This Quillblogger has fond memories of opening Scholastic’s book flyers every month in elementary school, browsing their selection, and paying two weeks’ allowance for the thrill of choosing books without outside interference, and having them delivered directly to his desk. He also remembers skipping past the movie tie-ins, which always took up one of the flyers’ four pages, and later, being surprised by the increasing presence of actual VHS titles.
Sadly, it would appear Scholastic has continued in that direction, to the point where an American watchdog group states that a third of the products on its list are non-book related.
On the surface, this makes good business sense: after all, stickers and posters have higher profit margins, and movie tie-ins sell more copies than conventional books. But Scholastic is in the publishing business, and while such items sell more units in the short term, they don’t breed lifelong readers, the type who might continue purchasing books for themselves and their children once they move past fifth grade. Since Scholastic is unchallenged in the school-based direct sales market, it should be using its power to promote actual books.