Ah, the book fair, that beloved annual grade-school ritual. When I was but a wee lad, I used to so look forward to the school book fair. I was one of the lucky kids who learned to love books and reading at a very young age, and this was supported and fed by my parents and relatives (my uncle in particular, who still has one of the more impressive home libraries I’ve seen). I got excited by trips to the library, or the book section at the department store and, of course, the mall book stores. The book fair was but one more means of adding to what already was becoming a rather sizable book collection. Heck, I even bought my first collection of Gold Key Star Trek comics at a book fair when I was in elementary school, along with one of those ginormous Marvel “Treasury Edition” volumes adapting the first Star Wars movie.
Ah, those were the days.
When our kids came along, I vowed that I would pass on that love of books to them, and do so in the same manner as was done for me, by keeping reading fun and viewed as an activity to be savored, not just completed for school assignments and whatnot. I was buying Addy’s first story books while she was still time-sharing in her mother’s belly, and I did it all over again for Erin. As they grew older and started to figure out what they liked (Dora the Explorer, Disney characters, etc.), I found books appropriate for their age featuring those characters. We’ve been at the point for a while where they’re able to pick out their own titles whenever we shop or go to the library, and their tastes run the gamut from the aforementioned stuff to animal books, Dr. Seuss, dinosaurs, space, and so on. Yes, stuff like Star Trek, Star Wars and super heroes are represented, as well. This has bled into other activities, such as them going with me to Free Comic Book Day.
(GeekDad says, “Booyah.”)
So, once Addy started Kindergarten this year, it was with great anticipation that I looked forward to her first book fair. She brought home the “catalog” showcasing various titles, spanning the age ranges of her school from Kindergarten to sixth grade. Addy already had picked out a couple, and I saw a few others I thought would be fun and interesting, even though they were aimed at older kids. All this past week, I heard about the fair, and how she was looking forward to taking me to see all the books. As for me, I was a little jazzed, too. It’s hard not to be happy when your kid says to you “I want to go buy some new books, Daddy!”
Friday night, the school held a picnic, and the book fair was open during this time. Addy’s class had already taken a run through the setup once, to get the lay of the land and for the kids to pick out the titles they’d already selected from the catalog. Addy had wanted to wait so we could buy her books together. She was even sure there were a few things I’d want to buy for
myself her and her sister. Yeah, hard sell, there. Like what I really need is another excuse to buy more books, right?
The book fair was thriving when we got there. Lots of kids and parents buying books, and of course the school gets a cut of that action, which obviously is a good thing. As for our purchases, the girls each got some stuff, both for themselves and to “share with Daddy.” Addy picked out a couple of educational tomes, along with one or two just for fun. Somehow, a copy of Avengers: Assemble! even ended up in the stack.
Shut up. It’s for the kids.
And so went our first book fair. Fun stuff. Um…I’m sure the girls enjoyed themselves, too.