Our Reading Lives

The Book-Order Form Workaround

Raych Krueger

Staff Writer

Raych has so many kids (like, two, but they’re super young, which makes it seem like there are more of them) and this really cuts into her reading time. She’s using her degrees in Early Childhood Education and English Literature to teach the toddler to read to the baby so she can get back to her trashy Victorian sensation novel, or whatever. She’s also teaching her kids to travel and eat broadly, mostly through example (Do As I Do is super important, you guys), and hasn’t gone a year without hopping on a plane since she was a teenager. She recently moved from the Canadian coast to the Canadian prairies, where it gets hella cold, and if not for the internet, she’d surely be dead. Blog: Books I Done Read Twitter: @raychraych

I hate the word ‘hack’ in the usage of ‘kitchen hacks’ or ‘productivity hacks’ or ‘parenting hacks’ because they’re always either more work than the thing you were trying to get around doing, or they completely do not work at all. Looking at you, removing strawberry stems with a straw.

However. I recognize the urge to share what you feel is an INSANELY NEW AND NOVEL IDEA with the world, because I’mma do it right now.

My daughter drags home a Scholastic book order form every month or so. The girls call them their ‘newspapers’ and sit and read them like tiny businesspersons, and then after a few days, the newspapers go in the trash. I don’t think they even realize you can order books off of them because hello there are at least a hundred picture books in my house and also I have a library card. I support supplying your child with books but I have an extremely non-zero amount of student debt and also my house is tiny.


Ok like not quite.

BUT. The other day, I sat my oldest daughter down and asked her which of the books on the ‘newspaper’ looked interesting to her, and then introduced her to the process of putting books on hold at the library. It felt revelatory! She got to build her own reading list, and I got to spend NONE dollars and permanently use up no space in my house! I feel so smug.

It is very embarrassing to be bragging about this. I feel like everyone with children and order forms who lacks the dollars or the desire to spend those dollars on flimsy paperbacks with THIRTY SPARKLY STICKERS will have already thought of this. BUT. I only just learned a few years ago that when you open a new deodorant, if you twist up the stick a few times, you can just knock the plasticky protector off the top instead of trying to pull against the suction of a thousand worlds. And a few months after that, I was talking to my dad about learning things late in life, and told him about the deodorant thing, and his mind was blown. SO HERE, in case you had not thought of it, is a thing you can do.

What’s your best book-related hack, or whatever. Should we call them ‘tips and tricks’? Or is that even worse.