Never Too Many?

“Where do I find the time for not reading so many books?” Karl Kraus (1874-1936)

The Bargain Bin at my grocery store is what did it; it started this whole thing. I guess your store sets one up at the beginning of the year as well? Mine sure does. It is filled with books going out of print (at least that’s what I’m guessing they are), and the prices are ridiculously low. So there I was, innocently pushing my grocery cart on my way to the frozen foods. It was birthday cake flavored ice cream I wanted, not bargain books.

 But that Bargain Bin was right there—-in the middle of the aisle; I had to go by it. And as I did, a book caught my eye. A recipe collection. Gosh, but I have a fondness for cookbooks. It drew me in; I went over and picked it up. I flipped through it and then put it back. I don’t need another cookbook. But when I put it down, I saw another book that looked interesting. And another. And another. Soon I had five new books in my buggy, four were $3 each, one was $5. Less than 20 bucks and I’ve got five new books. I don’t know how I feel about the Bargain Bin. Is it a good thing?Here is a sampling of what I picked up.

And this one (my only $5 book). I started reading it the very night I brought it home. I enjoy listening to the Storycorps segment on our local public radio station. (www.storycorps.com) (Hmmm…I just popped over to that link. I really should make an appointment and try to talk my father-in-law into going with me to a recording session so he can share his stories of being a professional musician in NYC in the Sinatra era.)

This book is a compilation of some of the stories. 

As I drove home with my groceries and my five new books, I considered two things. First, what must that feel like? Say you are an author and spent years writing a book and then you finally get it published. You’re so excited. But what’s this? Come January, you see your heart’s creation in that gigantic box of books at the grocery store. Would that be okay, you think? Or would it hurt? I don’t think I could take it. If I ever finish my book and get it published, please don’t let me see it for $3 in the bargain bin at the Piggly-Wiggly. Please let it just fade away into obscurity quietly, without me noticing.

So that was my first thought. The poor writers. The second thing I considered was this. How many books are too many? Is there such a thing? (Or are they like shoes–never too many?)

I like books. I have always liked books. And I have a lot. I don’t think I could ever go “kindle.” I like to flip pages. I like the smell of book. I like to touch them, curl up with them. I often pick them up in second hand shops.I even dog-ear the pages to keep my place. Rebel that I am.

In our last home, we built shelves in a little overlook area, and I called it “the library.” In no time at all I had my books unpacked and those shelves filled. I loved that area of the house. So did Gracie, the Cat. And so did my daughter’s friends. It was just a snuggly, lovely, inviting spot. I could go up there and see my books all happy together. Before we did that, I had boxes and boxes of books. I had boxes of books in the attic, the basement, various closets. It was always hard to find a particular book when I was looking for it.

So, having learned that. Before we moved back into this house, we took an area and built some shelves. It is in the only place I could find to put it: a corner of my daughter’s playroom. But never-the-huh, it is my “library.”

Now back to the second thought I had on the way home. I was thinking, “Hmmmm,I need to get rid of some books.” The only ones I have ever really culled are all the scary paperbacks I used to read, like Dean Koontz’s. And I did give some other books away a few years back to some fellow Farmgirls. But for the most part, I’ve held onto my books. So I thought, “Well, I’ve just brought 5 books home from the Bargain Bin, so I need to give some away.” As soon as I could find the time and opportunity, I took a big box up to the library, and I looked for books to give away.

I looked over my shelves, and my box remained empty. I do love my books. Is it okay to hang onto so many? Is it hoarding? Must I find the strength to release them to someone else? Questions. Guilt. Confusion.

Aha, I know! Avoidance comes to my rescue once again. I decide to work on my daughter’s shelves instead. She has out-grown many of the children’s books there. She is 9, soon to be 10, so it’s been awhile since she read Dr. Seuss. So I started there. How the Grinch Stole Christmas? No way, we love that. Green Eggs and Ham? No can do, Sam-I-Am. It had been years since I looked at that book, so I sat right down in the floor to read it again. What a treasure.

So after all that fuss, he liked green eggs and ham afterall. What a hoot.

Then I came across this one.

I admire Jane Gooddall and the work she has done with and for chimpanzees. I sat down and thumbed through it. No, we need to keep this one.

Ah, Tasha Tudor. Her books are so homey and cozy and old-timey. My daughter has never really liked them, but I sure do. Her illustrations and words just make me feel—-good. Yes, good. Pumpkin Moonshine: yep, we’re keeping that classic. And this one:

I flipped to February

So sweet.

Next I see the Childcraft books on the shelf. This set was mine when I was a kid. What memories. I’d show you my favorite volume, Volume One, with all the Walt Disney illustrations back when he was starting out, but I see it’s not on the shelf. I bet you a million bucks it is in my daughter’s room beside her bed. We both love these books. I will never, ever part with that collection. 

