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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Book Stores and Libraries - Too dangerous for this Mom!

When it comes to books, my philosophy is you can never have too many.  But that leads to problems due to limited space.  Since childhood I have had a serious love affair with literature.  When I began teaching Early Childhood Development, my passion for books exponentially grew.   I have admired the many ways a story can be told.  The illustrations, variations of paper, and even the textures upon which the words are displayed are intriguing.   Books can be paper back, hard cover, soft cover, fabric, plastic...so many choices for parents and teachers. 
My favorite place to acquire books for my children or for my classroom is the Good Will or ARC thrift stores.  I have found many a treasure as I perused shelf after shelf of "previously loved" books. I have often been pleasantly surprised at the number of new books that are available.  Many other books are in very good condition.  Even with the incredible discounts you can enjoy (get there on the day they are clearing their inventory) you can easily throw down a hefty sum of cash.  It's so hard to say no to that one extra book that you can visualize enjoying with your children - the kiddos related to you and the ones you love on at work. 
Even with best intentions of staying within a prearranged budget for books, there is a risk of finding that one extra special title you will struggle to leave behind.  Because as everyone who shops at thrift stores knows, you may not find it the next time you visit.  Now imagine going into a Barnes and Noble Book Store.  The displays call your name and magnetically pull you toward each shelf as if there is an impossible to ignore adventure waiting for you to explore.  The library is equally enticing.  Our family has 5 cards combined.  If each of us is allowed to check out 10 books each visit, that makes 50 books that need to be monitored and tracked at home to ensure that they are returned in a timely manner.  Scary to contemplate the possibility of late fees.  I shudder.
So as we approach the International Book Giving Day, remember that it's OK to give away some items from your personal library so others can enjoy them.  You can be a risk taker and make a valiant effort to stay within a budget to purchase "previously loved" books from a thrift store.  Or you might even create a picture books using a photo album and pictures clipped from a recycled magazine with simple labels added.  There's something out there for everyone so we can all celebrate this day.
 
I encourage you to be brave, be strong, and be adventurous in your quest to find and distribute books.
Sharing a love for the words and illustrations that could open up a new world of concepts is a worthwhile endeavor.  Best Wishes for an Amazing Week!
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