Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Book Order Magic


Do you remember getting those book orders when you were in elementary school? They were 4 or 6 pages long and offered you a wide variety of books to buy. To me it was magic. A catalogue of books...a short catalogue, but a catalogue nonetheless!

We didn't grow up in a house with lots of money - but we never knew it. My folks knew reading was important to me. Books were more than objects - more like friends.

I still have several of the books I ordered back then - they're in my classroom today. The kids get a kick out of it when I show them that I've kept them.

I, obviously, continue to give out book orders at school. I go through the pages and discuss what I know of the books. Not all of the kids in the school I teach at can afford books, but they love to look and dream too. And they know if they really want one of the books in the order, I'll buy it for the classroom. :)

Today my latest box of books arrived. For the class, we had 3 graphic novels, 3 novels, 2 historical books and 1 science book. The kids get so excited when we get new books! Lots of ooohs and aahhhs. I have to use a jar with all the students' names in it to help me choose the kids who get to read them first. They get snapped up so quickly! Love it!

Do you remember getting those book orders? Were they magic for you too? :)

106 comments:

  1. YES! Wow! I completely forgot about these until now. I remember checking just about everything on list, giddy with the possibilities of new stories. Similarly, books were more than just something to read for me - I completely immersed myself in their world.

    Thank you so much for this little flash back. <3

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  2. Shannon - you're so welcome! It's always a thrill in the classroom when the books come in. It doesn't matter what we're doing - we stop hand out the books and use the jar to figure out who gets to read what! :)

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  3. Yes, and I still love looking at the flyers now when my daughter brings them home. We had the RIF mobile that came around once or twice a year when I was little and we could pick out a book for free. That was always a great day!

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  4. Susan - me too! I dream right along with the kids still! :)

    I've never heard of the RIF mobiles - what an amazing thing!

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  5. They were definitely magic. So many adventures to select from. I still feel that way when I walk into a bookstore.

    Mason
    Thoughts in Progress

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  6. Mason - exactly! It's a feeling of possibilities! Perfect! :)

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  7. LOVE book orders. I send them home every month. :) Much of my classroom library is my own book order stash, by the hundreds! I've also ordered tons of older books for my own kids that are currently just sitting on shelves (full series, like Harry Potter, Little House, Narnia) because they're so much cheaper from book orders than buying them anywhere else.

    Funny thing is, even though I can order them all myself through my own book orders, when my kids bring them home from school (third grade and preschool), I always let them choose books. Like you, I have great memories of my new special books coming in, and my older daughter is a crazy voracious reader. This past month, I got her some new fiction and she was dying for an almanac. :)

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  8. Lindsey - Me too! My classroom is FULL of book order books. The kids estimate (math lesson!) I have about 2000 novels and 1000 nonfiction books in the room. It's awesome! :)

    Several of my kids have ordered those almanacs too. I had a couple as a kid and loved them too. Fun facts!

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  9. I still think about that...it was always my favorite part of school! And my parents could only afford about two each time which tore me apart since I usually wanted the majority of them!
    Great to hear that kids are still so excited to read!

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  10. Julie - I usually only got one book - so it was a delicious time choosing which one! Loved it :)

    The kids in my class love books and reading. Independent reading time is gold!

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  11. Awww reading this brought back memories! I fondly remember the book orders when I was in school and it was so exciting! I was reading since I could hold a book and books were pretty much all I was ever interested in, so every book was magic to me. The book orders were great though.

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  12. Elle - I'm glad I could bring back some good memories for you! There was always something special to me about getting the books from that box - I just loved it! :)

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  13. We never had those cataloges, but anything to do with books IS magic.
    And I adore teachers who pass on the love of reading to their students. Mine didn't, but the teacher of my older one is.

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  14. Rayna - I assumed the book orders were world wide - but maybe it's a North AMerican phenomenon.

    I'm so glad your son's teacher is passing along that love of reading. It's SO important!!!

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  15. I still have some books on my shelf from those days.
    I love how you create the excitement with names in the jar.
    xo

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  16. What a fun and fab way to get books for children!!!

    Take care
    x

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  17. Michelle - I'm glad I'm not the only one who still has those books! It's always a fun day in my class!

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  18. Old Kitty - thanks! I love the book orders - everyone gets so excited! :)

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  19. We didn'y have book orders here in the UK, but sounds fun,

    Yvonne,

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  20. Yvonne - Hm. It's looking like it's a North American thing. I loved it as a kid - and still love it as an adult!