I found this old treasure.

Remember that one?

And oh my. This one is wonderful.

I continued reading these children books. What a grand time I was having. As I did, I remembered all the times I had read them to my daughter. Some of them I remembered reading as a child myself.

This book, Stranger in the Woods, is simply beautiful. It uses photography to tell the story of feeding the animals in the snow. Also one of our favorites.

Children’s books hold a special place in our hearts, don’t they?

Just this morning I asked my daughter, “What is your all time favorite children’s book?” “No, David,” she said. I couldn’t find that one to show you. We have a paperbook version and it is beat up from all the times we’ve read it. The cover is no longer attached. The only words in the book, I believe, are “no” and “David.” It’s the illustrations that get us. Hilarious. Now I’m wondering if I should buy a hardback copy. I realize that I’m heading in the wrong direction with this activity.

This book is so much fun. I bet we have read it a hundred times. The illustrations are awesome and the story is a riot.

Another favorite of both my daughter’s and mine is this classic:

Do you remember that one? Little Sal meets mother bear while picking blueberries and baby bear meets Little Sal’s mother. It is a must-read for every child. Every time we read this book, we spend lots of time with the insides of the book cover.

The inside cover shows Little Sal helping Mom can the blueberries they picked.

Then I came across this one.

I went downstairs and made a cup of tea before I read this one. It makes me cry every single time. I have three beloved cats in heaven, Buddy, Molly, and Elvis. I have only read it one time out loud to my daughter. I cried at the time, so it wasn’t a very good experience for her.

And here it is. My all time favorite children’s book. I love this book. Every time I do a classroom reading, I bring this one along. I have a nightbag full of props I take along too. It is wonderful, about kids who move out of the house and try living in various places, like in a tree. On a pond. At the sea. They pick up souvenirs at each place. And do you know what those kids did at the end? Came back home.

I talked to my daughter about all her books. Were there any she was ready to part with? I hadn’t made any more progress on her shelves than I had on mine.

We decided to do something we hadn’t done in awhile. I would read to her again before she goes to sleep. We will start on one end of the shelf and re-read each and every book she has. We’ll keep a box by the bed for give-aways. Any book that she is through with, we will collect in that box. The ones that she wants to save forever, well, they go right back onto her shelf in “The Library.”

Okay. It’s your turn now. What are some of your favorite children’s books? Your children’s or grandchildren’s favorites? Are they old classics? Or new titles? And which are you when it comes to books–a passer-along or a hanger-on?

Until next time, Friends, savor the flavor of life!

Lots of love, The City Farmgirl, Rebekah

www.rebekahteal.com 

Leave a comment 0 Comments

  1. Debbie says:

    Hi Rebekah!
    I love this post! I am a hanger on to most, and a passer- on to others. We did a trip down memory lane sometime when our daughter was 10 too… I love that you reminisced together with reading allowed!
    You and I share a love for many of the same books and I recently did a post on books as well.
    I say the more BOOKS the merrier!!!
    Here’s the link! http://www.deborahjeansdandelionhouse.com/2010/01/book-ish-delights-sunflower-houses-give.html
    Beach Blessings,
    Deb

  2. We have an entire room devoted to books. That’s just our science fiction collection. Seven large bookshelves adorn other walls in the house, and they are all full. So yes, we’re hoarders.

    But! This year, we went Kindle. I simply cannot see bringing another book into this house, unless it’s just not available on Kindle.

    I like the Kindle well enough. I do miss the front matter, which may sound strange. But it was always part of the book experience for me – opening the cover and turning the blank pages to see the title page, then the publishing info. Acknowledgments, author notes, forward… all of that is important to me, but they get left out of ebooks. That is just dumb, methinks.

    The only children’s book I have left is "The Crows of Pearblossom" by Aldous Huxley. We all have such good memories of reading that book. I can’t wait to read it to my grandchildren.

  3. rebekah says:

    This is going to be one of those posts where I have to add comments along the way to yours. Sorry! I do try to be quiet down here, since it’s your place to talk, but I simply can’t this time!
    Deborah, I can’t wait to stop over and read your post. Cute title!
    Marlene, I’m encouraged that a book lover went to kindle. Hmmm, maybe I should never say never afterall. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that book! It is one I had as a child; and boy oh boy, that snake used to scare me half to death! (Hey, maybe that’s where my phobia came from.) My copy is very old and looks it too! I’m going to dig that one out to read tonight!

