72 Comments

  1. The kid is saying she has plenty of access to read books for free but she is still drawn to ordering books from the book order form the schools sends home to the parents.

    When I was a kid they did this once a year. Now they do it every couple months to raise funds for the schools.

  2. When I was in school, there was an order form every month from Scholastic. I got lots of books that way.

  3. What I remember about Scholastic was that actually getting the books took forever! I absolutely loved books as a kid (still hooked all these years later) and waiting months after placing the order was torture.

  4. My favorite Scholastic book was from third grade. It was about dinosaurs. I still remember many of the pictures and names in it. Camptosaurus. Ankylosaurus.The ferocious Allosaurus!

    I learned about the various periods of the dinosaur times as well.

  5. Our school district had/has Book Fairs (don’t know who sponsored them) in elementary schools . . . what a delight to look at all those books, with the possibility of actually OWNING some! Which is a major reason I avoid bookstores, and especially used bookstores.

  6. The joke is just in the phrase “still calls to me”, which is something an adult would say, not a grade school kid.

    Speaking of odd phrases, I was listening to the “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” podcast with soprano Sarah Brightman. They asked about a period in her life between two singing gigs. In listing these, she said “Then I left the Russian Space Program, as one does, and …”

    As Paula Poundstone commented, it’s not just that being in the Russian Space Program is unusual for a singer. It’s the “as one does” at the end that’s particularly interesting.

  7. Even if we have agreement about what the intended joke is supposed to be, the term “book order” still stands out as an awkward formulation. Using “book order form” would have sounded a little more normal.
    As it is, I can’t help thinking that the “Book Order” was supposed to be a reference to Episode 7 of a series called “Library Wars“, but the allegory doesn’t fit that well.

  8. P.S. … but one reason I thought of it was that the phrase “still calls to me” was used by Kylo Ren (who I would not classify as an “adult”).

  9. Andréa: “Our school district had/has Book Fairs (don’t know who sponsored them) in elementary schools . . . what a delight to look at all those books, with the possibility of actually OWNING some! Which is a major reason I avoid bookstores, and especially used bookstores.”

    I don’t follow.

  10. Bill, I think Andréa’s point is that she feels a compulsion to OWN books; therefore, trips to bookstores would be a call to her to spend vast sums of money.

  11. Bill, I expect that Andréa has the standard book-lover problem: books breed like rabbits; bookcases breed like elephants.

  12. Did it show a Plethorasaurus?

    Not that I recall. Maybe because each picture showed a single dinosaur.

  13. Bill, I expect that Andréa has the standard book-lover problem: books breed like rabbits;

    I’ve been countering that with increased use of the public library. Since I acquired the iPad, that means lots of e-books of late.

  14. THAT IS THE BEST METAPHOR FOR MY SITUATION THAT I’VE EVER HEARD.

    I have four walls of book cases in two rooms; hubby has a wall of his books in his office. It’s similar to my penchant for dogs: ENOUGH IS NEVER ENOUGH.

    Our library is only about a mile down the highway, so we are there several times/week. I subscribe to ‘Book Page’ and order holds at the library online, from recommendations therein. Books I buy are art books, certain authors (Grimes, Sir Terry Pratchett, Hiaasen, et al), particular illustrators (Jan Brett, Arthur Rackham, et al). anything about dogs, books published by the artists of the comics we read (Breathed, Trudeau, Thompson, Watterson, et al(. And yes, I have them arranged (sort of) by subject or author. And covered in plastic book covers. Call me persnickety; call me anal. (Just don’t call me late for dinner.) Hubby’s books are about wars, Corvettes and reefs, as he is a scuba diver.

    So, if I go into a bookstore, you might as well give me a shopping cart at the door. The look of books. The feel of books. The SMELL of new books. Pure heaven.

    Yesterday, one of my dogs had liver surgery; I stayed at the clinic. With a book keeping me company, the two hours passed in a flash. Only child – mentally abusive father – escape into books, accompanied by a dog. Whatever the reason, I am a bibliophile. Give me a dog and a book, and I’m happy anywhere, for any length of time.

    Hubby and I were discussing making a new will; I think we will donate our books to the local library, with money to build a small alcove (calling it a ‘wing’ would be pretentious, don’t you think?) for them.

  15. CIDU Bill wrote:
    >Ah. The same reason my wife doesn’t like me walking into book stores.

    Indeed. I’m not allowed in bookstores without adult supervision!

  16. I ordered books from those in-school offers every chance I got. (I’m not sure whether it was from “Scholastic”, but it probably was.) The odd thing is although I know I ordered various types of books, the ones I remember best are the small paperback comics I got in 4th and 5th grade, particularly “Peanuts” and “B.C.” (hence my ability to discern the characters in both strips, even today). Unfortunately, I don’t have any of those books any more (but since they were usually printed on low-grade paper, they probably would not have survived).

  17. I suffered from Andrea’s problem as well, but once when I had to clear out everything, I did a quick sort. The math books, the reference books, and the books that had a real personal meaning to me, I kept. The rest went into the recycling. (It turns out that church and rummage sales don’t want books any more – they don’t sell.)

    I found I had a great deal more space, and I didn’t miss most of them, especially not the ones I could get through the library.

