Lately I’ve been cleaning out and boxing up a lot of my childhood books. It’s been an interesting experience full of mixed emotions, but I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to reminisce over old favourites. As I pile up box after box I have come to a very solid conclusion: I read a lot as a child!
As I’ve been going through the piles of books I have made an interesting discovery: bookmarks. I apparently used anything for a bookmark. I’ve found old receipts, movie stubs, post-it notes, chocolate wrappers, and several playing cards (no wonder I could never find a full deck!). Out of all the bookmarks I found, only one was an actual bookmark. It just goes to show you can never have too many bookmarks!
Yet this lone bookmark was actually the most exciting discovery that I made during this project. As soon as I saw it I recognized it, for this was a special bookmark. I remember treasuring this bookmark so much as a child and using it all the time! I loved it so much because of how I got it.
My elementary school ran a Home Reading program. After you read a certain number of books you would win prizes such as stickers, pencils, or bookmarks. When I achieved the top level, the Principal Award, I got called into the Principal’s office. He had a mountain of books spread out on his desk and I got to choose any book I wanted – to keep. I was so enchanted by the whole experience that it only drove me to read more.
I have such amazing memories from that program, and I know it pushed me to read as many books as I could as fast as I could. Those are the types of programs that I hope to work for in the future, because I know how much they meant to me as a child.
Even though it was sad to box up all of my books, it ended up being a really happy day full of great surprises. I sincerely hope that every bookworm has memories like these – because it’s amazing to think that 19 years later, something as simple as a bookmark can bring such a big smile to my face.