  4. Bonnie says:

    Oh, Rebekah! I almost hate to say that I have kept the majority of my children’s books over the years and they have been loved by the grandchildren as well. I keep a basket of favorite ones by the beds in the guest room. Our youngest grandchild who is 11 still reads them when she stays over. And sometimes I find her curled up by the bookcases in the great room reading the childrens books. I was presented a "bunch" of thin,paper Russian children’s books by an elderly friend whose sister had taught English. She also gave other hardback books to the girls and we treasure them. My husband also taught English, so you might guess where that leaves us with books! After teaching he became a realtor and investor and I am sitting at the computer in the office surrounded by books relating to those subjects. Both our daughters have a love for books as well. Our oldest worked for ivillage and interviewed authors in a chatroom situation and has many autographed copies from those she interviewed.
    So, there are many of us out there who could be accused of hoarding-only books though. :)

  5. Margie Smith says:

    Hi Rebekah,
    My alltime favorite childrens good is Secret Garden. My fifth grade teacher read it to us and I have watched all the movies. I have 3 or 5 different copies, one illustrated by Tasha Tudor, whose books I also like. As to throwing away a book, who would do a thing like that? I work in a public library and we accept donations of books in good condition. I also collect cookbooks, at time I had over 300. But alas, we moved into a mobile home and I had to get rid of some. Books have allways been my escape. Keep on writing about your farmgirl life, I enjoy it.
    Margie

  6. Bonnie says:

    One more reasons not to get rid of your daughter’s books. Grandchildren! You will end up buying the books that you donated. Most will be out of print and you will pay a fortune on ebay. Donate your books, not her books. The years fly by, believe me.

  7. rebekah says:

    Hi Bonnie! I’m glad to know I’m not alone. What a special collection you have. Yes, keep them forever. You have given me encouragement to keep mine…one day my grandkids will enjoy them too!
    Hi Margie! Oh yes–I love the Secret Garden book. I’ve never seen the Tasha Tudor one, but have heard of it. Lovely, I’m sure. Oh no, not me–I’d never throw away a book. It’s hard enough for me to think about giving them away. Books, yes-a wonderful escape, you’re right. I guess I’ve decided I’ll keep them as long as I have a place…Thanks for your sweet words!
    Y’all take care~

  8. CC says:

    all of the Little House on the Prairie series!! And the Wrinkle In Time books (I think there’s at least three) … and my beloved Hobbit and the trilogy that came after. I still remember the wonderful 6th grade teacher, Miss Stanton, who read to us from the Hobbit on our lunch 1/2 hour every day – we never finished the book (school ended for the summer) but I think everyone from the class ended up buying or borrowing their own copy to finish the story over the summer — what a great teacher she was!
    Thank you for sharing your favorites!

  9. Bonnie says:

    Gee, I forgot to include myself in that mix. I have a 36×36" bookcase in the kitchen with cookbooks which I love to read. A must for Tasha Tudor lovers is her cookbook. It’s beautifully illustrated. I also have a good collection of quilt books and magazines! ( I do quilt, but probably don’t cook as much as I should) We’re just a book loving family all the way around.

  10. Cathy Harvey says:

    My favorite children’s book is on of the ‘Golden Books’ called ‘We Help Mommy’. I’ve read that book so often and still read it occasionally when I come across it. I wouldn’t part with it for anything. It’s about children who help their mother clean, cook, shop, etc. I believe that book is the reason I’ve wanted to be a homemaker and nothing more.
    Don’t feel guilty about keeping so many books. I believe we, as women, take a lot of unnecessary guilt on our backs that was never meant to be there. Just enjoy them; I know I enjoy mine.

  11. Brenda says:

    I am definitely a hanger on. When my three girls had grown out of their books we went through them together and they picked out their favorites to keep. I ended up keeping quite a few others that none of them wanted. We now have them to read to our grand children. One of my favorites was Ping the Duck. I also have kept the Childcraft books from my childrens youth and have them for the grandkids to look at. My books.. I do not to part with a few.

  12. rebekah says:

    Hello CC,
    Oh yes, the Little House series. We’ve got that and need to read it again! Wrinkle in Time–well, I’ve never read, but I think we have that too. Oh, how I loved the Hobbit. That’s one we don’t have that we NEED to get!

  13. rebekah says:

    And Bonnie, oh no. I don’t have the Tasha Tudor cookbook. Okay, let me put that on my list!

  14. rebekah says:

    Hi Cathy! Thanks for the reminder–dump the guilt! Boy, those Golden Books are real treasures. I don’t remember that one, but I remember one about a nurse. Do you know that one? It even came with a band-aide as I recall. Oh, and the Pokey Little Puppy. I always loved reading that one!

  15. rebekah says:

    Hello Brenda! Ping the Duck? Okay, I don’t know that one either. Yes, I should keep all these wonderful children’s books! And add to the collection!

  16. Kathy says:

    Books! I love them and have hundreds. In an effort to make more room on the shelves I got rid of tons of children’s books several years ago. Now I want them back for my grandchildren and as someone else mentioned many are out of print and very expensive.

