Book Fairs? Curriculum Displays… Oooh, just the thought makes me all giddy with excitement. Devising a strategy so that you get maximum benefit from a books fair is It’s important to have a plan, to devise a strategy so that you don’t wander around aimlessly, plucking every good book from the table. After attending many books fairs and curriculum displays, I devised my survival plan.

Courtesy of Ali Edwards.

  • Have pizza delivery slips on kitchen table for easy access. Just because Mama will be too tired to cook doesn’t mean everyone needs to starve that night!
  • Clean and tidy the kitchen table, corner of lounge-room or some other area designated for all the books.
  • Check with friends. Compare your *must-have* books. Devise plan of action so that we do not fight over books on the day.
  • Have a pre-arranged amount of spending money and stick to it.
  • Take an esky and/or thermos for drinks and sandwiches. Tip: the esky can also double as a stool.
  • Backpack containing : Sandwiches. Water bottles. Snacks for kids.Thermos of tea. Lego or other toys for kids. (Maybe pack some panadol)
  • Large bags for books. (Red & White stripey bags) Or a shopping bag on wheels or cart with wheels.
  • Wear layers of clothing- t-shirt, jumper, etc. Hunting for books is hard work and it’s most convenient to take off a few layers and stash them in your bag.Wear comfy shoes.
  • Take your glasses!
  • Assign children to areas. Devise their booklists. One child can scour the cooking and literature aisles while another can scan the Rare, Children’s and Nature areas.
  • Find suitable area for younger kids to settle.
  • Do a brief reconnaissance. Go up and down the aisles and get an overview of the room/building layout. Locate the emergency exits and toilets. Designate an emergency area in case someone gets lost. That will be the meeting place.
  • After collecting and gathering loads of books sit down with a cuppa and go through them all. Weed them out and see if other homeschoolers want to go through discard pile. Ask other homeschoolers if you can peruse their discard pile.
  • Sort books by category/cover/size.
  • Queue in the lines and pay. Know beforehand the payment options. Do they accept credit card/EFTPOS or cash only?
  • Arrive home. Have a cup of tea. Drool over your books. Post the titles online so that those who missed out can scream. Or cry.
  • Order pizza for tea.

How about you? How do you survive thrive through a Book Fair? What tips can you share with us?


Originally posted on Kerugma 2004/2005