Ever since I was a kid, I always dreamt of owning a huge collection of books and would never miss a chance to get one.

From the library...

... From teachers and friends...

... And from the scholastic book fair.

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The last option was my favourite, because:

I got to see an entire hall full of books.

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I got to smell and feel so many books.

It was a good excuse to bunk classes.

I got to read one or two quickly as I spent hours over there.

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And... I could go on and on.

For a book lover, nothing can capture the magic quite like the Scholastic Book Fair back in school.

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When I think of the old days, I realise that there are so many things I miss about my school, but nothing comes even close to the joy of going to the Scholastic Book Fair, every year.

Just like other book lovers, I also waited for it.

Remember, how we would read and re-read the brochure given in school and make a list of all the books we wanted? (the list obviously turned out to be long)

Yeah, it was difficult convincing our parents to let us go to the book fair. They would just say, "Syllabus ki books padho."

It was also difficult to 'extract' money from them to buy books.

But once we succeeded, the pride and joy was the most wholesome feeling ever.

Some of the first books I remember buying from the fair were RL Stine's Goosebumps, The Baby Sitters Club by Ann M. Martin, the Nancy Drew Mystery Series and big-ass encyclopedias.

And these books are my most precious treasures till date.

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Generally, the Scholastic Book Fair was organised on the day of parent-teacher meeting. So I would just blackmail my dad to buy me books.

It also had a disadvantage. Dad won't budge an inch if I got bad grades.

The book fair lasted for an entire week and it was the coolest week, every year.

Agreed, that there are book fairs even now and huge book stores everywhere, but my heart aches when I realise I will never again feel the joy and excitement close to that of the Scholastic Book Fair.

I know I would sound a bit dramatic but the scholastic book fair back in school was the most pure and genuinely happy place I’ve ever been to.