    I like the books "Rainbabies" and "Grandmother’s Pigeon" for the artwork. The people are so realistic looking. Some other favorites are "The Three Questions", "Livingstone Mouse", and "The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear", and "Corduroy".

  17. Bonnie says:

    Wow, I just signed on to MaryJanes site and love the city girl post. Since I grew up near Chicago, never got to be a farmgirl till I got here. First article I read is about books – my favorite topic. I too am a "horder" of books, they are in every room of my apartment. Keep buying more bookcases to hold them. My niece also has this passion and her husband built her a wall to wall bookcase in the living room. When I go there it is like visiting a library. Mine need to be decluttered though. I have gone thru them so many times and cant part with them. I did do this once, it was when I moved from my little house to this apartment. I actually had two big boxes of books that I took to the library so that I could at least visit them :-) Now I want to rearrange the second bedroom to a guest/library room. At work we had a book exchange where we could just drop off our books and take another one. We tried this twice and someone always got rid of them. What a fit we threw, you just DONT throw away a book!! Unheard of. So we have complained again and we will see what happens. Lots of women readers at work.

    One thing I wish I still had was all of my Golden Books. When I was a child, my mother would stop in at Walgreens where she waited for the bus home. On payday she would buy me a book – 25 cents back then. I had soooo many and when I moved away, they disappeared. I think some went to my niece, which is good, others who knows where but I miss them. :(

    So I am soo glad to know there are others out there like me who love their books. I would still like to buy The Nook but never give up my Book.

  18. Cindy says:

    What a great post. I just recently cleaned out the one bookshelf that I have – live in an "A" frame and no room for bookshelves! But I do have boxes and stacks in just about every room. I do have some of my childhood books however and will never part with them. No chance of grandkids but hopefully some nieces and great nieces that might enjoy them someday. Two favorites were read so many times the covers have come loose – Hear our Prayer by Garden City Books; and The Golden Book of Chirstmas Tales – Legends From Many Lands by James and Lillian Lewicki. These along with every kids book from the local library! Best part of my Saturday was walking to the library for a new stack of books. Recently stressed over getting a Kindle. Much debate between my sister and niece – one for and one against. I did get one and I do enjoy it as it is easy to carry along anywhere you might have a few minutes to read. I still go to the library on a regular basis as I love to hold a book as well. Sorry to be long winded – but this post was too good to pass up. Thank you for sharing your memories and getting us to remember ours! God Bless.

  19. Sarah says:

    My favorite to read to the kids (besides all of Dr. Suess) is The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton. It is a book about a little house that gets swallowed up by the big city, Sorry Rebekah,no offense intended. It’s just a great book, with fantastic illiustrations. MY favorite however is Anne of Green Gables (the whole series, not just the first book). I reread them every year, around springtime. I can’t wait to share them with my daughter.

  20. Debby Carrico says:

    I became a librarian because I have ALWAYS loved books and have hundreds of favorites like Secret Garden, Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe, Velveteen Rabbit, all the Flower Fairies series. My grown sons remember Cowardly Cyde by Peet and the Muffin Muncher. One of my grandaughters had a favorite called My Yellow Blankie, a boardbook, and she still goes to that one when she needs comfort. There is no comfort like a good book.

  21. Brenda says:

    I am a hanger on to it person. Books that I love or magazines or crafts I just can’t seem to let go of.My son’s books as children I now have for my grandchildren to enjoy but I think I enjoy them more than they do. There are a few I read and pass on but most seems to find their way back to my house. And those 25 cent books are now over $2.00. I too love the feel of the book in my hand and spending time in a bookstore is one of my favorite things to do. I as for the bargin bin I hope the authors take it as a chance for some to read their book that maybe wouldn’t have at the regular price. I love reading your articles it is almost like reading a good book please don’t stop. And if you are writing a book good luck and let me know so I can get it.

  22. rebekah says:

    Thank you, Deb, I’m grinning from ear to ear with your sweet words! And yes, Goodnight Moon is one of my favorites too! Could never give that one away!

  23. rebekah says:

    Bonnie, Welcome! What a wonderful memory! Your Mom going into Walgreens at the bus stop, buying you a book on payday. I love that. Thank you for sharing such a sweet story. A book exchange is a great idea! Hope y’all can work out the kinks.

  24. rebekah says:

    Hi Cindy! Even though I have shelves now, I still have stacks and stacks of books too. I totally understand stacks! The Golden Book of Christmas Tales sounds very familiar–I think we have that one. I need to check. If not, well, I’ve got to add that to my list. Oh dear…
    And, Cindy, there is no such thing as long winded here! We love it! Share, share, share!!!!!

