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? Hmm...no, 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 ; )