BIBLIOPHILE SMILES: NSU Book Fair a hit with visitors looking for good reads

Grant D. Crawford, Tahlequah Daily Press, Okla.
·3 min read

Apr. 8—Many avid readers look back fondly on their days of school when the Scholastic Book Fair would open up shop in their campus libraries, and Northeastern State University's John Vaughan Library is offering that experience this week.

The library typically holds two book fairs a year, but the COVID-19 pandemic nixed those plans in 2020. The cancellations perhaps generated some pent-up enthusiasm for the fair; Administrative Assistant Amanda Estes said it was a hit among patrons during the first three days.

"It was a normal thing that people really missed, so we've had a very successful fair thus far," Estes said. "I think some come for nostalgia. I saw a sign one day that said, 'I've spent my whole life chasing the high of a scholastic book fair.'"

NSU's Scholastic Book Fair offers a wide range of materials, from pre-school to adult. Some books are older, while most are relatively new. They include picture books, board books for infants, pre-school and elementary chapter books, publications for middle-school ages, and more.

What's becoming more popular, said Estes, are graphic novels.

"There is a really popular series called 'I Survived,' based on true events," she said. "So they have 'I Survived the Attack of the Grizzlies, 1967'; 'I Survived The Great Molasses Flood, 1919'; and 'I Survived the California Wildfires, 2018.' Those have been popular for years, but this year, they have put those in a comic book format, like 'I Survived the Nazi Invasion, 1944'; and 'I Survived the Shark Attacks of 1916.'"

There is are books on nature, science, World War II history, gaming, and more. The fair also features an assortment of novelty items, like pens, pencils, bookmarks, activity packs and other items that might make a good gift. Everyone who makes a purchase of $10 or more will be put into a drawing for a gift basket, containing a variety of fair items, at the end of the week.

This year, there is also an online shop bibliophiles can search for material at by visiting https://www.scholastic.com/bf/nsujvaughanlib. The books can be shipped directly to customers, who might be able to find more titles than what are available at the fair. The online shop will also remain open until April 10.

With the amount of disruption students have already faced due to the pandemic, parents might want to keep their kids engaged over the summer break.

"This time of year, I encourage parents to purchase some new reading material for their students," said Estes. "As we're coming to the end of the school year, they say the summer slide is a real thing. So go ahead and purchase books to keep your kids reading and active through the summer."

The fair serves a dual purpose: It helps get books into the hands of the community and it helps NSU update its offerings. The proceeds go to the library's youth collection, which is used heavily in the education departments and from community patrons.

Estes said education majors can take advantage of the sale to stock their own personal, classroom libraries, and that it would serve as a good experience for parents to bring their younger kids.

Check it out

The NSU Scholastic Book Fair is near the north entrance on the first floor of the John Vaughan Library, and will run through Friday, April 9. It's open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The book fair is following COVID-19 guidelines by limiting the number of people allowed in at one time, and will have a sign-in sheet. For more information, call 918-444-3230.