  18. Actually, one of my all-time favorite childhood books came from a school rummage sale: it was an eighth-grade science textbook, which I bought for 25 cents when I was in 1st or 2nd grade. Part of the reason I wanted it was probably for the “show off” effect, but I really did spend a lot of time delving into that book, at least until 5th or 6th grade, giving up on it only when I finally had regular textbooks at the same level.

  19. Just gonna remind people that the first Harry Potter started as a Scholastic Books soft cover. Yay school book orders!

  20. A few years ago, I went to a book sale where every book was one dollar. New books. Art books. Fiction books. Quilting books. BOOKS FOR ONE DOLLAR!!

  21. @padraig: “Just gonna remind people that the first Harry Potter started as a Scholastic Books soft cover.”

    Er, no. The first *American* edition of the first Harry Potter (with the dumbed-down title) was from Scholastic but was a hardcover, and the firstiest first edition of all is the UK original, as HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHER’S STONE. (I think there may also have been a UK book club hc that appeared before the first American, but I’m not sure about that.)

  22. Andréa: Every year the Seattle library has a giant book sale, where they fill up a giant exhibition hall or warehouse with books. I haven’t been in a few years, but when I went, all paperbacks were $1, and hardbacks were $2. Except on the last day, when the paperbacks were 50¢ and the hardbacks were $1.

  23. My boss used to come to our library with bags of 50-cent paperbacks he’d get at a book sale, for the kids who wouldn’t or couldn’t check out books; they could just take them. We were happy they’d read anything.

  24. I don’t buy books I’d only read once and never again; that’s what libraries are for, I collect books that have captured my interest and I know I’d look through again.

  25. Andréa: So, conversely, if a book has captured my interest, and I want to look through it again, that’s not what libraries are for? Oh, no, I’ve been using the library wrong!

  26. “Oh, no, I’ve been using the library wrong!”

    “There are nine and sixty ways of constructing tribal lays, and every single one of them is right!”

  27. My library has a book sale twice a year; Friday is for members, or pay to enter (we get a lot of resellers on Friday), Saturday books range from .50 to $2 for normal ones and up to $10 or $15 for big fancy ones. And on Sunday…you can still pay Saturday prices, or you can fill a (paper shopping) bag for $4 or a (bankers) box for $5. Sundays are dangerous… (Ok, I want this book. Huh, this one looks mildly interesting, and it’s essentially free…so does this one, and this one, and… It does include the big fancy books – if it fits you can have it).

    Of course, I volunteer at the sale – setup, after which we get to shop before anyone else gets in, and breakdown (so I _have_ to be there Sunday…). It’s round about 80 books, twice a year. I try to read a chunk of them before the next sale…doing better this year than I have been recently.

  28. A good way of not being overwhelmed by books is to move regularly: must keep books get in the car, the rest is taken away by the salvation army.

  29. We have an office in the house. There are 5 ceiling to floor bookcases and a half size one under the window. This is the area with the history,(sorted by subject) reenacting, classic books, Louisa May Alcott biographies and special books are kept – also books for computer printers and similar, and old software which is still used and came with with books. Books in the office are generally double deep on the shelves unless they are too large for same.

    The James Bond book collection (multiple copies of many of the books and books about the movies, Ian Fleming and James Bond) is in the half height book case in the bedroom.

    Teddy Bear books are in the half height bookcase in the “Teddies room” aka third bedroom.

    In the studio there are 2 full height book cases. One has the assorted needlework and sewing books and the cookbooks are on the bottom shelf. The other has the Louisa May Alcott authored books, similar other favorite authors of mine, and books on other crafts and Douglas Adams books.

    In the basement is a half size book case with books of husband’s which moved with him from his parents’ house (along with other books in the other cases that came from there). There is a full height case of his books from college and other books. There is a also 2 large rubbermaid boxes of our movies related collection – some books are out mixed with other ones in the office. The book cases had gotten too full so we pulled most of these to store here as are consulted less these years.

    I still had a lot of books from when I was young at my parents house. Dad had moved to them and others to a raised platform (off the floor in case of flooding) when he needed the space for his books. Those were lost in Superstorm Sandy.

    Earlier this year I got rid of the equivalent of a shelf of cook books. I kept only those I actually use or that are sentimental. Graham Kerr – a favorite of husbands – 2 books we had – stayed. Diabetes books which are too high in carbs for Diabetics – gone. Romangolis’ Table – stayed (we loved their restaurant in Boston ). Shrimp recipes – gone. Little House on the Prairie cookbook, Gone with the Wind cookbook (a gift), 3 Williamsburg cookbooks, 18 th century cookbook, 5 Lancaster County cookbooks, cookbook put out by temple sisterhood – all kept.

    Oh, and the weaving books are mostly in the living room as he refers to them while setting up the looms.

  30. They did not have books sales in school when we went to school (imagine what we have if they did),but we have seen the Scholastic book sale – they have on election day at the school at which we vote and one has to walk though it to vote.

  31. One of the houses I toured last year whilst looking to buy one had a real library . . . complete with floor-to-ceiling shelving and . . . wait for it . , . a brass railing around the room for a ladder to traverse.

    Oh, I fell in love with that room – I told my agent if I could just move that one room into whatever house I finally buy, I’d be so happy (so would hubby . . . he’s had to put together all the book shelves, first in WI, then here in FL).

    Oddly enough, there were few books on these shelves; just a lot of knick-knacks and, of course, a humongous TV. Sacrilege!!

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