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  21. I don't remember those from my own school days (back in the dark ages) but I certainly do from my kids and now from my grandkids, who know they can always hit me up for an order. The closest bit of magic I remember from childhood was the Bookmobile - a traveling branch of the local library that came through the neighborhood every three weeks during the summer. Magic - brought right to my door (or at least one block over).

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  22. I'm with Linda (back in the dark ages) but my kids loved those book orders. I couldn't afford them each time, but they were a special treat when I could.

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  23. Hi Jemi .. gosh we were lucky - we had a library at school .. and I did read and read .. and at home we had masses of books too .. So I can imagine the little ones being so thrilled to see books arrive .. I've some young friends .. and they're always down at the Library .. great news .. and a fun happy read .. Hilary

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  24. Yes and it was always exciting to get the new books - still is. Now my kids order them and get excited.

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  25. I love that you're children get so excited :)

    I don;t think we had Book Orders in the UK but they sound fun!

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  26. Omigosh Jemi, when I saw the title of your post, even before I read a word I got excited chills thinking of the book orders from grade school. Yes yes so thrilling!! I remember it as the best part of school!

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  27. LOVED the Scholastic book order forms, although we didn't have the money to spare for them. If they weren't at the library, we didn't read them. (maybe that's why I'm such a book addict!)

    I've discovered Boos-A-Million's sale shelf--with a 20% educator discount, I can buy a pile of the $2.97 books for my classroom library. Yay books!

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  28. Oh, how I LOVED book orders - love, love, loved them! It's one of the things I miss out on by teaching high school kids. I've tried book orders with them, but they just don't want to go there anymore - at least not publicly! :-)

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  29. What wonderful classroom magic! Your kids are lucky. So many kids today don't read and they are missing out.

    Nice Christmas story:)

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  30. That is wonderful. We used to have something similar when I was in Primary school (I think that is our version of Middle school). Once a year the book people would come round and the school would pick new books. The best thing is that we could buy them as well. I loved it.

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  31. I remember the scholastic pages and yes, they were magic to me! I didn't grow up in a 'book' home, so it was my only opportunity to pick out books to own.

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  32. Linda - love the book mobile idea! I wonder if that happens anywhere nowadays??? It's funny how kids know who will always say yes to buying a book! :)

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  33. Lynn - exactly. I know we didn't even get them at school very often. So buying a book was a HUGE deal for me! :)

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  34. Hilary - we didn't have a library in our elementary school - I think they got one the year after I left. My parents always drove me to the library though - loved it!

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  35. Laura - it's a great family tradition to pass along! My kids get so excited when the books come - even the ones who didn't order! :)

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  36. Alexa - yes - it's starting to sound like it's a North American thing. It's a lot of fun - the kids love it! :)

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  37. Karen - love it!!! It's amazing what a powerful memory it is!! It was such a thrill getting them in!

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  38. Yes, I loved them...AND the bookmobile REALLY made me giddy. :)

    Even when my daughter brought home bookfair catalogs, I let her spend as much as she wanted. Now when we go to B & N every weekend, we each spend close to $100. Yep. Every week. I still love buying (and reading) books. :)

    Scholastic has a nice list of authors...I think even Maggie's Shiver and Liner are pubbed by Scholastic.

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  39. Mary - we didn't buy often either - but I still loved studying the catalogue and dreaming! I would also use it as a 'shopping' list when I went to the library! :)

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  40. Shannon - yes - everything changes in high school! They'll still buy and borrow and read books, but buying them from a book order has lost its magic!

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  41. Terry - thanks! I love seeing kids reading! I still have the older kids come into my classroom to borrow my books. They know I have a better and more modern selection than the school library! :)

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  42. Lindsay - that's a neat idea too! Anything that gets kids excited about reading is awesome! Love it :)

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  43. Laura - My parents didn't grow up in book homes either - I give them a LOT of credit for making sure I had access to the books I loved! :)

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  44. Lola - awesome!!!! :) What a way to spend a weekend - in the bookstore!

    Scholastic does have a lot of good authors! One of the older students came into my room today to return Shiver and grab Linger! :)

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  45. Absolutely! And I love that you take the time to go through them with your students. I always felt they were a great vehicle for introducing and discussing genres.
    I think the only book that remains from the few I ordered (money was tight) is LITTLE WITCH.

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  46. Kathryn - exactly. We've talked about the fun that is steampunk because of these flyers! It's such fun to be able to do mini book talks when we go through them. :) I love that you still have the Little Witch!!

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  47. OMG yes! They were! I can't believe I forgot about those things. And the book fairs in the library. How fun were they?

