Saturday, June 29, 2013

Books, Books, Everywhere!

As I contemplated our latest library book pick-up, I had to laugh. We truly are the local library's dream come true - either that, or their worst nightmare. We reserve at least 20-30 books per week, and it's soon slated to skyrocket to at least twice that.

Why they're on the counter - I wipe down each and every children's book with vinegar before they are used in our home. Do you know what kids do to books?  (*Gag*) Thus the vinegar. 

As a child, I regarded libraries with something of an apathetic aversion. Our public library was dark, dingy, and unpleasant, and I associated it mainly with finding homeless persons bathing in the bathrooms and shelves full of unattractive "library cover" bound books that one could never, ever, ever find even if the library did happen to have them. I avoided it as much as possible and swore it off completely as soon as I graduated.

But then, several years ago, a dear friend introduced me anew to our local library. Our Arizona libraries are much better than the Southern California libraries that I grew up with - and libraries on the whole have, I think, changed for the better as well. They are bright, clean, attractive, and the horrible library book bindings are no longer in use (thank goodness!). Not to mention the fact that one can now reserve and renew books online! I love ordering books (by the bucket-load!) from home at any hour of the day.

Having massive amounts of books around (both owned and loaned) is an essential part of our home education program, and we rely heavily upon the libraries. I also use the libraries for lots of reading myself. I had never before known how much of an education there is in simply reading - reading widely and deeply and in massive quantity. I have easily gotten as good (or better) of an education from consistent reading of living books from the library than I ever got in K-12 or university education.

Public libraries are regrettably deficient in good-quality Christian books (theology, Christian living, Christian-based science and history, etc.), but in every other area I have found them to be excellent. (I do have concern with how modern libraries are leaning toward jettisoning quality books in favor of twaddle - but that's a subject for another day.)

Here are my newest reading projects! You'll notice they're all home education books - right now learning about every aspect of home education is pretty much my life. I suspect that that will be the case for some time!

Last Child in the Woods - The importance of getting kids OUTSIDE (and off of endless screen-time). Can't wait to read this one.

The Complete Guide to Homeschooling - A catch-all book - love these informational books! I always get great ideas.

Teach Your Own - John Holt is a home education celebrity, and I'm so excited finally to get to read one of his books.

The Homeschooler's Guide to... - Another general catch-all book.

When Children Love to Learn - I am currently reading this book, and it is great! It is, unfortunately, the only book our entire library system has on the subject of Charlotte Mason education, but thankfully it's a very complete and excellent one. I'm learning so much!


Other excellent books I've read lately:

Simplicity Parenting - Review coming soon! Love this book!

The Busy Mom's Guide to Daylight - We were blessed to hear Heidi St. John at last year's convention, and she is awesome - and now I got to read her excellent book! (I only disagreed with one point!) Love her, love her book.

Lies Homeschooling Moms Believe - We also got to hear Todd Wilson at last year's convention. Wonderful guy, awesome book - and the "lies" he writes about are all so true!


I'd love to hear about what you all have been reading lately! Any gems out there?

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