Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Collector of Books

I just had to share with you and an interesting experience I had last week.  I'm sure I could write about the wonderful time spent at the Great Homeschool Convention in Long Beach and the helpful, inspiring speakers I heard.  Especially how great it was to listen to some very influential ladies like Sonya Schafer, Catherine Levison, Rea Berg and even Susan Wise Bauer.  Oh, don't let me forget Adrew Pudewa's talk on boys and learning ... But I'm sure that you already know how wonderful they all are.  So, no, this post is instead about the $1.00 Bookstore my friend discovered directly across the street from the Convention Center.

I think that between her, another friend and I; we walked away with about 120 books total.  Everywhere we turned there were books.  The shelves were just packed with books.  My friend discovered that they re-shelf daily!  An attempt at sectioning was evident, but, honestly, there was no real order to the shelving.  There were books on top and behind other books.  You literally had to move some around to see what else was hidden on that shelf.  I had not been to a used bookstore like this before.  Certainly a book lovers and a Charlotte Mason educators heaven.

I'm sure I could have spent all day there but for time sakes I stuck to the children's section of the store.  Even doing that cost me an extra $6.00 because I had to pay for the CD of the workshop I intended to go to but ended up missing  ; )  I had no trouble recognizing authors and titles that my mind has catalogued after years of looking through others lists and of course searching the 4Real engines.  Even more fun was handing my friend titles that we already own and know are worth while living books.  Then there were those titles that I didn't recognize but just by looking at or reading a few paragraphs I knew could potentially be a great living book. 

My friend jokingly stated she felt some pilgrimages were going to be a must.  We live over 60 miles away and in Los Angeles traffic: oh, my!  In all seriousness, she might be right.  Forget, that the books were only a dollar a piece, but the plethora of used and out of print titles to choose from was dreamy.  Don't get me wrong, the price makes searching through the sea of books even sweeter.   I know that not everyone can find a gem of a store like this one, but I guess my point is one that didn't strike me until a few hours after we had paid for our books.   Catherine Levison touched on living books at her last session.  I'm paraphrasing of course, but the statement that really struck me went something like: you need to build a book collection, have shelves full of books, then you can choose what to teach from your shelves, the task becomes easier than searching out living books you might not find.  There are so many wonderfully written books out there and now with free e-reader books, there really isn't a reason why we can't give our children a worthwhile living books education. My friends and I looked at each other and were wondering if she knew about the book store across the street ; )

I also spent far more money at the convention hall on a handful of study guides mostly to be used as references for myself, but had no interest in any of the boxed curriculum I saw.  I enjoy putting together a year full of living books for my children's education.  I enjoy reading through book lists, cataloguing them in my brain and notebooks.  Am I becoming a Charlotte Mason snob?, I think I'm just fulfilling my love of books and my faith in Ms. Mason's philosophy.  I'd say I'm just a collector of books for my children's sake.

Pictured are just some of my bookshelves, there are more shelves in the family/learning room, in the kids bedrooms, several book baskets around the house, hidden storage areas too.  Yes, as I'm blushing, think I got the living books suggestions down  ; )


Silvia said...

I'm so very happy for you and your friends. Snob? Not at all. I love all the good finds we can have for little in this great country of us.

Although I keep finding and getting more living books, and even with a modest library, I could and do very well teach from my shelves!

We still like the library, though.

Jennifer Gregory Miller said...

Oh, what a wonderful haul!!!! I think you need to go back. You cannot beat that price!!!!!!!!!!!

I would miss the talks, too, if I find that goldmine. The siren of inexpensive used (old) books is hard to ignore. Now if it were paperbacks and cheap novels not worth it, but....

Collette said...

Oh my, what an awesome find!! I'd say it's worth that trip - at least once a year for school books! LOL, I was thinking that the non-categorizing would only make me want to search *every* shelf, a treasure hunt. :0)

I'm with you on the living books...for 2 years now I've started out our school year w/a Mason-type boxed curric, but after a few weeks I end up going right back to using the books I love instead.


Grace'n'Chaos said...

Oh, how nice to know I'm among fellow book lovers and collectors : D

Erin said...

Wonderful!!! You and your friend need to make an annual if not bi-annual pilgrimage!!
Love to know what titles you found so I can drool from afar:)

Pam... said...

Wow. Sounds fantastic. I would have loved it too! All those great speakers and inspiration, and books! Too much wonderfulness!

Grace'n'Chaos said...

LOL, Erin & Pam : )

...they call me mommy... said...

Oh man. $1 a piece. A book shop FULL. It just gives me SHIVERS! ;)

I LOVE books too! No need for blushing! :-)