Friday, September 13, 2019

Scholastic Book Fair Fear

My parents lived in terror, you guys. They knew that at least once a year, my elementary school was going to do a Scholastic Book Fair. They knew that when that happened, I was going to come home with a catalog of books with every single book (that wasn't about sports) marked as a must have.

In no way was my allowance going to cover more than two books.

Yet my parents, on an NCO's paltry salary, so valued books and reading that they'd solemnly take my allowance money, tell me I could pick a maximum of 10 and then they'd write out the check while I spent the rest of the night agonizing over how to finalize my order. I don't know if this kind of subsidized book buying qualifies as "My First Book Buy" but hey, I did throw cash into the pot. But yes. I was self-servingly not at all curious about why the dollar amount I had for book buying didn't match the dollar amount written on the check. Adults were so inscrutable when I was 8. I'm pretty sure that's the year I got A Pony Called Lightning. It was the book that got me started on rollicking, fast-paced adventure stories.

I have to say that looking back, the Scholastic catalog from the early 70s was short on SF and Fantasy. Horse books were the best I could do. SF was still a young-ish genre at that point and fighting hard for legitimacy. I do recall picking up some post-apocalyptic dystopian kinds of stories in later years - precursors, I think to today's YA books.

Do you know, I think I still have this book packed in a trunk. It has this exact cover, in fact. I wonder if the read still holds up to my childhood memories. <Wanders off in search of the book and a cup of tea.>