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  48. Kimberly - They really are magic! I love the book fairs too! Although my savvy classroom shoppers realize the deals are better in the monthly flyers! :)

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  49. Bummer, we didn't get to do many book orders!

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  50. Alex - that IS a bummer! I didn't get many chances to do book orders, but I loved them!! :)

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  51. Absolutely. The teachers would hand them out to all the kids in class and we'd look over all the books. It was exciting. That was high tech back in the day. Old school. That's how we rolled. Now my kids bring them home and its Deja Vu. I have as much fun as they do reading the titles and excerpts, then picking a few out to order.

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  52. Stephen - It is fun! I was always so disappointed when my kids' teachers chose not to send them home. It creates such an excitement for books! :) Glad to hear so many places are still doing it!

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  53. So fun! When I was a kid, we had a Bookmobile that came to our school once in a while, like a portable library, and it was great to browse the books in it. I love it when kids are excited about book, especially now that I have grandkids and my first children's book published! How wonderful that you still have those books, Jemi. Thanks for sharing the memories!

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  54. Connie - bookmobiles sound terrific!! It's so much fun to see kids get all excited about reading and books. Glad you enjoyed the stroll down memory lane! :)

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  55. I loved those catalogs! I would pore over them wanting so many things. And I didn't understand finances back then, so I thought they were expensive luxuries. I was so pleased to get one or two books per order.

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  56. Medeia - exactly! I spent forever choosing the books ... still do actually! :) It's fun to dream big and then to decide which ones mean the most. :)

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  57. Oh, yes, I remember. And now when my grandson brings his book order forms home from school I still get excited. Earlier this week I ordered a book for him.
    Donna v.
    http://donnasbookpub.blogspot.com

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  58. Donna - that's awesome! I could never deny my kids books when those orders came in. We got so many goodies! :)

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  59. Oh, I remember those days fondly. The book order seemed to take AGES to come! That was the best dau ever, when it arrived.

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  60. Talli - exactly!! The wait until it came seemed so long! At least it's faster now with Internet ordering! :)

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  61. I remember those! Yes, they were definitely magic for me. I also loved the bookmobile. I'd get giant stacks of books everytime I went.
    Lisa ~ YA Literature Lover

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  62. I always ordered the stuff with the action figure or light-up decoder right that came with.

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  63. I loved those book orders! I still do. I watch my fifth graders go to book fairs and sign up for book orders, and I just get so excited for them. I would buy half of the catalog if I could!

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  64. Lisa - awesome! I wish we'd had book mobitles too! They sound terrific! :)

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  65. Chris - a lot of my students enjoy ordering those items too. They're so much fun. The Bone figurines are very popular!

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  66. Shelley - Me too! It's really hard - okay impossible - to resist ordering more than I should be. How do resist buying books for kids. Apparently I don't!

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  67. I can't remember any book order catalogues but I do remember going to book fairs at my school. Exciting times, albeit depressing because I rarely had the money unless my grandma chipped in. But to see all those books in one place was magical. :D

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  68. My daughter still gets those book orders, and I remember the feeling of receiving my book order books (which I still have many of). Thanks for the great memory!

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  69. That's reminded me of when I used to order books for my class of 8 to 9 year olds. It's a wonderful age to teach and they used to get every bit as excited as yours do. There is a lot that I don't miss about teaching but that's one of the things I do miss.
    p.s. There's an award for you on my blog :-)

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  70. Oh I LOVE that! I used to adore getting those orders and now my kids do too! Haven't seen them much this year though come to think of it. Not that my kids are lacking for books. In fact I wish they'd be a bit more voracious with their reading habits.

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  71. Yes! I remember the magic! And I'm so giddy that my girls (in elementary school) get the same orders and bring them home. Although what really makes me geek out is the book fair the school has each spring, and we get to go peruse and handle and pick the beauties we want. :)

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  72. Oh, yes. Book orders are magical. My own children still love them. Well, the 5 year old does. She circles all the princess-y stuff. So. Cute.

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  73. Amanda - it really is magic. The book fairs at school are always huge hits with the kids too. :)

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  74. Heidi - you're so welcome. It's a good memory for so many people! My kids enjoyed them too :)

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  75. Rosalind - there really is something special about seeing kids excited about reading and books!

    Thank you - I'll pop on over! :) You made my day!

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  76. Lisa - book orders are a great way to make kids enthusiastic about book orders. My students always love it when they come!

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  77. Janna - I loved buying them with my kids too!! And book fairs really are magical. It's so nice to see the variety of books in person and get to flip through them - especially the nonfiction!

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  78. Elana - the princessy stuff is awesome! It's so much fun to buy - my daughter never got into the princess things so I missed out!

