“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” ~ Charles W. Eliot
To many people, the sight of a book is nothing special. It’s little more than a stack of papers held together between two covers filled with a combination of twenty six letters that comprise our language. But, like many things, its commonplace appearance is deceiving. So mystifying that it’s nearly impossible to see its life changing potential for the author and reader both. It is a fragment of the author’s soul. It is a tale that, as Erin Morgenstern put it, “It may take up residence in someone’s soul, become their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them, and drive them, and who knows what they might do because of it.”
Following the love of books, an annual convention is held in the celebration of these stories, which you must know as the Book Fair. Once the term “Book Fair” comes into mind, one might think of tables aligned side by side with books on top of them up for sale. I can assure you that it is not that simple. The Book Club, along with the Librarians, plan months ahead of time for all the elements that play a major role in the extravagant event. From deciding the theme to decorating, each aspect needs a lot of organization skills, teamwork, and time. After much debate and consideration, we chose a galactic theme for this year, and with all our hard work and dedication, it turned out even better in reality than we could hope.
One of the major components was the decoration, which the Book Fair is well known for. Ammar Addabbagh, the President of the Book Club efficiently divided the members into groups, and assigned work such as making a life sized astronaut model, spaceship, brainstorming ideas for fun games etc. Ms. Sumera brilliantly made 3D models of the solar system, and hung them from the ceiling. The members were excused from most of their classes to make the decor which may sound like all fun and games, but once they got there they had a bigger workload than they ever imagined. I, in particular, was assigned to “sparkify” the curtains by adding glitter. It looked easy, but as soon as my hands made contact with the bottle of glue, I knew I was in for a challenge. Some members were in charge of the space themed canvases, which at the beginning looked horrible with all the different colors, but once blended it truly looked like a masterpiece. Initially we decided to make a spaceship, but somewhere along the way there were some complications. Nevertheless, we knew we could work with our problems and create something even better. So with a positive attitude, we brainstormed and came up with the idea of an alien creature inspired by a turtle. It took weeks, and more than half the club using recycled carton boxes to cut out every single scale from the biggest one to the tiniest which was smaller than your pinky finger. When it came to the final days, we started wrapping up, which included spray painting – a form of art itself. The techniques needed to handle paint without getting it everywhere, and holding the glue gun without burning yourself was a massive struggle. To conclude, even though we went through many hardships, the process made us closer as a community.
In the Book Fair, we also conduct some activities for fundraising. This year we decided on a Zodiac Booth where we had multiple tattoos based on Chinese horoscope signs, and face paintings based on birth signs. We added some fairy lights to give the impression of being surrounded by stars. It was a fun way to learn about how astrology connects with us on a spiritual level. There were three games featured. Space Jam was a basketball game in which players had to make three out of five shots. In Space Pong, they had to bounce four ping-pong balls into nine cans. And lastly, Alien Gundown had an alien target that the players had to shoot in order to win. Coming up with ideas for the games was fairly easy. It took about ten minutes for all the boys to conjure up fun games. Preparations did not take a lot effort, unlike with the decorations. As easygoing this task may sound, there were some factors that proved difficult. One of the challenges was the weather; it started raining cats and dogs along with the wind howling fiercely. As a result, we could not hold the games outside, and so we had to conduct them inside. Another factor we faced was the gun malfunctions, but with tolerance and patience the boys overcame this obstacle. A wide range of prizes, from barbie dolls to school supplies, were given out to the winners. All in all, conducting the games was fun, and it is always one of the most interesting part of the preparation.
We could go on for hours about how much work the members put into the decorations and how much it paid off, but none of it holds a candle to what the Librarians have done. For months, they worked on buying a wide range of books such that there’s something for everyone. With books ranging from Shakespeare to celebrity autobiographies to Geronimo storybooks, no one was left unsatisfied. I saw teachers browse through the cook books and gamers buying the Minecraft novels. Some more spiritual people were interested in the meditation books, and there was no fictional genre left out from the selection. And to make the books even more diverse, Mrs. Rema made a deal with another business party from Bahrain to bring books that we otherwise wouldn’t have. I spent a particularly long time in that section, where I bought a novel by Zoe Sugg among many others that I’m just itching to read. And with the stacks of books I’ve seen others walk out with, it’s safe to say that everyone walked out with a bright smile on their face.
The entire experience was worthwhile, and felt like we travelled to the depth of the galaxy. Though we faced many trials and tribulations, the satisfaction when everything came together was each and every second. Imagination and teamwork were key components of putting the event together. The variety of books gave more options to the buyers, and broadened their horizons of thinking. In the end, we would like to thank everyone for the support and hardwork in making the Book Fair a successful event, and special thank you to those enthusiastic patrons.
Written by: Asma Khan, Layan Salameh, Dheif Daniel Yunting – Gr. 11