Monday, April 29, 2013

Published 7:27 AM by with 0 comment

How Many Books Can You Buy For $25?

This weekend was the Greater St. Louis Book Fair, a charity book sale that has been going on for more than sixty years! It's one of my favorite springtime events. Chris and I have found that it is helpful for our budget to take cash and only buy as many books as we can with that set amount of money, because there are SO MANY BOOKS that we'd love to get! Cash in hand, we combed through many tables of books for over an hour this afternoon. We couldn't stay much longer than that because it was chilly and Harmony was under the impression that all the books belonged to her and should be eaten or thrown on the ground immediately. Sigh.

Here is what we bought!

Old favorites from my own childhood, which I can't wait to read to Harmony! 

Books for Harmony to play with and for us to read to her. The colors and shapes books are heavy plastic, perfect for her to turn the pages; the "Rabbit in a Hurry" book has a cardboard bunny which pops up when you pull the tab on the side. Harmony is all about the interactive books right now. 

My sister and I had this book when we were young. It provided HOURS of entertainment! Our mom made saltdough and helped us create tiny animals, play food, decorations, doll-house sized people, and many more fun toys which we found in this book. 

This was a strange, beautiful find: a book of mazes based off of St. Louis landmarks!

It is a unique treasure. It will be exciting to photocopy the pages for Harmony to do someday, and then we can even take her to see the real landmarks that the mazes resemble!

This was one of my favorite books when I was a child. I may have shrieked with joy when I found it lying in a random box of books at the sale. It'll be a few years before Harmony can enjoy it, but I didn't want to pass up this gem from my childhood.

My sister and I, as children, were obsessed with the world created around Dinotopia. I even learned the dinosaur track code found in the book and wrote letters to myself with it (I was weird). And I'm pretty sure that the gorgeous illustrations in this book were one of the main things that inspired my sister to be such an incredible artist. She used to look at the pictures in the book before she could even read.

Now that I have a daughter, I'm excited to read this beloved series by Noel Streatfeild with her : )  As a young performing artist, I was able to to identify with the characters in these stories, sympathize with their problems, and discover their solutions to the challenges of growing up as a performing artist, battling performance anxiety, working through difficult assignments, learning how to interact with an ensemble, adjusting to the pressures of solo performing, etc. The girls in these stories taught me that it is possible (and important!) to be a polite, compassionate person AND a good performer, not just one or the other. Even if Harmony never ends up being a performer, I'm sure she, like myself nowadays, will still enjoy the stories.

More childhood books that we will read out loud to Harmony in four or five years! I always enjoyed hearing books read out loud that were a bit difficult for me to comprehend; plus, children understand and learn to catch on to much more than we often give them credit for. Edward Eager's tales about magical adventures are lovely. The "Mrs. Piggle Wiggle" series always made me giggle. Don't even get me started with how incredible the "Redwall" series is... my home-schooled friends and I would re-enact Redwall scenes, make up stories, pretend to be characters from the books, and imagine life at Redwall for days on end, probably years. RYAN, IF YOU ARE READING THIS, I'm glad you were just as obsessed as I was with Redwall!!!

Two more books that I've seen before, but never owned until now. They will be great for quiet time activities or car trips!

This is another book that I couldn't believe that I found. I definitely did gasp and squeal when I picked it up! My mom used this book with my sister and I as part of our home-schooling years. We have many, many fond memories of our nature excursions together.

Here's an example of what the book says during our current week. My hope is that Harmony will learn to appreciate and enjoy the outdoors as much as possible, so a book like this will be great to help us explore the wonders of nature. Very excited to re-visit these familiar pages!

This is a hilarious book. I read it six or seven years ago, enjoyed it greatly, and mentally classified it under the category "read again in a few years and share with someone who will appreciate it too". Chris and I bought it now to read aloud together. 

Reading aloud is an awesome pastime that we've been doing for quite a few years, ever since Chris, a good friend, and I read "Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship" by Goethe aloud over the course of several semesters during college. Since then, we've read many books together. The last book Chris and I completed was "The Moonstone" by Wilkie Collins, and we're currently about two thirds of the way through "The Hobbit" by Tolkien (for the millionth time), since we just watched the first installment of the new movie. "Three Men in a Boat" and its sequel, "Three Men on the Bummel", will be next! Now if we could just get back into the constant habit of reading aloud, since our schedules haven't quite been steady yet since Harmony came along... oh well, it will happen in good time : )

This last book was one that I bought for myself. I've been interested in L'Engle's "Crosswicks Journals" for a year or two, but couldn't justify buying it new; there are so many books that I'd love to read, I'm sure the house (and my budget) couldn't contain them all, so I rarely, rarely purchase any books for myself anymore. The library is an amazing resource, of course, but often I will go for several days without picking up a book now because I use my free time to write, read my Bible, journal, knit, or do other activities, which means that a library book often goes unread or only partly read before I have to take it back. Sad day. But now, having found "A Circle of Quiet" for one dollar (hooray!), I can keep it quietly on my nightstand, waiting for a few minutes of peace to begin reading what already looks to be an intriguing book!

There we have it: twenty books for less than twenty five dollars! I put back at least fifteen other books that didn't make the cut. Maybe they'll come up again someday. But we are so thankful to have a rainy day fun-fund put away for special times like this. I'm also grateful that we have books not just for us to enjoy now, but for our family to grow into as Harmony gets older, too. 

Have you found any good books lately? What books are your children having fun reading? We can always use some new ideas!