I Want To Talk About Books

It’s Thursday, and that means that it was Library Day at Grandma’s House.  Corin and my grandbabies drove out here in the rain and it was so wonderful to see them!  I love their sweet, smiling faces and the sight of them coming up my porch steps to my house!  They are treasures, each and every one (Corin, included!).

We visited for a bit, and then the littles and I settled in for our read aloud time.  Christmas books, of course, were on the agenda.  Here’s what we read today: Thank You, God, for Christmas, Cat in the Manger, and A Night the Stars Danced for Joy.   The last one was our favorite of the day – just the very thought of being a shepherd witnessing the multitude of heavenly host praising God  with, “Glory to God in the Highest”, fills my heart with adoration and thanksgiving.  The kids enjoyed it the best, too!

I ordered quite a few things from Oriental Trading Company for us to work on in the coming weeks.  With the weather so uncertain this time of year, it’s nice having something fun to do inside.  Today we made beaded holiday necklaces and we all happily wore them for the rest of the afternoon.  I still have mine on!



Afterwards the children all played happily in the schoolroom, while my older kids and I chatted in the living room.  It seems strange, somehow, counting Aaron as one of my “older” children, but he visited with his sisters and I this afternoon.  He also kept refilling my glass of Diet Pepsi, Lord love him!  Here are some pictures of our day…….but scroll to the end because I want to talk about books.









Like auntie, like niece – Me thinks the Mt. Dew thing might, perhaps, be genetic!








Trying to snap a shot of my boy………









………..who insisted on mugging for the camera!  What a ham!











Uh-oh……looks like I’ve raised more than one ham!












Aunt Dani and our, sweet baby girl visited and shared lots of girl talk.





They shared quite a few giggles, too!






If all the dust bunnies under my couches were as cute as this one, I’d never vacuum!







I’ve long waited for an opportunity to share some of my thoughts about books with you.  I’ve had several questions about books lately, in both the comments as well as in private messages, that need answering.  I’ve also seen several articles and advertisements in the last couple of weeks that have kept pushing this topic to the forefront.

Most of you know by now, my heart is filled with the desire to build a Heritage Library.  The idea is, of course, that we would own a fine, private library in our own home, that we use DAILY.  Even more, though, is the idea that the books contained in our library will be passed to my children, and my children’s children, as an evidence not only of our passion for private, Christian homeschooling, but also as an indication of our commitment to life long learning.

Before I go any further, in order that you might understand better what is to follow, I urge you to click over and read my Heritage Library article now before continuing.  If you’ve already read the article, you understand my passion and the sense of urgency I feel in building our library.  I will start by answering some recent questions.

Where do you buy your books? Anywhere.  Everywhere!  I buy books at garage sales and thrift stores.  I buy books in book stores.  I buy books in liquidation stores.  I buy books at homeschool conferences.  I buy books through Amazon, e-bay, abebooks, bookcloseouts and other on-line book sellers.

Do you buy only new books, or only used, or both? Both!  Brand new books are wonderful, but I think that a still sturdy, worn book is absolutely lovely.  I enjoy books with inscriptions from former owners.  I buy books from lists I keep of books I am looking for.  I also buy books that were unknown to me that appeal to me when I see them.

Hardback or paperback? Now, this gets tricky!  I would prefer to only have hardback books.  Since my intention is to buy books to pass on to my kids and grandbabies, then the sturdy nature of a hardback is preferrable.  However, paperback books are almost always quite a bit less expensive than hardback**, so I often choose paperback and a larger number of books, over hardback and a lesser number when I have money to spend on books.  **While it is often true that paperback books are cheaper, watch carefully!  Quite often, the hardback version of a book is only a dollar or so more than the paperback version.  Coincidentally, Meredith had a great post asking just this question (hardback or paperback) at her blog.  Be sure to read all of the comments to see what others think, too.

What do you do with books after they’re read? Well, we reshelve them on our home library shelves for the next reading!  Books are meant to be read, and re-read and read yet again.  A good book, one worth having, is worth multiple readings.  This is true for children’s books as well as for books for the grown ups.  In fact, I enjoy reading children’s literature myself, from time to time.  Once in awhile a book does need to be culled from our collection.  Sometimes we are given books that do not suit our family’s standards.  Sometimes duplicate books come our way.  Every now and again a book will become outdated for one reason or another.  In those cases, I will either sell the books on e-bay, or I will donate them to a thrift store.  There has been the occasional book that I have destroyed due to its content.

For my family, books are an investment.  They are not bought simply just for the sake of accumulation, but for posterity.  I’ve always felt, somehow, that books were a valuable commodity, but an investment?  Really, Cheryl, an investment??