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  79. I loved book order day when I was a teacher. I would pass out the books right before the kids went home. I would try and do it while they were at recess, so I wouldn't have to call out names...I was one of those kids who couldn't afford book orders when I was in school. A couple times a year I would use my points and buy everyone a book. :)

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  80. Sharon - book order days are special. I have lots of kids who can't afford books either which is why I always buy some for the class and then have the draw for them. Always builds some fun! :)

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  81. Such a sweet story! How I wish every child could have their own personal shelf of books they love. Books from book orders opened up worlds for me that I never dreamed existed.

    Thanks for sharing, Jemi!

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  82. Didn't have those in my school. But I always got books at Christmastime & on my birthday. Books make the best gifts!

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  83. Jackee - thanks! I love the book orders and the magic they share. It's always special! :)

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  84. Notes from Nadir - I totally agree. I keep heading back to my local book store for more Xmas gifts. A family member has a brand new baby and I've bought him a ton of books already!! :)

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  85. Totally! We didn't have a lot of money either, so when I was allowed to order, I had to decide what I REALLY wanted. The yearly book fair was great too. I think I got a whopping $10 or $15 to spend, and I always took the longest to decide in my class.

    My school just had their book fair last year. I brought three students groups, but wound up spending plenty on my own children.

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  86. Theresa - We didn't have book fairs when I was growing up, but I love them at the school now. You can see the kids running their hands over the covers of the books they'd like. Our PTA gives us some money for the fair for our classrooms, so I get the kids who don't have money help me pick out the books for the class. That way everyone gets something!

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  87. I totally remember those, AND my 5th grade boys still bring them home. They're always so excited about them!

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  88. Since I was such a big reader, I loved it when my own kids brought home the orders. Receiving books is like getting Christmas no matter what time of the year it is.

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  89. Julie - that's awesome!! Those book orders have sure created some wonderful memories!! :)

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  90. Helen - exactly! Even though I'd get more points if I ordered their books from my orders, I always let them order from their own if they wanted. Nothing like getting those books in class. :)

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  91. When the Scholastic book order comes in every month to my classroom, I feel like Steve Martin during that scene in THE JERK, when he runs around yelling, "The new phone book is here. The new phone book is here."

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  92. Yes, I loved the book orders and my mother would always let me get a few. I also think that I probably still have some of those books somewhere. As I recall I think they were always less than a dollar each, and though a dollar bought more then it was also scarcer. I never could get as many books as I would have liked, but I guess I'm still that way.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  93. Oh, I remember! I'd forgotten, but it's all just come back in a flood. We used to get them to take home, and I'd go through it with my mother, starting out with my ambit claim of half the catalogue. That was out of the question, so we'd discuss and whittle it down a little (though never as much as we should have done) and then, oh joy, they'd arrive!

    Thank you so much for reminding me of this!

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  94. Leslie - LOVE it!!! That scene is so funny and it's a perfect example of how I feel too! :) Glad I'm not alone.

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  95. Lee - exactly! I don't think it's possible for most of us to get all the books we want! I let the kids at school have some input into what I spend. It's exciting for them too :)

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  96. Amie - you're so welcome! It was such a fun time studying it and deciding which ones we could get. My folks didn't have much money, but they always found some for me!

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  97. Diane - that's sad :( We only did them a few times because our school wasn't in a rich area, but I vividly remember the excitement of getting them. :)

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  98. Jemi, I DO!!! Wow! You brought back the coolest memories!!!!
    Thank you!

    Patti

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  99. Patti - I'm so glad I could! Book orders are such fun!! :)

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  100. I adored book orders when I was little and now I love going through them with my daughter. She earns books off her chore chart- she's only 4, but loves her preschool book orders!

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  101. Stephanie - What a great idea!!! My kids always enjoyed books too - although my son would take a ball or a puck or any kind of sports equipment first!

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  102. I'm not sure we had this kind of book order deal when I was in grade school...but that was so long ago, who could remember? I do remember the bookshelves in our country grade school classrooms though. I read every book in that school at least once.

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  103. Patricia - lol :) We didn't have novels in our classrooms. In fact, I don't remember often getting any time at all to read. Most of our work was nonfiction, poetry and some short stories. Sad. Probably why I was so excited about the library and the book orders!

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  104. Absolutely! We didn't have tons of money either, but my parents always said yes to books. I loved those book orders! It was so fun getting something when it wasn't my birthday or Christmas.

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  105. Laura - exactly! It was SUCH a treat! I'd go home and read it right away - and then read it again for good measure :)

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