mostly) on their own.

First, a newsprint listing (along with pictures of the highlighted books) would be sent home with each student. Pouring over each and every page that looked interesting, kids chose which books they wanted to read, begged the person with the biggest pockets for the money (or even broke into the coveted piggy banks, when all else failed), and when that special day came, marched over and proudly claimed their book.

Book fairs didn’t always happen with rows and rows of tables. Scholastic eventually introduced a book ordering form, allowing kids to make their book choices, fill out the form and voila, the books would appear in the classroom a couple of weeks later.

And the tradition continues today. From school to school, from classroom to classroom, teachers, librarians and even principals work tirelessly to make sure kids have the opportunities to bring home the magic of reading. Book fairs have been a part of popular culture for decades, allowing publishers to bring new books to the public, a chance for libraries to let go of some of their extra books and the opportunity to promote literacy through speaking engagements.

All in all, book fairs are really about fostering a love of reading, a love of exploring, and a love of sharing. For once you learn to read, there is no subject that you cannot tackle, no interest you cannot pursue. It’s an invaluable service to the community and to the students that participate. And for that, Scholastic deserves a pat on the back.

If you have fond memories of attending book fairs as a child, we’d love to hear your recollections in our comments section. And, if you happen to remember the titles of any of the books you purchased, we’d love to hear that too, as we pay tribute to this fine tradition.

4 Responses to “Book Fairs”

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  1. Always looked forward to these–both these and the Scholastic Book catalogs were two of the highlights of the school year. I still have one book I bought from a fair, one about the fifty states. Reading through it brings back fond memories. Kids should take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to discover the joy of buying and reading books–years from now, we may not see print books…

  2. Gina says:

    I never liked school, but book fairs, catalogs, and the day the books arrived that you ordered from the catalog were special times of happiness. I don’t remember all the titles I got, but here’s something interesting. I went to a Christian elementary school, and one time they forbid us from ordering an adaptation of the movie “Raiders of the Lost Ark” because they had issues with the film. Otherwise, it was order anything you want.

  3. Drahken says:

    We only ever had 1 book fair, and that was when I was in.. (1st grade? kindergarten? *shrug* one of the 2). We did however have the schoolastic book catalog things regularly (I think it was 4 times per year). I would always get at least 1 book, usually 3 (so that I could get the free poster or stickers or whatever). I rarely got any “real” books that way though, I mostly got garfield and other comic strip books, mad libs, or joke books. I had always enjoyed reading, since before I even started school, but the books in the schoolastic catalogs always seemed excrutiatingly boring (besides the comic & joke ones of course).

  4. Lynn says:

    Awww, I LOVED the Book Fair! I used to order so many Babysitter’s Club books from Scholastic.

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