Sunday, March 14, 2010

Memories of the Arrow Book Club

One of my favorite memories of my grade school years (and there aren't that many of them, good memories anyway) was the day that we received the new brochure from the Arrow Book Club.  Since I believe Arrow still exists, you may already know that it was part of the Scholastic Book Services and was aimed at kids in 4th, 5th and 6th grades.  Each month a new catalog came out allowing kids to choose and order their own books, right from the classroom.  What I liked even better than the day when the new catalog came out, was the day that the books arrived and they were handed out.  As I recall, all of my teachers gave the students a few minutes to look over their purchases before returning to our lessons. But even after lessons resumed, the excitement lingered, knowing that those brand new books, that you yourself had chosen, were tucked away in your desk, waiting for you to take them home so you could begin reading them.

I still have most of my Arrow and TAB books (TAB was the book club for kids in 7th grade and up) and I even have one of the catalogs.  As you can see in the inside of this particular catalog, I even had the order blank all filled out and ready to go. Since I never clipped out this order form, I must have had a duplicate of this catalog, or maybe some of the books were repeated the following month, because I do have two of the books that I marked on the form. As I look at these books now, it amazes me that you could purchase some of them for a mere 25 cents.  These days, I doubt there is anything under $3 to $5 dollars.  (By the way, you can click on all of these images to see them enlarged).

Here are some of the books that I have in my collection.  A couple of these belonged to my younger sister.

 "The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet," and its sequel, "Stowaway to the Mushroom Planet, "were two of my favorites.
 "The Enormous Egg," was another favorite. Although I don't remember a thing about their stories, two of my favorite cover images were from "The Runaway Robot" and "The Forgotten Door."

My love for stories involving time travel were satisfied by "The Magic Tunnel" and "Tunnel Through Time."

I loved books on animals but one of the reasons that I was attracted to "Here, Buster!" was because I had loved the Disney film "Sammy the Way Out Seal," which had come out a year or two before and shared a similar story to "Here, Buster!".  I had always loved reading the Mark Trail comic strip in the Sunday paper, so I was excited to find a whole book devoted to his animal stories.  

Books of science fiction, ghosts and the supernatural were other favorite topics of mine and tended to make up a large part of my book orders, especially as I got older and started receiving the TAB book catalog.

Many of these books are available in either new, or used editions.  Many of them can be found at fairly reasonable if not downright inexpensive prices.  For example, there is a listing on Amazon for "Humor Horror and the Supernatural," for only 58 cents.  I quite often see some of these books for sale in our local Goodwill store.  So, if you're interested, they're not too difficult to find.

1 comment:

  1. Vincent,
    I am so sorry you do not have many fond memories of grade school. I, also, belonged to the Arrow Book Club. I looked forward to the day I placed my order and especially to the day the books were handed out. I loved books about animals, ghosts, and mysteries. My life was enhanced by the many hours spent reading these books. My friends and I would lend each other the books we received thus expanding our reading world.