Saturday, August 4, 2012
Library Book Sale Finds
First, a little story. My children ended up in this picture because my eldest didn't want to give up the book she absconded with soon after I came home. She's holding her finger in her place in The New Golden Treasury of Natural History, in case you can't tell. The boys, of course, couldn't be left out which is why you have cowboy Gregory shooting over the book blind with his popsicle stick gun and teddy bear Nathan with his bear ears just visible in the center of the photo. Never a dull moment, I tell you...
I am such a fan of our monthly library book sale up here. I used to go sporadically, but in the spring I started making an effort to go regularly and we are amply rewarded for my efforts. This month I brought home six Landmark books: The Story of D-Day, Hawaii, Gem of the Pacific, Robert Fulton and the Steamboat (which I was planning on using for school this year but hadn't gotten around to buying yet, hooray!), Gettysburg, Trappers and Traders of the Far West, and The Story of Albert Schweitzer. All were in great condition and only two dollars each. I also picked up two Dorothy Sayers mysteries for me (10 cents each!), a few books from the Young Folks Library (looks like a nice series - I skimmed and thought they looked good, although I don't think I've heard of them before), four Kjelgaard books (at 25 cents each), a picture book by Barbara Cooney (I love her books - Miss Rumphius was my 6 year old's favorite when he was three-ish and it was one I was happy to read again and again!), the aforementioned Natural History book, a lovely Best of James Herriot with beautiful photos of Yorkshire, a book called Wagon Scout which I haven't heard of but looked like a good story, I book about planting perennial gardens, and the first book of the Emily series by L.M. Montgomery.
Such riches, for so little money! I sometimes want to take the parents who are browsing the horrid dreck (you know, the Mr. Dumbmuffin and the Big Wedgie, Jessica and the Mystery of the Missing Lunchbox, etc) with or for their children and shake them. Don't they know there is so much more out there that is so much more wonderful and rewarding? Books that will inspire and create new and wonderful thoughts and connections in their children's minds? Instead the comments I overhear are most often only based on the number of books their children hold in their deprived little hands, as if quantity is all that matters. And why on earth should a 7 or 8 year old child be picking all of their own books, solely by the covers? What sort of insanity is that? It seems all we've managed to keep in our culture is some notion that reading is a good thing, but we have forgotten why it is a good thing. Oh, but at least they're reading, you say? Yes, they may be performing the mechanics of reading, but any of the greater work of reading is completely missed. Perhaps someday I'll get grumpy enough to ask a fellow parent, "are you really going to let your child read that?" But in the meantime I'll relish in the lack of competition for the good stuff.