My Love/Hate Relationship with Scholastic Book Clubs
Oh Scholastic, how I hate you with your TV and movie tie-ins, your copious amounts of stickers and little dolls masquerading as learning experiences.
But how I love the opportunity to get cheap books, and see the kids' excitement to rifle through your newsprint pages. And their smiles when they return home with bags of books.
I hate the feeling of guilt that I am somehow robbing my bookstore of our patronage, but like how the teacher gets a kickback for school supplies (or do I hate that because it is kind of blackmail?).
Scholastic, I don't know what to say. I know that you love reading just as I do. I know you want to inspire kids to read. But I feel so disappointed when I go through the newsletters with the kids and all they want is the books that come with stickers or have their favourite TV character - the books they know I don't want to buy. I hear that you are working on getting rid of some of the toys, which makes me think I'm not the only one to feel this way.
I like your websites: Scholastic.com has good parent resources about reading, the teen book blog has some interesting book talk on it; I like reading the OOM blog and the kids' site has Word Girl games.
As other parents have, I may have to learn to live with your dichotomies, but as time goes on and I need less cheap picture books in our life, I turn to the library, where books are FREE.
We still peruse your newsletters, I also frequent a local and incredible bookstore where the staff know my kids by name and their personal interests. They don't get stickers but they get something better: a community of book lovers.
So Scholastic, I will soon leave our troubled relationship behind, and you will continue your world domination hopefully creating book lovers in your wake. Best of luck.
Does your school participate in Scholastic book clubs and fairs? Do you like them?
Want more chaos? Last year, I wrote Love is the Drug Kids Need; one of my favourite headlines of last year.
I was on CBC Radio's Metro Morning on Thursday morning talking about the Mom the Vote initiative, here is the podcast, I'm the second story.