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It's official. I'm a book freak. For the first several years of our marriage and parenting I tried to deny my compulsion for books. I tried to 'move on ' from books read and ween myself from of the 'clutter'. But I came to to realize how much I love that my mother in law has entire walls devoted to her book collections. On more than one occasion, I have disappeared from a family gathering to wander her shelves and page through some of her classic treasures.
My aforementioned denial came about as I considered space. Our home has an open floor plan with few opportunities to clutter the walls with book shelves. In an effort to deny our roots, the husband and I desperately tried to purge ourselves of the things we don't NEED (We are both descendants of keepers--mothers who hold onto EVERYTHING). I went through my books and donated many and stored some of the others in the attic. A few maintained their spots of display but now as we are homeschooling and I am completely justified in building back up our library, especially my favorite classics and reference books. (Hallelujah! Cue the music.)
A room without books is like a body without a soul.
~Marcus Tullius Cicero
~Marcus Tullius Cicero
It's not by accident that I've been drawn to a literature based curriculum for our coming school year. I've done my research, poured through syllabuses and even considered making my own lesson plans. Ultimately we are going with a program that is a good fit for us in many ways. We can customize it in an a la carte fashion so we aren't bogged done with the things we aren't going to use or have taken a different approach with, but it's structured enough to not burn out Headmaster Extraordinaire. But the best part is that we are using CLASSICS. My heart skips a beat and I literally can not wait for the order to arrive.
I have a few resources to share if you too are interested in building a great library, whether for homeschooling or just hammocking:
Honey for a Child's Heart: This si a great book for value based, character building children's stories. A must for all families! I'm not a big fan of a lot of the children's literature that is produced these days. It's much like the trashy cartoons or 30 minute time wasters that can be found on the squawk box (You can sense my passion against the low-common-denominator pop culture media but know that it is coupled with an ongoing battle to temper one very proficient tv junkie under my watch. We're not a media-free house but I sometimes wish we were).
You write what you read.
Amazon: I can often be found trolling Amazon for some of my favorite classics. I've had good experiences with the used books for many of the books that are out of print. Reference books are great used since a lot of people don't actually use them. They can found in like new condition pretty readily. Usborne and DK books top my lists every time!
Local Library Used Book Store: I'm embarrassed to admit I didn't really know what a treasure trove the used book store can be at the local library--especially for hardcover classics. Many folks will donate absolute gems from their grandfather's collection or Aunt Betty's dusty shelves. Score for you!
If display is bogging you down, Seleta has a nice post on bookshelves here.
So, I am embracing my freakish book loving ways and am off to create the perfect spot to display our newest (and oldest) bound beauties.
Update: Design Sponge just posted some fantastic eye candy bookshelves. Check it out here.