Thursday, February 10, 2011

Scholastic Book Club


Aw, who doesn't fondly remember Scholastic Book Club? Well, maybe those kids who hated reading, but even they would usually find a thin paperback about Roger Staubach (not looking so good these days, by the way) or movie monsters or something to tide them over.


The teacher would pass out the catalogs, and you'd grab a pen and start circling the books you wanted. Mom and dad might not let you get every single thing you marked, but usually they were pretty excited to have you reading, so they'd at least get you something. You'd fill out the form, show up at school with your envelope of money, and then forget all about it till that magic day when the big box arrived and your teacher handed everything out. The new books smelled great and you'd stack up your pile and eagerly await going home and cracking one open. Some of us always had the biggest stack in the class. You know who you are.


Dynamite (awesome cover collection here) and Bananas Magazine also came from Scholastic, and in those innocent days pre-People Magazine, they were unbelievably cool. Jokes! Magic tricks! Celebrity interviews! Info about TV shows and movies! Comic strips!


Hillary at I'm Remembering has an awesome picture of a 1991 Scholastic Book Club catalog. That's after my time, but it's familiar enough. (If anyone finds a photo of one from the 1970s-1980s, drop us a line!).


Here's an article from the NY Times last year talking about how the Club is modernizing and using social networking, etc. And here's a great Flickr group with vintage Scholastic books and illustrations. And a Can I Haz Cheeseburger blog, Epic Win, remembers them fondly.


Do you remember Scholastic Book Club? Still have any of the titles you ordered, or remember what they were?

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

You have described the experience PERFECTLY. The only book I remember specifically getting this way was a story about a girl who decides to tell only the absolute truth from now on, and then alienates her best friend by telling her her haircut is awful. Cannot remember the title . . . .

Anonymous said...

I fondly remember Scholastic Book Club, and it is alive and well at my daughter's elementary school (2nd grade). She LOVES to order books and like you said, I have a hard time saying no!

Brian said...

Book days (the day the Scholastic Book orders came in) were among the highlights of the school year, almost up there with birthday parties and the last days of school before Christmas or summer vacation (no, I didn't have an attitude problem...). I always copped out and ordered Dynamite magazine and comic books, usually Peanuts compilations, though I do remember getting a pretty cool book about UFOs. There were always one or two kids who never got anything, and I always felt sorry for them. Some teachers would randomly order books and give them to those kids.

Rachel said...

I loved the book club! My best friend was the one who always got the most books--she would have a huge pile of like 10 books and of course I was jealous. :)

Brian, that's so nice that your teachers would buy books for the kids without any! To my knowledge, my teachers never did that.

violetxoxox said...

I also got the book the first poster was talking about. I still have it, in fact. It's "Truth And Consequences" by Miriam Young. I still have all the books I ever got through Scholastic. "Yes, I do know who I am," says the girl who always had the biggest stack in her class. The books I loved most were the collections of ghost stories. And any books about witches (the ones I adored most and still go back and read sometimes were by Ruth Chew — "The Wednesday Witch," "Magic In The Park," "What The WItch Left," she wrote so many!). I remember so many summer days spent lying on the grass under a tree reading those books.

Anonymous said...

Just so you know, that Flickr link has been privatized, so you might want to delete it from the post. It's just going to frustrate people when they can't actually view it. (I know it frustrated me, because I'm trying to find old Scholastic titles from my childhood -- books my mom tossed out -- and hitting that dead end was no fun.)

Shanda said...

I also LOVED getting books from the "book orders". I would come to class everyday looking for that big box and I would just about bust by the time the teacher finally passed out the books and posters and sticker books and all the really cool stuff you could order! I still have a couple of the books that I got, but there's one that I loved so much about a girl who found out she was killed and reincarnated and there was a boy who was hurt in some sort of machine and she ran into him as an old man. She recalled everyone telling her "don't make Scotty mad" or something similar. I would loved to get my hands on this book again! My favorites were all the scary stories and mysteries. :)

Anonymous said...

Anyone remember a book where there was a planet that literally everything on it was deadly. The hero had a special gun up his sleeve and his reflexes were very fast.

I told my son about this and he would like to read it but I don't remember the name.