  25. rebekah says:

    Hi Sarah! Well, I don’t know that one either. Believe me, I see so many things getting swallowed up by the city–drives me nuts. I need to check out that book! Anne of Green Gables is sitting on our shelf. I have never read that book. It is time to take it down!

  26. rebekah says:

    Oh Debbie, Being a librarian, you must know the best of the best! I love the Velveteen Rabbit. Reminds me of my Seddy (wrote about him last time) and all his fur being loved off! I’m writing down your favorites!

  27. rebekah says:

    Hi Brenda, You’re right! That’s a great way to view the bargain bin! And don’t get me started on magazines. I love to save those too! (When we moved my husband was so close to tossing the magazines. But I do go back and look at them, don’t you?) And thanks for the encouragement!!! One day!

  28. Stella - farmgirl-at-heart in Cleveland, Ohio area says:

    Hi Rebekah – great post! I’ve been a reader all my life and have a special place for Laura Ingalls Wilder and her Little House series. As a teen I fell in love with The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, and Mister God This Is Anna by Sydney Hopkins (aka Fynn).
    As for collecting or hoarding, I like to think of my stash of books and magazines as a collection. Like you, I purged scary paperbacks years ago, but kept favorite fiction and non-fiction to re-read someday. Most fiction/non-fiction I now take out from the library because I can’t fit one more book in the collection–except for cookbooks. My excuse in amassing vintage and newer cookbooks is that I literally do read through them for pleasure, and refer to them to nourish my family!
    Of great joy to me is my sister’s new-found pleasure in reading, at nearly 50 years of age. She never felt the attraction to books and reading that people around her have (me, her husband and friends), but has now been "bitten" by the reading bug. It is SO wonderful to be able to talk with her about books, and also to know that I have my favorite books on hand to share with her.
    Thanks for always providing such interesting posts, you’re a pleasure to read online and in MaryJane’s magazine.

  29. Joanna says:

    I love this post. The only books I have ever given away were the Stephen King novels I used to read as a teen-ager. I have moved across the country (Canada) twice and both times at least half of what I brought with me were books…I got rid of all my furniture but could not part with a single box of books. We have many of the same treasures…my kids have all loved Blueberries for Sal and Stranger in the Woods and of course all Dr. Seuss…
    We also LOVE Julia Donaldson: Room on the Broom, the Gruffalo, Squash and a Squeeze, etc. and I love reading the Little House on the Prairie series with my kids. I say you can never have too many books!

  30. rebekah says:

    Hi Stella! Oh yes, Mister God This Is Anna! How I remember reading that one! I do the same thing with cookbooks–I enjoy flipping through them and reading everything. Ingredients and directions. It’s a pleasure now that the photos are so good. Good for your Sis! Better late than never, huh? What are you reading now? Anything wonderful? And thanks so much for your sweet words! I love y’all so much, it’s nice to chat!

  31. Stella - farmgirl-at-heart in Cleveland, Ohio area says:

    Recent reads have been Bill Bryson’s ‘The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid’ about growing up in the 50s (makes you laugh out loud while reading) and John Grisham’s ‘The Confession.’ My sis got me a book for Christmas that’s next – Homer’s Odyssey – about life with a blind feline. See? Already sis is sharing the reading love… :)

  32. Judith says:

    …and books have been my constant companion since I learned to read. Bargain book bins make me breathless. A man who enjoys books (and can build custom book shelves!?) is number three in my personal list of desired attributes. Ahh, books, such heavenly gifts.

  33. bonnie ellis says:

    I love Rabbit Hill, Wind in the willows, the bang bang family, Harold and the purple crayon, goodnight moon, Mr. Poppers Penguins. Those are older books but my kids and my favorites. Happy reading. Bonnie

  34. LaRoyce says:

    I admit to liking the "bargain books". I have a hard time justifying to myself the expenditure at full price. I know that many people may not be able to build a library at full price, therefore, bargain books are still being viewed, collected and loved!

  35. Sandy says:

    I agree, save those books for the grandchildren — that day will arrive sooner than you imagine! The arrival of grandchildren I mean. Most books I save, some I have had for 40 years. Those are the precious ones. Those that I am not attached to I swap on paperbackswap.com. Give it a try!

    Yesterday I went to the library to pick up a requested cookbook about gluten free cooking. I walked out of there with a stack of 6 books. I am weak, just can’t turn down a book!

    Sandy

  36. rebekah says:

    Stella, I love Bill Bryson. I’m laughing just thinking about his books!

  37. rebekah says:

    Hi Judith! So are you going to tell us what numbers one and two are????? Your third one is a very good one indeed!