Well, in addition to my desire to build a Heritage Library for all of the reasons set out in my article, I’ve recently become aware that books, as we know them, may quickly be fading into oblivion.  I know that seems like a very unlikely prospect, but I’m not so sure.  The large city/county library system  in our area is already offering the “check out” of books on computer.  You request the book you want, they send a link to you via your computer, and you click the link and read from your computer screen.  Apparently there is some sort of encryption that disables your link after three weeks.

Amazon has recently launched a product of their own called Kindle.  I will tell you, truthfully, that since this product was first announced, I’ve flip-flopped on my impression of it a couple of times.  The idea of a small, portable device that would allow me to access, at a touch, as many books as I could ever read (for a price, of course) has its appeal.  I can see this technology being nice for a frequent traveller, or for someone in very small living conditions (such as a dorm room, nursing home facility, etc.).  However, there is nothing like sitting down and holding a book in your hand, feeling the crispness of the pages and turning those pages with your own fingers.  I’m also concerned about where technology like this might lead.  Read on.

The Google Book Project I’d never heard of it, though I’ve heard of similar undertakings by private libraries, etc.  The idea is to scan books, turning them into digital media, for easy retrieval, etc.  Google, of course, hopes to turn a huge profit on this venture.  I enjoy reading my books, advertisement free, thank you very much.  I also don’t like the idea of how this impacts the publication of future books, or the possible re-printing of older books.  (Hat tip to Mr. Saenz for this article.)

I’m not trying to sound like some end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it wacko.  I’m not such a person, by the way. On the other hand, I do see that the book market is trending more towards e-books, books on line, and the like and away from printed books.  This concerns me a bit, and only confirms my decision that building a Heritage Library is, indeed, the right thing to do. Buying printed books for my own library insures that a suitable collection will always be available for my family.  Free of charge.  No electronic media necessary.

Ladies, I know this isn’t my normal daily post.  However, this is very much what has been on my mind and heart lately.  I would not, could not, answer the questions I answered earlier without sharing this as well.  I’m not asking everyone to jump on my bandwagon.  I would, however, urge each of you to consider the role of books in your own homes, and to determine their value to your own family.  This is just one way that I look well to the ways of my own household.

Thanks to all of you who have been praying for Eric and Heather.  Eric is now home with his family, praise God; but the source of his condition is still not known.  Please continue to pray for them!  (Lisa wanted me to ask you to please pray for Eric & Heather as you’ve so diligently prayed for her….. She’s like that.  I’d appreciate it, though, if you’d remember to lift up her and her unborn baby, Grace, as well.)

God bless you as you look well to the ways of your household!
Proverbs 31:27

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19 comments to I Want To Talk About Books

  • Hi Cheryl,

    Great post. Dave and I love books. I made my granddaughter a cloth book today. I have a few more to cut out and make. Books are an investment to us too.

    Thanks for sharing.


  • I love the idea of having a Heritage Library in our home! I have over the years slowly built up our library, still have a long way to go… But your suggestions and book title/descriptions have helped tremendously! Thank you for everything…..



  • Oh a delightful post about books today.  I had for years worked in the Horticulture industry and had accumulated a wonderful Library of the best Gardening books in just about every catagory….no small feat to move the whole collection clear across the U.S. :p about two years ago, I went through my whole entire library and did some Spiritual cleaning, kept the really good ones, Gardening and non-gardening and donated the rest on freecycle.  I have now started a wonderful library on Christian living, and books devoted to a woman’s role in the bible….and more recently as my daughter has gotten a little older..well she is almost 6:p I am looking to more books on purity and modesty, etc.

    We just had a major, major breakthrough today with my daughter finally realizing she could READ!!!! :sunny::spinning: oh my to see her bounding up and down in her excitement and running over to Daddy when she sounded out a word and then read it….simply priceless…finally the lightbulb moment for her!

    I look forward to having classical and timeless books as well to fill our bookshelves in the years to come!

  • What???  The idea of curling up with munchkins, in front of a computer monitor to click through books doesn’t appeal to you???  😮

    Good post! :goodjob:

  • I have been building a library all my life.  So glad to share many favorites with my children.  One more thing about electronic books… the are hard on your eye-sight!  Case in point: in 1981, I was 10 years old & was one of three children in my entire elementary school that wore glasses.  Eight years later, upon graduation of high school, I noticed that all but one student in my honors classes (approx. 30) wore glasses/contacts!  What changed?  COMPUTERS!

    Blessings, Leslie

  • Thank you for the information, suggestions and opinions regarding home libraries.  I especially thank you for planting the thought of creating not just a personal library, but a multi-generational library.  Blessings,

  • Thank you for the wonderful pictures of your “Day at Grandma’s house” day!!! The necklaces were so cute.

