When I was in elementary school, one of my very favorite things was when the teacher would send us home with those super thin Scholastic book catalogues with an order form on the back. I would read mine from cover to cover, marking off my selections as I went.
When I got home, I’d show the catalogue to Mom. She would set the limit on how many books I could get or how much money I could spend, after which I would go through my list again and decide which ones I really wanted, and which ones I could probably do without. I would show Mom what I wanted to get, she would help me fill out the order form, then she would write a check for the amount owed and place the check and my order form in an envelope for me to take back to my teacher.
And then the waiting would begin. I don’t remember how long it took for that beautiful, brown box of Scholastic books to appear on our teacher’s desk, but the wait was agonizingly delicious.
I tried not to think about them the first week, but the second week, I started my Box Watch. Whenever I entered the classroom in the morning and after lunch, I would scan my teacher’s desk for the telltale box that contained our Scholastic book orders. When the box finally arrived and I saw it perched atop the teacher’s desk, it was the BEST. THING. EVER.
We would sit at our desks, impatiently waiting for the teacher to call our names. Then, we would approach her desk one by one to receive our books.
“Suzanna,” she finally said my name!
I jumped up and tried not to run to her desk, I was so excited. She handed me my books and order form, and we verified that my order had been filled correctly, then I rushed back to my desk, excitedly clutching my new books.
This was when I really loved school. Loved. It!
And then the voracious reading would begin. Eventually a new Scholastic book catalogue would arrive, and the fun would begin all over again.
One month, for reasons I do not now recall, I did not order any books. The day the Scholastic book box arrived was a huge disappointment because I knew there wasn’t a single thing in there for me. I sat miserably watching the other kids in the class gleefully receive their orders, and wishing that I had placed one, too.
The following month when the new Scholastic catalogues arrived, I made sure I had my order in so that when the box arrived, I would not be disappointed.
Scholastic is still going strong, publishing books for today’s generation of readers. My new mission: Find a kid who gets those catalogues and work something out!