Monday, August 30, 2010

Goodreads: Bookworms Anonymous

Goodreads reminds me of a reading program we had in Illinois back in grade school.  Actually, I'm not sure if it was a reading program as much as it was a clever way for kids (and their parents) to buy books directly from children's publishers.  Every year, each student would get this shiny brochure filled with pictures and excerpts of cool books about everything from walkabouts in Australia to kids who lived on deserted islands.

As a burgeoning bookworm, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven.  You'd simply check off all the books you wanted and then hand it into your teacher.  Easy as pie.  It was better than Hot Dog Day! Naturally, as a kid, you never thought that any of these books would actually cost hard-earned cash.  And thankfully, because my mom was such an avid book reader, she never got too mad when I'd come home from lunch with my completed shiny brochure and tell her, "Hey, Mom, I picked out 25 books at school today. Isn't that cool?"  To which she'd reply, "You know, Liz, you can always check out books from the library..."

Then after your Mom sent you back to school with a check, then you'd have to wait for what seemed like forever till your stack of books arrived.  But when they did, nirvana!

I don't remember the specific name for this reading program but it sort of reminds me of Goodreads.  Every time I log onto Goodreads, I get positively giddy thinking about all the cool books I can read, simply with a click of my mouse.  Of course, then I remember that I have to buy them--assuming I can't find them at my library.  Now that my local library loans e-books, it's reduced my book-buying crack habit, if only just a little.  I still download way too many books.

Anyone else remember a book program like that in grade school? Do they still exist?
P.S. If you're on Goodreads, friend me! I'd love to see what you're reading. 

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Hey, It's Monday already! Don't forget the Monday Author Blog Hop. A great way to meet new people and books. Check out these authors and leave a comment as you hop around! If you're a published author, join the hop. It's easy and fun and you'll find the link below:

23 comments:

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

What fun! I joined!

Liz Fichera said...

Great to see you on the hop, Cindy!

KarenG said...

I grew up in Illinois and did this, and so did my kids who went to grade school there. Getting that stack of books was pure heaven. Usually I'd forgotten I'd ordered them and then there they were!

Liz Fichera said...

Hi Karen! And wasn't it fun to hole up for a whole weekend, reading all of them? It was like Christmas.

Dru said...

I remember this program but I can't recall the name...I thought it was Scholastic something.

It was great when the books came and then I sat down on the floor and wanted to read all of them at the same time.

Liz Fichera said...

Scholastic! Dru, I think you're right. That sounds familiar and would make sense too. Whoever it was, they made a fortunate at my school!

Liz Fichera said...

Or...fortune. :-)

Nicki Elson said...

Yep, it's Scholastic! And we're still doing them in Illinois. We set up a whole bookstore in the school library, and at my kids' school, they have a day where they get to peruse the books and make a list of what they want. Yep, 25 sounds about right. D'oh! And yep, it's an AWESOME fundraiser for our school library. :)

I have fond memories of the book fair from when I was in gradeschool, too. Black Beauty and Black Beauty Returns, oh yeah.

Liz Fichera said...

Hi Nicki,

Black Beauty--I probably read (and cried) over that book a hundred times! Glad to hear the tradition continues! :-)

Talli Roland said...

I love Goodreads! It's so much fun.

Liz Fichera said...

Hi Talli, I'm new to it, but I'm loving it. It's like Christmas every day whenever I go online. :-)

Jenny Schwartz said...

I can't believe it. All the way over here in Australia I think we had the same book program. I remember my cousin was given (and passed on) the really sad book on one thousand paper cranes. On reflection, I wonder if that's where my anti-nuclear tendencies started?

Thanks for the blog linky link, Liz!

Liz Fichera said...

Jenny, you are welcome - glad you liked it!

I remember distinctly a book that I got from this program that talked about a young boy who did a walkabout in Australia. I can still see the cover in my head. Couldn't put it down; read it a dozen times.

Toni Anderson said...

Liz, I remember a walkabout book about boy. It was wonderful. There were these descriptions about endless stretches of water... does that ring any bells??

Liz Fichera said...

Toni, oh, yes! What I remembered most about the book, other than the face of this boy (who was probably about my age at the time) was the vivid descriptions of the landscape, so desolate and yet beautiful, and how this young boy had to survive. I was in awe.

Jenny Schwartz said...

I bet the book was Walkabout http://www.amazon.com/Walkabout-James-Vance-Marshall/dp/0887410995 I think it's been made into a movie a couple of times.

Shelley Munro said...

We had a similar program at school with Scholastic Books. I think the schools must get a commission. I used to have problems deciding which ones to order.

Liz Fichera said...

Hi Shelley,

Yes, I do believe it was Scholastic. Rather than decide, I just used to choose everything, much to my mother's chagrin. ;-)

Joanna St. James said...

wow that must have been nice, unfortunately by the time I turned 8 i got sucked into the complete works of shakespeare and Nelson Mandela's autobio. I have not joined goodreads but i intend to that would save me from trying to read books in French then reading the french dictionary for a full translation afterwards.

Dayana Stockdale said...

good idea about the blog hop!

Liz Fichera said...

Hi Joanna!

Loved your Monaco pics, by the way! :-) That is some pretty heavy duty reading for a child of 8! I didn't read those till Junior High. And goodreads.com is a great way to keep track of everything you're reading. When you join, come find me!

Liz Fichera said...

Hi Dayana, glad you liked it and thanks for stopping by!

Joanna St. James said...

I know right? have to admit though I hardly understood a word of it my dad and brother had to explain it to me line by line. c u soon on goodreads as soon as i understand how it works :D