There are some things that will always remind you of your childhood, from the sound of your favorite Saturday morning cartoon theme song (if you could gaze into the future, you might think life would be a breeze, seeing trouble from a distance, but then it’s not that easy…), to the taste of your favorite cereal (French Toast Crunch… the taste you can see!)
But if, growing up, you were a total book nerd, your childhood memories are probably drenched in visions of all your favorite stories. From Anne of Green Gables to Harry Potter to Percy Jackson, you can remember the adventures in your favorite stories as clearly as you can remember your own life. Hogwarts was your second home, you spent every summer at Camp Half Blood, and Prince Edward Island was your go-to place to find kindred spirits.
Despite your obsession, though, you also have plenty of book-related memories beyond just the adventures on the page. You didn’t play house, you played Little House on the Prairie . And when everyone else was complaining about “drop everything and read” at school, you were psyched out of your mind. Basically, reading was your No. 1 favorite thing, in addition to a long list of things related to reading that all book nerds loved as a kid.
Prizes for Summer Reading at the Library
Library contests were your forté, so when they offered prizes in the summer, you were so THERE. I can remember winning baseball tickets from a raffle one year, after I read more than one hundred books one summer. If you were like me, you literally didn't care what the prize was; you only cared that you had actually won something just for reading books, which is what you were going to be doing all summer anyway.
Book Dress Up Day Costumes
The only bad thing about Book Character Dress Up Day at school was that YOU COULD NEVER DECIDE WHICH CHARACTER TO GO AS. So many favorite characters, so few days allotted for dressing up like them, am I right? (Of course, you could always just dress up as Pippi Longstocking every day, whether it's Dress Up Day or not. Conformity be darned!) Anyway, you worked on your costume for WEEKS before this day at school, and wore it again on Halloween because it was so perfect.
Book Fair Books
Something about books purchased from the book fair made them more special than any other books. First of all, they were always so bright and colorful. Second of all, you got to shop. For books. During school. What more could you ask for?
Cozy Reading Nooks
From bean bag chairs, to inflatable furniture, to cozy window seats, every young book nerd needs A Nook Of One's Own to escape the world and read. Personally, I was always obsessed with old Victorian homes that had high little towers, because I imagined that they were filled with books and windows and one little chair just for me.
Educational Computer Games
Most of the students would complain when forced to play educational games in computer class, but not you. No, you were excited at the prospect of any literature-related games, especially if they involved defining difficult words or reading long stories and answering questions about them. Who cared if it was a trick to get you to learn? You got to read AND play a computer game at the same time!
The only collection more expansive than your pile of Lip Smackers and gel pens was your stack of cool bookmarks. They were cheap to buy, easy to make, and readily customizable, and you had about a billion. (The one above, which is particularly awesome, can be purchased here).
The Next Book In Your Favorite Series
There was a time when you would mark down the days on your "Pictures of Kittens" calendar, just WAITING for the next Percy Jackson to be released. Sometimes you even had to wait until the library had a copy, and obviously your name would be first on the list. But still... that wait was AGONY. Once you finally got the book in your hands, though, you'd be curled up with it until you finished it, no matter what was happening in the outside world.
Book-Themed Barbie Dolls
These were rare, but once in a while, Mattel read your mind and made a LITERATURE-THEMED BARBIE DOLL. You immediately added it to your book-themed action figure collection. Whenever you didn't have the doll you needed to act out your favorite books, though, you made do with what you had. Did I have a shoebox decorated like a wizard's bedroom, complete with Chudley Cannons posters that I colored myself? Maybe. Maybe not.
Who needed a credit card, when you had something even BETTER? To quote the PBS show Arthur... "Having fun isn't hard, when you've got a library card."
Book-Themed Paper Dolls
The essential toy for any fashion-forward young book nerd, literature-themed paper dolls were the GREATEST. You could cut out each one and design more clothes for Sara Crewe, or Cinderella, or any of the characters from Little Women .
Books on Tape
For any young Walkman owner, audiobooks were a must-have item. You listened to your favorite stories until the tapes wore out, but it didn't matter at that point because you knew them by heart. Bonus points if you owned the kind that came in plastic bags and also had a picture book for you to follow along while listening.
Boxed Sets of Books
Of course, the ultimate thing every book nerd loved as a kid was, obviously, BOOKS. You got excited every time you bought a new one, whether at a yard sale, bookstore, or from the Scholastic order forms at school. The best were the boxed sets where all the books matched, so you could read the WHOLE COLLECTION in one sitting and never leave your reading nook. And, since a love of books is a lifetime romance, that's probably still your idea of a dream come true.