4.06.2011

Bibliophiles: my apologies

It seems that inadvertantly cause some hardship with the Lena's Patterns giveaway by asking commenters to list a favorite book in their house. 

A favorite.

Just one.

I'm so sorry.

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I should of known better.  I don't play favorites either.  I don't have a favorite colour or animal or food.  I like them all.  Or most of them anyway.   Depending on the context.  No way I could take it down to just one or even two and if I did, I'd feel like I was betraying parts of myself and being untruthful.  And with something as important as books, if asked to list the ones I like best, I would have to name at least five or six in every genre.  More than anyone, I hate to reduce it all to just one.

Again, sorry.

But I feel your pain.

This is the week that I have begun reducing our household to movable size.  We have just over two months left in this house and I am not wanting to move it all again.  Even if we end up just done the street.  I've also become enamoured of the word minimalism and how it applies to family life.

Yesterday's simplifying project: Books.

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My approach to decluttering is to pile it all up, put half of it in a box, sort the remainder, get rid of another half, and then organize what's left.  It's usually fairly straightforward (though, not entirely without drama).

Decluttering books?  Well, that's not simple.  Because books aren't clutter, they are my life.

In the end, I only boxed up a couple of books that were either not loved by anybody anytime or outgrown.  I kept my collection of books for the children to read as they grow (picked up for 10 cents each at thrift stores), even though it could be ten years before Smootch gets to some of them, and our hardcover reference books.

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This is also the week of unexpected gifts. Several times I've found someone outside my door with a bag or three of something special, including a neighbor with a couple dozen fresh baked chocolate chip cookies as a thank you for helping dig out her van out of a snowbank this past winter and a derby teammate with some books from her nearly grown children.

I love to see what books people hold on to far beyond the time when anyone has even considered reading them.  Usually the reason for their long shelf life is due to sentiment of a enchanted time (I have baby books galore still) or it is just a really great read.  I like to pay homage to this particular form of love and give them some extra attention to see if I can discover why this book or that is so special.

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You know how they say when the student is ready, the teacher will appear?  That is just how I feel about having a full to capacity and beyond bookshelf.  I put by books by for the same reason why I put food by.  Because I never know when I will suddenly need the sustenance.

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So, thank you to everyone who shared their family favorites and I once again apologize for any grief I caused by asking for just one title. To make up for it, I will pass along a (very short and incomplete) list of our favorite books.

Smootch's favorites today:

Anything Berenstain Bears
Wocket in my Pocket by Dr. Seuss
Pinkalicious by Victoria Kann
Anything Scaredy Squirrel

Birdie's favorites today:

Goodnight Moon 123 by Margaret Wise Brown
Up, Up Down by Robert Munsch
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Anything Dora the Explorer

Mega all-time favorites:

Dinosaur Roar by Paul Stickland
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star by Iza Trapani
Ain't Gonna Paint No More by Karen Beaumont
Mr. Brown Can Moo by Dr. Seuss
Knuffle Bunny by Mo Williams

Vegbee's favorites today:

Food Security for the Faint of Heart by Robin Wheeler
Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips
Creative Play for your Toddler by Christopher Clouder
Anything Terry Pratchett

If you blog about your favorite books, please share your link with us below.  I'd love to hear why your books make you happy.

10 comments:

  1. I don't know if you've heard of the program booksneeze but it's worth a look! They send out free books, you don't even pay shipping, in exchange for a review posted on your blog. For someone that loves to read it's be a great way to get new literature!
    lumiya2643@gmail.com

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  2. I love this. I just worked on our book collection (just the kids side) and it was a challenge to ween the stacks down.

    The boxes for the books are great. How did you cover them? Fabric and glue?

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  3. I fully and readily admit it, I don't understand people's need to have piles of books in their house!! I'm happy to borrow a book from the library, read it and then take it back. Never in a million years would I spend $$ on something that I would read just once or twice...well, the Home Depot reference book is a pretty great thing to have around. I'm happy we bought that one.

    My 12 y/o daughter has to have her books in particular order, in her room...heaven forbid they are in the living room where she can't pet them whenever she feels like it. I don't unerstand it, but whatever...it's her preference.

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  4. So funny -- I hung on to the exact same copy of The Guide Handbook that you have pictured. For a number of reasons, I think. Sentimentality, the hope that I'd one day have a daughter who would enjoy it (I do, though she's still too young right now), and the fact that it's a wonderful reference book... and I just can't let go of a good reference book!

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  5. Every so often, I try to par down the books (I have a pantry cupboard jam packed, a box just of Christmas, and a basket of current reads), but it's always so hard, sometimes I take them to the book exchange store, but if they won't take them, it's to the reuse so hopefully somebody will find and use them. I share fave's with smootch and birdie thought - bernstain and munsch are 2 I can't live without.

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  6. I totally have a collection of books for my little one as she gets older too, hahaha. My husband thinks I'm nuts or getting in line to be the next hoarder on tv, all with my books for her. But she will grown and I know she's going to like some of these books! They're just waiting for her.

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  7. Dinosaur Roar! I have that one memorized because my children request it so often.

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  8. I have just started to bring back my old books from Germany to read with my children and I was so thrilled that my big one loved Astrid Lindgren as much as I did.
    And Dinosaurs Roar! in our house, too.

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  9. Books. Books are the only thing we buy anytime our daughter asks. How can you say no to a book? Some of the books she chooses lately (barbie) are not among my favorites, but I still have a hard time saying no to books.

    I really need to start weeding through them because we will be moving next year, and that is how long it will take to pick and choose :)

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  10. Thanks all!

    Cynthia, the book boxes are mod podge and fabric scraps. I've covered just the front bit, since the sides and back are rarely seen.

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