  38. rebekah says:

    Hi Bonnie-Oh yes! Harold and the Purple Crayon. I had totally forgotten about that one. I don’t think I’ve seen that since I was a kid. I don’t know Mr. Poppers Penguins, but if it’s as good as its name, well it’s sure to be terrific! Names of children’s books are like the names of country songs-so clever!

  39. rebekah says:

    Hi LaRoyce! You’re absolutely right!! Someone emailed me that the dollar store has great hardback books for a dollar. Now I’ve got to check that out too!

  40. rebekah says:

    Hi Sandy! I know what you mean-I’m the same way. We can now check out as many books as we want to at our library. No limit. I always bring home more than I could possibly read. You’d think I’d learn. Nope, not me. Haven’t tried paperbackswap.com-good idea!

  41. bobbie calgaro says:

    Reading your blog brings back memories of books shared with my daughter. I had breast cancer when she was 6. We went through the Little House books when I didn’t have much energy from chemo to do anything. Then there are the boxcar children series and my favorite Anne of Green Gables, because you see once we got started with me reading aloud we couldn’t stop even after I was well. I know I read with her until she was in middle school. She and I both love books. I have my library in this house, she has hers.Hers will be the library for future grandchildren. And she and her husband are starting one for themselves. Half-Price bookstores are their favorites. They are very green.I am finding myself buying used books that I once bought and let go because now i miss them. Yes,I soooo know where you are coming from.

  42. rebekah says:

    Oh, Bobbie, That touches my heart deep~deep~deep down. As I read your comment, I pictured a Mom and young daughter reading Little House books, snuggled together under a quilt, as Mom heals. (And Mom probably covering up how bad she feels so her daughter won’t worry so much….) Thank you for sharing. I can’t imagine how that experience touched your lives.
    And, hey–I hadn’t considered the green aspect of used books. How did I miss that??

  43. Jackie says:

    Ahhh, the lure to keep all those precious books. I have culled our collection more times than I can count, but the ones we continue to hang onto are the Little House Series, all books by Elsa Beskow (who was writing at the same time as Beatrix Potter), and our collection of Christmas stories added to through the years.

  44. Cindy says:

    I didn’t read all of the comments so I’m wondering, did anyone mention Miss Rumphius? You must read Miss Rumphius. And after you read it, you will be planting lupines everywhere! You and your daughter will love it. It’s a must read for everyone.

    And when I saw Jane Goodall, my heart skipped a beat. The ape lady! Have you read Harvest for Hope? It will change the way you buy your food. No, not you. You already do the right thing. But if others read it, it will change the way they buy their food. It changed me.

    Then you bring up Tasha Tudor. Oh my goodness. I have to tell you, I saw her in person! I did. At the Cincinnati Flower Show. I got an autographed copy of her garden book. When she was on stage the first thing she did was take off her shoes! She had to be barefoot to draw and she was making drawings to be auctioned off after her talk.

    Books are my biggest weakness of all. I do have too many of them. I go to book signings whenever possible. I don’t think I’ll ever have a kindle. How would one autograph a kindle?

    Cindy Bee

  45. Bonnie says:

    Has this post elicted the most comments ever? I am amazed and delighted that so many wonderful memories revolve around favorite children’s books. It’s been so much fun reading everyone’s comments! I was also suprised that there are at least 3 Bonnies responding to your posts. Not a name I run into very often. Anyway, Rebekah, it’s been a really enjoyable read! Thanks. Bonnie B

  46. Kristy says:

    I wish there was some way to contact all those "Anne of Green Gables" ladies. My daughter and I both loved Anne, but we found the "Emily of New Moon" series by the same author and loved that even more.
    What a topic. I’ve spent on hour on this blog reading and making notes.
    I’ve always thought of the bargain bin books as ones that just didn’t get a fair chance in the market place. They need to be embraced by some one & this may be their lucky day.

  47. Bonnie B says:

    I can’t leave this post without one more comment. A great place to find books very inexpensively is at our "Friends of the Library" book sales. They have 2-3 days every month where their own store is open and 5 rooms of shelves are loaded for sale. Most books are $.50 – $1.00. There are some exceptions. They also have DVDs, CDs etc. Children to teen books are .$25 – .50. And there are also bagged "collections" that are free for the taking. Who knows what you might get. Such fun. Maybe some of you will want to see if your library has such a program. Warning – it can be addictive!

  48. carol branum says:

    hi,you can never have too many,but,I just keep the hardbacks.I still have all of my childhood hardback books.Laura Ingalls Wilder books,Winnie The Pooh,and "Cheaper by The Dozen"series,Nancy Drew,and my Betty Crocer childrens cookbook,serveral others too numerous to mention,all signed with love,your aunt…How could I posibly throw them away when they are signed with love your aunt,their is no way…but,my house is so full of keepsakes and antiques that I can hardly walk,but,the memories are so worth it,and I am so blessed that my aunt wanted me to love reading…We are snowed in here,have been all week,good thing I love to read!stay warm,blessed be,carol branum….ps. the bargin bin is the greatest!

