Thursday, June 23, 2011

Massive, a.k.a. "I just can't resist"

I have been collecting children's books from thrift and used book stores for many years, before children were even a tangible glimmer in my mind.  I picked out what attracted me -- books I knew from childhood, fairy tales, classics, beautiful/interesting illustrations, etc.

After 7-8 (or maybe 9-10) years, I have a whole lotta books.  A whole lotta.  Blaine quit saying, "What?  More books??" years ago.  I think he just gave up.

An "upstairs" bookshelf
(the behemoth)

To sum in up succinctly, we have a "sizable home library".

We have gotten many beautiful books as gifts from family and friends over the years as well (thank you so much, we love them).  We also participate in Dolly Parton's Imagination Library (a program to distribute children's books in economically-depressed areas), which sends one book each month, per kid, from age 0-5.  Some pretty terrific, others just kind of "meh".

So when a Friends of the Library book sale came up this spring, I started weeding through my collection.  I realized quickly that I would need to go through it several times to get everything, as it was too easy to just say, "Nah!" and put something back the first couple of times 'round.

I was finally satisfied after I went through every shelf four or five times.  I was ruthless and didn't let sentiment control me . . . and pulled out somewhere in the realm of 30-40 books.  Not too shabby.  (I did the book sale too, and some of them flew off the table.  Yesssssss.)

But that got me thinking.  Exactly how many books have I amassed over the years?  I knew it was probably in the hundreds, but I had never actually counted.  So I stewed over the idea for a few weeks, wondering, and finally got my chance to count them all out last week.  It was really fun.

Another shelf in the "book nook"
Novels and novellas

But first: I should clarify the locations of bookshelves throughout the house.  For the picture books, I have the blue monster upstairs and several other smaller shelves downstairs: one in the bedroom, one in the sunroom, and another (just one shelf) for the over-sized books in the living room.

Books for 9-12 readers and classic novels and novellas have two shelves upstairs and are intermixed in the rest of our books downstairs.  This reading level, btw, is what I've been focusing on the past couple of years while thrifting.  (Planning ahead, but I've also gotten much pickier with the picture books.)

So here are the grand totals.  Un-un-un-un.
  • Picture books: 527
  • Board books: 63
  • Children's Lit: 159
I'm sure this will make my family and friends never want to bequeath another book upon us again, but please! don't let that stop you!  We love books.  We are thrilled by anything that is passed along.  Some of our favorites have come from others.

But yeah.  I think I might have gone over-the-top.

(But I know you know I don't actually think that.)


lil' mama said...

Oh I love children's books too. Love them! Love our library system online where I pick topics C has shown interest and then each week we grab 'em (he also picks out books when were there). Luke is hopefully going to get in our crawl space today (or sometime soooooon) and get out my teaching boxes full of books! So excited to share those with the boys!

a. borealis said...

Yes, isn't it just a delight? I'd be curious to hear what you guys are reading. And what you have in those boxes!

S, M and LM said...

What a beautiful post. What children's books are you reading? I'd love to know too! We are always looking for new book ideas. :-)

a. borealis said...

Milena, hello. :) I'm thinking about doing a sort of revolving post on the kids' books we are enjoying. There are lots of good ones out there and it is so fun to see what other people are reading. Especially when you hear about something you didn't already know about. I'll give it a shot!