    Your insight on the Heritage Library idea was very helpful and I am on the lookout for books to add to mine. I never really thought about the hardcover thing-but I guess it is true that they will hold up better in generations to come. The whole e-book thing is not appealling to me at all-I’m so old-fashioned I guess!:wink:

    Have a wonderful day taking care of your household!!!

  • Thanks for this thoughtful reply Cheryl. It gives me a different perspective of my book collection. You see, I been thinking of my full bookcase, which takes up most of an entire wall in my spare bedroom, as a possible burden to my family in the future when they might have to dispense with it. But if I think of it as a library, that might be treasured, what a difference it makes! Also the thought that books as we know them might not be available someday is intriguing.


  • That dust bunny photo was just toooo cute!  What an adorable little angel!

  • I absolutely love my books and can’t imagine a world where you couldn’t hold one in your hand.  As a child, there was nothing more magical than losing myself in a good book.  And today, I can’t imagine where I would be without books on family, being a better christian wife and mother, bible study and so forth.  Fortunately, my children love to read too.  We have a wonderful discount book store near our house and it’s so much fun to watch my daughter purchase “classics” for a dollar and then read them!  (She is a big Shakespeare fan and also loves Jane Austen.) 

  • Continuing to pray for Eric and his familyi, as well as Lisa nad her wee one gently tucked inside, as well as her family. So glad to hear you enjoyed your day with your precious loves, and to read the informative information you have shared today on books! As a preschool teacher, I am an avid book lover, and am working dilligently on raising book awareness!

  • Your Grandma Day sounds wonderful. Corin and Aaron are great hams!!!

    Thankyou for the insightful post on books. I learned much! Nothing like the real thing.


  • Cheryl ~ What a truly wonderful post! I have enjoyed all the posts you’ve put together about the Heritage Library (absolutely *love* that name!). I think the only thing I do differently is that when I have duplicates of a *good* book (usually because someone gifted us with a book we already own, occasionally because I forgot what we had and bought again 😮 ) — I *keep* the extra(s). I know that should the Lord tarry in His return, I will eventually leave here to go to Him and leave my books behind, at which point the children will be divvying them up! ;o) So I see extra copies as a way to bless more than one of my children’s families when they become the keepers of their own Heritage Library.

    I am not a huge fan of e-books. Like you, I see some good uses for them, but much prefer the weight of a book in my hands (unless, of course, I’m *listening* to a great book while my hands are otherwise occupied)! ;o)

    I’m so glad you’re encouraging families in this area. I have been surprised at the number of families that home educate yet have few to no books of their own (outside the textbooks they buy and then get rid of each year). I wish all parents could just understand the life-long value of providing great books for their children.

    I loved seeing your Christmas Hams 😆 and your Dust Bunny. ;o) Re: Aaron as an older child …. Does it not squeeze the heart just a bit when they begin to drift into adulthood? Bittersweet moments.

    Hoping you’re having a wonderful Christmas season. Hugs to you, my friend and all your dear ones. :o)

  • I’ve been reading a long time, and I find many of your posts thought provoking.  This is the first time I’ve commented, because I’m moved to say something about the Google Book Project.  There are so many ancient texts (illuminated Bibles, manuscripts, historic documents, etc) that are not available to everyone because they are one of a kind.  We’ll never be able to hold the Book of Kells in our own two hands, nor will many people ever be able to visit it to see it on display in Dublin.  But what a resource it would be to show the pages of that book to your children, and they could “turn the pages” of this historic (and beautiful!) document.  What google is doing is providing an invaluable tool to allow the world access to this priceless and historic documents. I think this is an incredible resource.  This tool could expand the resources we offer our children through schooling (this is valuable whether your children attend a “traditional” school or are educated at home).

  • your grandchildren are precious … that dustbunny baby is too cute!

    when corin was over on tuesday evening she absolutely glowed when she spoke of the regular day at grandma’s. :heartbeat: how special you are to all your lovies, cheryl. what a lovely reminder of what i have to look forward to.

  • What a beautiful post…
    Books are such wonderful things that can bless for generations to come and a Heritage Library is a wonderful idea!
    Wishing you a blessed weekend…

  • This isn’t a Christmas one (well you know, I think maybe it is, definatly a prelude to Christmas!!) but I LOVE the book “Because I Love You” by Max Lucado. I LOVE this book and I want to pick up a copy if I can find one at the Christian Book Store tomorrow. It is WONDERFUL. :goodjob:

  • We’ve always bought books with an eye to handing them down to the children’s children, as well. Stocking the future homeschools, as it were.   Absolutely love the “Library Day at Grandma’s House”! 

    I wanted to tell you I have the same shoes you just bought too.  I got the black ones last winter.  I love them, and they have worn wonderfully!