This may be an artifact of growing up in the ’80s, or going to Catholic school, but when I was in elementary school, reading was heavily promoted. (Do kids read actual books any more?) We were highly encouraged to read. We all traipsed over to the school library (it was in a building across the street from the main school building) every week and had a “library class” where the librarian taught us something, either topical or library-related, then we had 15-20 minutes to browse the shelves and check out a book. We had reading contests every year during the school year, and in summers, the public library had one too. We had book fairs where a vendor brought in books to sell us, I think pretty much every semester, and that was where I bought The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings one year. We used some kind of SRA reading comprehension materials at least once a week where you selected a folded cardboard short story or non-fiction piece out of a box of them and then answered reading comprehension questions about what you had just read. And we also received Scholastic and Troll book club solicitations probably once a month. These were mailers that advertised a selection of books and if you bought any, they’d be delivered to school. It was a happy time when they passed out those books you ordered.

I recently came across a site that shows 28 of those classic book club mailers from the ’80s. The one I’m including in this blog post is one I distinctly remember seeing when I was a student.