  49. Susan Ruff says:

    Gone Away Lake and Return to Gone Away. Hands down my all time favorite. Nothing better than curling up with an old favorite.

  50. rebekah says:

    Hi Jackie! Well it sounds like you’ve done better than me! Again, a new author. I haven’t heard of Elsa Beskow! I can’t wait to read her!

  51. rebekah says:

    Hi Cindy! No, no one has mentioned Miss Rumphius. It’s now on my list! Lupines are too.
    Yes, Jane Goodall is amazing. What a life and contribution she has made to all of us.
    And wow that you met Tasha Tudor! Wow.

  52. rebekah says:

    Hi again, Bonnie B.! Our library has the same type of event, but I have never been to it. What’s wrong with me? I should have been there before now, liking books the way I do! Next time!

  53. rebekah says:

    Hi Kristy! Isn’t that something–we’ve all heard of (and most read) Anne of Green Gables and not Emily of New Moon. I wonder why Anne is the one that took off and became popular? I need to read BOTH! I have Anne, but now will order Emily. And thanks for hanging out with us!!

  54. rebekah says:

    Hi there, Carol! What a wonderful aunt you had, to give you such precious gifts. Books to read! And putting in an inscription is such a grand thing for her to do. Makes the gift even more special. We should all do that when we give a book. Hope you’re a-ok in the snow!

  55. rebekah says:

    Hi Susan! Well, there’s another two I didn’t know about. Adding them to my list! You Farmgirls are incredible! (But you knew that already, didn’t you!!)

  56. Wade says:

    Rebekah, I know I’m a guy, but my wife forwarded this to me because I have a "children’s literature" collection. I took a children’s lit class in college and it opened up a whole new world. Since then, I’ve been collecting various junior novels and others from my childhood. My favorite book from childhood is Andrew Henry’s Meadow by Doris Burns. I just loved the illustrations and all the cool inventions. Everything seemed so possible! My favorite junior novels are The Sherwood Ring by Elizabeth Marie Pope and Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham. Both awesome stories! By the way, I prefer to collect older, library-rejected, hard backs. There’s just something warm and inviting about a book with a little slip in the back that shows the last time it was checked out. Thanks for the blog! Wade

  57. sharon says:

    Hi Rebekah.
    I have really been enjoying your blog. It was such a treat when I first stumbled into MaryJanes Farm Magazine. This world embraces many of the interests I already had, but once in a while either an article in the magazine or your blog really hit closer to home then usual.
    I am addicted to reading and have collected books for years.
    In the last few years I have moved several times and whittled my collection down with each move. This year I finally cut even more books from my collection because I knew in my heart of hearts that no matter how much I enjoyed them I would not be re-reading anytime soon.
    The books we read as children help define who we are and like many readers of your blog, I have a very special place in my heart for what is considered children’s literature or young adult fiction. L.M. Montgomery who wrote the Anne and Emily books mentioned by Kristy above is a particular speciality of mine. I have all 23 of her published novels, all of the currently available short story collections, her journals, and countless books by experts in the field of study of L.M. Montgomery. If any of your readers are interested in diving into that world you can find a group of like minded individuals in an online group called kindred spirits. we can be found at http://www.lmmontgomery.ca/, just look for Kindrd Spirits for instructions on how to join the email list. Here we discuss all of her books and the authors life. While most of us found our way to L.M. Montgomery thru Anne, we all have our particular favorites. Mine is her heroine Pat of Silverbush & Mistress Pat, and Jane of Lantern Hill. I was fortunate that these classic novels were reproduced in the late 80 and earlier 90’s after the acclaimed series Anne of Green Gables aired on PBS & the CBC brought about a resurgence in L.M. Montgomery’s popularity.
    I also had to comment on your appreciation for Robert McCloskey’s Make Way for Sal. While I loved almost every book you mentioned, having grown up in Maine this book is one of my childhood favorites and I always give it with 2-3 other McCloskey books as a baby shower gift to any expectant mothers I know. I love being able to share my favorites with new little readers!
    Thank you for starting this topic. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one out here who can become emotionally invested in a book.

  58. rebekah says:

    Hi Wade! So glad your wife sent you the link–welcome! Thanks for the great suggestions–once again, I don’t know (or have) those books. It’s interesting that you mention the old library books with the check-out information in the back. You are absolutely right! It adds a history element. I’ve never thought about it before, but I feel the same way when I find those books. It also feels "warm and inviting" (to use your wonderful words) to find someone else’s notes in the margin, even if they have nothing to do with the book! So glad to popped over and joined us. You’ve added much to our comment-versation! Come back sometime–everyone is welcome at maryjanesfarm!

