Musings From A Bookmammal

Musing Mondays–This Is How My Book Buying Habit Began . . .


Click here to play along!

Click here to play along!

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme that asks you to muse about one of several “bookish” questions… or, you can just ramble on about anything you like that pertains to books! You can join in by clicking the graphic above. Go ahead–it’s fun!

Here’s my Musing Monday ramble for the week: 

vintage book club

Does this bring back any memories?

When I was in elementary school, I always loved the days when my teachers would pass out the little book club newsletters every month or so. I’d sit there with my friends and we’d excitedly go through the books offered that month and we’d circle the ones we wanted. I remember that there were other things offered as well, such as posters and stickers, but I always went straight for the books.

At home I’d show my mom what I’d selected, and we’d narrow it down to just a few. Sometimes I’d have to use my own money, sometimes my parents would treat me. I can remember carefully filling out the little order form, clipping it out, and putting it into an envelope along with the exact change to pay for my order.

When the books arrived a few weeks later, it was torture to see the box sitting on the teacher’s desk and know that I had to wait for the end of the day–or, even worse, the NEXT DAY!– when she would pass out our books!

When I became a teacher, one of the first things I did was find out how I could get my class signed up to receive the monthly book club newsletters. Only a few of my kids would ever place orders—most of them didn’t come from homes where there was a lot of extra money–but I always placed a big order myself every month to add more books to our classroom library.

When the books would arrive, the custodian would bring the box to my classroom. If it was at all possible, I would stop whatever was going on in class, make a big production of opening the box, and would immediately start showing the kids each new book that would now be added to our class library. At the end of the day, there would be a crowd of kids by the shelves, each one trying to be the first to check out one of the new books.

I was over at my parents’ house about a month ago going through some boxes, and I actually found some of those bookclub books from my childhood—they’re several decades old by now, but I can still remember the thrill of bringing those books home from school knowing that they wouldn’t have to be returned to the library—they were mine to keep. And I’m pretty sure that this was the very beginning of my book buying habit that continues to this day!

How about you? Did you have the chance to make book club purchases when you were in school? Do you remember any of the books you bought? Do your kids bring home book club newsletters? Please share!

Author: bookmammal

I love books, reading, writing, cooking, eating, reading while eating, and sharing thoughts about all of the above–plus a bit more! I usually post about topics relating to books and literacy during the week, and then participate in a variety of non-bookish memes on the weekend. Please feel free to join in! Some random things about me– –I have multiple bookshelves in every room of my home except the bathroom. They’re all filled to bursting. They help to make my house my home. –I have two cats who I love dearly, but who I definitely do NOT dress in human clothing. Ever. –I’ve never had a cavity. –I make a mean spaghetti sauce. –I’m a newcomer to yoga and I love it. –My day is not complete without a little chocolate.

22 thoughts on “Musing Mondays–This Is How My Book Buying Habit Began . . .

  1. I don’t remember having these when I was a kid but my kids do bring them home and I love looking through them. My kids will usually circle ones they want too. We have 2 book fairs a year at school and it’s so fun to go to those too. The teachers will bring their classrooms through so the kids can look around and write any down that they want. The teachers always have a classroom book wish list and I will buy one for my kids to donate to their classroom. Our school really promotes reading and tracking minutes they read at home. I buy so many books I have a huge stack that I don’t know if I’ll ever get through!

    • How great that your kids attend a school that is actively emphasizing literacy (hard to believe, but some still don’t!), and how great that you are also working to help your kids become lifelong readers!

  2. What a great post!! I had forgotten about the monthly book orders but I did the same. I loved getting the books and went looking for them when I had children. I had boxed them up and put them in the attic at my Mother’s house. When I started looking they were not there. She had given them away. It is great that you found some you purchased. Here is my post: MM

  3. I loved the book orders!!! What a great post.

  4. Thanks for the reminder! I do remember something like that….and while I didn’t get to order very many, I would sometimes find the books in the library. The library was my special place as a kid.


  5. Oh my gosh, I almost completely forgot about those! My school didn’t have Arrow, but we had Troll by Scholastic. Man, oh, man did I look forward to the days when those order forms (and then the books!!!!!!) were handed out!

    Very, very awesome to hear that you made sure to do the same for your students 😀

    • I always made a HUGE deal about it when the custodian would bring in that box. I figured that I couldn’t expect the kids to get excited about books if I wasn’t excited myself. Luckily, I never had to fake it–I’ve ALWAYS been a total geek about books!

  6. Only one of the three primary schools I went to had these newsletters, I’d forgotten all about them! I was only allowed one from each newsletter but I do remember the excitement the day they got delivered. All the other books I owned someone else chose for me but the newsletter I got to choose for myself… Happy memories thanks for another great post! 🙂

    • The power of choice–study after study shows that kids are more apt to read books they select themselves. Seems obvious, but apparently not to all . . . 🙂

      • Too much to do with reading is overlooked in my opinion…. I’m not a teacher but in some ways things haven’t changed a great deal since I went to school. One of my children was called a liar about the number and type of books she read, the other was constantly that he needed to read more without them finding out what he actually did read!

  7. Sounds lovely! No, we never had these. But we did have a wonderful library, lined with wooden shelves… it was good to spend time there. i have actually never been part of a book club as such!

  8. This sounds interesting, Bookmammal. In my school days, each class had a library and Wednesday used to be our Library Day. Each student was allowed to borrow 2 books for 1 week. Two of my friends back then were not much of a book person and I used to take their quota of books too, which meant 6 books for myself to indulge in 1 week. And I was one happy soul! 😀
    Thanks Bookmammal for bringing back the wonderful memories.

  9. Dont think we had them as a kid but my three children did and yes we sometimes ordered from them. My youngest used to get very excited about wanting to place an order. We now homeschool so we dont get them but we frequent the library and I never mind buying books for her. I remember my mum buying me a set of Little Women etc books from a bookclub when I was a teenager and Im pretty sure I still have them packed away somewhere. I remember being very excited about that. Heres my musing:

  10. Thanks for pointing me to this post! This was exactly me! Circling what I wanted and having to whittle it down to a few with my mom. Then I did the same thing with my boy. I really like how you made a big deal out of the books you took out of the box in front of the class–you’re right! Get them interested! I wish I had done that–but I will now! 🙂 Thanks!!!

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