A chapter book!For those of you not hip to the latest waste of time, and my role in it, my username on Myspace is Bunnicula. This has prompted a few interesting reactions. Some people have read the Bunnicula books, and for them it stirs fond memories. To them, I say, Right On. Others have not read the books, and for them it is confusing. To them, I say, You better ax somebody.

I don’t know if all schools do this, but when I was in elementary school we had the Scholastic Book Fair that came every few months. For me, these were the most wonderful times of the year.

Bonus points if it is a Newbery WinnerOf course, we’re talking about a little girl who enjoyed hanging out at the public library. And took pride in having the most read pages according to the class Book Report Chart. How I loved Book Reports. I left those other kids in the dust, man. I could knock out two or three a week if I really tried. And I did try. I measured my self-worth in chapters. I loved looking at the chart and seeing the rows of stickers next to everyone’s name, and seeing how much longer my row was.

So maybe now you can understand why the Book Fair was so key to me. Books, my OWN books, the thing I excelled at, were coming to me.

The first taste of excitement came with the brochure for the Book Fair. Its thin pages were few, but they held an array of paperbacks, posters, and stationery vast enough to thrill any nerdlet. On the back was the order form, where I would ambitiously pencil in my selections for parental approval. Who could say no to more books? Permission was always granted, the check with my mother’s looped signature was attached, and I anxiously awaited my little bundle on Book Day.

No cheatingWe also got to leave class that day, for one chance to see the Book Fair wares LIVE and IN PERSON in the auditorium. Ramona, Bunnicula, Encyclopedia Brown—they were all there. Also present were a myriad of trivia and joke books, as well as the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure variety—these volumes, however, meant nothing to me. They were not eligible for book reports.

I get a similar feeling when my box from Amazon shows up, but it’s not quite the same. Maybe if everyone at work ordered at the same time, and we all sat around our desks comparing new bookmarks and pencil-toppers once the packages came, it would help. At the very least, we’d have something to say to each other besides, “Oh boy, it’s Monday all right!”

Does everyone remember it this fondly, or is it one of those things I shouldn’t mention on a date?

Who am I kidding. Like I’d EVER date someone who wasn’t down with the Book Fair!