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I’m curious about your personal philosophies regarding your home libraries. I know some of you have extensive, organized home libraries, and I’m trying to decide my philosophy on this. I know my husband is weary of the books all over. I like BOTH ideas of large, well-varied libraries AND simple, well-loved small libraries. I like the boys (we have three, oldest 6yo) being able to go to the shelves and find something they are interested in on a whim. But a lot of good books often get missed simply becasue there are so many of them. Like toys, is it sometimes better to just hold on to treasured favorites and use the public library for the rest? Then again, the public library is getting more and more “questionable” books these days that I do not agree with my boys seeing at such a young age. But we are also a military family and move a lot, so a simple approach to all physical posessions makes life easier for us. Anyway, I am just curious to hear others’ thoughts on home library size as I figure out a good plan for ours. Thanks!
We lived in town and regularly used the library up until about 3 years ago when we moved to the country. So now we do not have a library card since it costs $100 per year and is so inconvenient, about 15-20 minutes drive one way. Plus I usually lose track and have late fines. And not all of their books are ones I would choose for my children. My son really like dinosaurs at the time and it was a constant struggle with all the evolutionary theories, which came up in many other books, too. Plus there is all the twaddle around which I wish to avoid. We still like to visit on occasion, but cannot check out books. If I find a book there that I really like, I go home and order one used on the Internet.
Before we moved, I had favorite picture books in the kids room on only one bookshelf nd I had other books on only one bookshelf in the living room. The boxes of books were very heavy in the move, so that is something to consider. I have been building up our home library for 3 years and now have about 12 bookshelves, different sizes, in various rooms of the house wherever I could find room. It is more convenient, but I have reached maximum capacity, so if I get any more books, I need to weed out the ones no one has cared for, which aren’t many any more. But my children do use books regularly, ages 7 & 9. They go back to books they liked. Because there are so many books, I sometimes keep a book basket out, filled with books on our school topics, but not scheduled to read for school. My husband is not real fond of all the books, but has not made a big deal over it since we do not have a library close, and we do hs and use the books.
I will share where I have found books at for building an inexpensive library: Betterworldbooks has sales for 5 for $12 with free shipping on used books, Amazon New or used, eBay, thrift stores like Goodwill, and Friends of the Library used book sales. http://www.libraryanded.com has periodic sales and sometimes free books with purchase, sometimes free shipping. They are wholesale to libraries, schools, churches, and homschools. We have gotten some nice HC library sets from them that my children have liked. They also carry Master Books, Your Story Hour, Jonathan Parks, American Girl, Adventures in Odyssey, others from Focus on the Family, and many more. Most books are evolution free, and if there is a minor reference, they alert you to that.
My husband did not want to build bookshelves. I tried cheap MDF particle board shelves and was not happy, and I learned that they offgas formaldehyde ongoing, but higher in the first 6 months. I found some sturdy furniture used on craigslist and at estate sales.
My husband got me a kindle as a gift; I think he likes the small amount of space those take up. I do use it more than I thought I would. They are good for chapter books, but could never take the place of a nice picture book. I got my 9 yo a basic kindle for Christmas. I bought the Heritage History ebooks for American History on there since he loves history. I also have Bobbsey Twins on it for him to read. Some of the SCM history modules use books that are free (GA Henty) or cheaper as ebooks (Exodus Commentary for Children, Jeanne Bendick). I have enjoyed reading Among the …People to the kids, and some AO poetry collections. The CM book series is free on there too.
Each bookshelf is organized by topic in either days of creation order for science or chronological for history or collections, like American Girl. PB and easy readers have their own sections. I thought about doing Dewey or color dots, but realized that this system was working for us, so why change it?Wings2flyParticipant
This is a good blog post on home libraries, from a fellow SCM forum member:
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