  59. Rebekah says:

    Hi Sharon! What a wonderful comment! Thank you!
    Thanks too for the info on that site; isn’t it incredible that the Anne (and Emily) series has touched so many people for so long? I have got to put that book on top of my list and see what all the excitement is about. Can’t believe I’ve waited this long!
    Giving the McCloskey books as a shower gift is such a great idea…I’m doing that next time!!

  60. Karin says:

    Oh Rebekah, I love, love, love books. The way they look, feel in your hands, the smell. There are books in every room in our house. Last time I counted there were over 2500. I try to cull sometimes and take a few to the used book store, but I usually come home with more than I took. Our family are all readers, and now my two grandbabies are following in our footsteps. How sweet is it to hear that sleepy little voice say "read one more, Gram". And what fun to read the stories their daddy and aunt loved. I can’t imagine reading to them from a Kindle. I’ll keep my beloved books.

  61. Trudy says:

    Oh, Rebekah! That’s my youngest daughter’s middle name, spelled after Rebekah in the bible. I love your story, oh how it touched my heart. I love books too. My three daughters have had some wonderful childhood books that I wish I had never forfeited, some of your daughter’s I have never read, but I want to. I also go through the ritual of thinking I need to rid space of books, but when I actually do, and I have, I regret it sometimes. Some of them have changed my life, giving rich memories, and made me cry. Your story made me cry, your really write beautifully. Thank you for your thoughts on paper for all to see. What a blessing, lots of warm fuzzies. Hope to hear from you again!

  62. Carolyn says:

    I have managed to collect and hang onto over 300 children and young teen books through buying for 9 grandchildren. Still have one little 3 yr old to read to. Favorites for both boys and girls have been Little House on the Prairie series, Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, All the Gary Paulsen books… younger= Are you my Mother?, Go Dog Go, Frog and Toad series, Lil Critter books, Clifford, All Maurice Sendak books, Rain Babies, Heggedy Peg.. books illustrated by Audrey Wood, All the George (monkey) books
    Maybe I’ll keep them all for my GREAT grandkids!!!

  63. KimberlyD says:

    Rebekah;
    My love of books began when my mother bought me the Dr Seuss books, well ok maybe a little before that for I do remember a book titled Pokey Little Puppy. Than my 3rd grade teacher read to us the Little House on the Prairie, but I got moved to another teacher and didn’t here all them and later got them for a gift, than my 4th grade teacher read to us from Esop’s Fables. I loved the Hardy boys, and Benji and Black Beauty. Than I became a teenager and got into the scary books. Funny how I can’t remember any of the titles to them. I kept many of my favorites for years than got rid of them, passed them on, sold them. I only hang onto my very favorite authors now. I don’t know if I could go kindle either, I too like the flipping of pages and passing on the books to family or friends, can you do that with a kindle? I love going to festivals, and garage sales looking for books, sometimes I buy my favorite author’s or I fine a new one which happened just recently! I discovered a new author to me, and I love her books! Debbie Macomber, her Blossom Street books. And I use to read books to my niece and nephew when they was little. I have no children so no grandchildren to read to. My niece I don’t spend time with her children and my nephew passed away a few years ago.

  64. Deborah Bessom says:

    Rebekah,
    I once read that the sign of a great (selling) book, is to commonly find them at garage sales, and flea markets. So when your book is completed, I will be rummaging through thrift stores to find it.
    I’m with you on the Kindle thing. I don’t see the comfort of cuddling up to warm cup of coffee before a glowing fire with an electronic devise in my hand. And I don’t mind toting a book bag on road trips.
    My favorite book for my children (besides the best Book of all, the Bible)was "Where the Sidewalk Ends". In fact, I must drag that out tomorrow. My grandson is coming for a sleep over, and I look forward to visiting the poems again (just as soon as I can surgically remove the Wee thingy from his sweet little hands).
    God Bless,
    Deborah Bessom

  65. Tammy says:

    Hi Rebekah,
    What a treat to run into your site tonight. I took have books and books and more books. I love looking at them and reading some. My fav book growing up was black beauty, and oh how I use to read to my kids when they were small. I would love to do that today. My first grandchild is finely born, I can’t wait to spend time whit her reading. the other books i like to read to kids is, remember going to the doctor office and they had to bible story book. Well i have the ones my father had a kid and I have read them to my children. Reading was a great past time with my kids, it was the one time I could get them to sit still for more then a minute. thanks for the reminder of what is really important. Books Books and More books ha ha

    God Bless
    Tammy Dozier

  66. Stephan says:

    I have never thrown away books. I think there is always a place for them, i like books.. they reminds me of different epochs, they make me feel.. i’ve got a nice collection of Fowles’ books!

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