Oh, the book nerd: a species for whom every waking breath is nothing more than an opportunity to read, to talk about what you're reading, or to muse about what you're going to read next. I'm with you 100 percent. Sure, maybe actually growing up as a book nerd had its pitfalls (it’s a whole lot easier to say, “Screw you, I'm staying in to read tonight!” at 27 years old than it is at 9). But, still, when I think about my life-long history with the astoundingly perfect item that is the bound, printed book, I really only have fond memories of my childhood book-nerdy ways.
I don't remember a time when I wasn't surrounded by books, and I can't think of anything I'd rather have done than read. In school, recess was nothing more than an opportunity to read under a tree instead of at my desk, and lunchtime just that burdensome 30 minutes when everything was far too loud and sticky to really enjoy a good book. At home, reading was the thing I did as a reward after finishing all my homework, and the television was that tiny box on the wall that displayed my favorite books in performance (I don't think I knew, or cared, that the television broadcast more than Anne of Green Gables, Little House on the Prairie, and Winnie the Pooh until I was about 11.)
Scholastic Books Order Forms
They were two sheets of thin, colorful, newsprint-style paper, folded in half and distributed in your school cubbies monthly, and THEY CONTAINED THE WORLD. Once a month you carefully carried the fragile, four-page booklet home to your mother like it was the Gutenberg Bible and just like magic, four to six weeks later, books appeared! There was nothing not to love about this process. Even the order forms smelled like new books.
Scholastic Books Deliveries
The only thing better than Scholastic Books order form day was Scholastic Books delivery day. When Teddy, the lovable janitor, rolled into your classroom with that dolly stacked with boxes you just KNEW everything you'd ever wanted (at least for the last four to six weeks) was contained in them. And as soon as Mrs. Olsen finished distributing each stack of books (let's be real, yours was always the tallest) into each student's cubby, you just HAD to ask to go to the bathroom, in order to slowly walk past your cubby and try to glimpse at what you got. It was like Christmas morning. Only better.
Book Reports And Literary Dioramas
Oh the book diorama. Is there a school child in America who hasn't made a shoebox diorama out of Hatchet? The best part of the book report/book diorama combo? Zero group work involved.
The "Around the World" In Books Challenge
Whether you traveled around the whole world, or just the whole classroom, chances are at some point you were given a small, cardboard decoration (mine was a hot air balloon) with your name printed on it that traveled around (and around, and around) the designated classroom route at a pace relative to how many books you read throughout the school year. Sometimes your rapid travels made you popular, and most of the time they didn't, but either way it was serious joy. You didn't really notice whether or not the other kids liked you anyway — you were too busy reading.
Nowadays school children probably have computer lab hour, or tablet hour, but back in the good ol' days when you and I were in school, we had library hour and it was without a doubt the best hour of the entire school week. First, someone read to you while you sat on a tiny carpet square of your own choosing. Then you were set loose in the shelves. I checked out Ella Enchanted and the children's adaptation of The Faerie Queen probably 4,000 times. The real treat was when your friendly school librarian let you scan your own book at checkout.
The Newest Magic Treehouse Book
First of all, there is a tree house filled with books. Second of all, the tree house can fly, and time travel, and will take you to whatever place and time you're reading about. Dinosaurs Before Dark, in which characters Jack and Annie discover the tree house, read a book about dinosaurs, and travel to prehistoric times, was the first book I ever read cover-to-cover all my myself (and then I read it over and over again until I had it memorized, and the pages fell out.) I swear the trio of authors behind the Magic Treehouse series has written hundreds of books, so you were NEVER at a loss for a new one. Unless you read too fast. And then waiting was kind of a tragedy.
The End Of Math Class
Sure, this might not be true for all you number-savvy gals, but in general I kind of feel like book nerds and a hatred of math go together like peanut butter and jelly. Luckily, the emotional and intellectual torment that is subtraction was abated by the knowledge that math class was bound to end at some point, and then you could quietly go back to reading.
Every Single time Your Teacher Said, "If you finish your work early you may read at your desk quietly."
Was this not always the very best moment of the school day? Did you not rush through your spelling and geography every single time your teacher put forth this offer to you? Did you not always have a book perched right at the very edge of your desk, just waiting for your teacher to say those few little words that would take your day from average, to AMAZING? I know I did.
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