Saturday, February 23, 2008


I’m obsessed with books.

There, I’ve said it.

I’m fanatical about reading, enthralled with the places they take me, the knowledge they bring me, the people I meet through them. Books. My house is filled with them.

Biographies, travel books, reference books. Cookbooks and gardening books – books about annuals and perennials, bulbs and shade plants; about water gardens and vegetable gardens and wildflower gardens and rock gardens; books on house plants; insect and bird and animal identification books, books about photography, picture books, coffee table books, children’s books, old college textbooks. Yes, even those. Books on pregnancy and child rearing and diseases and first aid. Book about dogs. Dog training. Dog behavior. Books about fish and aquariums, cockatiels and gerbils. Books of quotations and books listing idioms. Manuals of style and references on technical writing. Bibles – New King James and Old King James and New International Version. Many copies of them. And hymnals, hymnals of all kinds, one for each family member. Dictionaries by different publishers, both abridged and unabridged. Shall I go on? Every room in the house has bookshelves, and all the bookshelves are filled with books. Hundreds of them. No, thousands. I once counted. But the number changes weekly.

Little did my husband know when he talked me into homeschooling that he would be supporting my habit. Now I have license to buy more books! As the homeschool instructor, I need books from which to teach my son. Textbooks, teacher’s editions, workbooks, and answer keys.

But that is just the beginning.

Which books can supplement Social Studies? What books shall I assign for English? What biographies will interest and edify my child?

I need books about the First World War, the holocaust, the Viet Nam war. Books about Benjamin Franklin and Abraham Lincoln, about Eleanor Roosevelt and pioneer women. Ooo, that’s more books for me to read, more books for my collection.

But we’ll also study global history, so I’ll need books about Rome and Greece, the Ottoman Empire and Communism. We can read about the history of Sudan or an autobiographical account of surviving the Cultural Revolution in China. Oh, the possibilities!

Then there is literature to teach, the classics to read. How did I manage to get through life without reading A Separate Peace? Or Cry, the Beloved Country? That’s changing because I just bought those books. And then I’ll get to reread To Kill a Mockingbird and Sinclair’s The Jungle. And I’m making a list – a long list – of more books to buy, books that my son will have to read, books that I’ll preread, books that my daughters will eventually read. Oh, I’m giddy with the choices, drunk with possibilities!!

I spend my online time reading book reviews on various websites, checking out what books other homeschoolers read, then placing yet more books on my Amazon wish list.

You’ll have to excuse me now. beckons.


a kelly said...

Well, I share your obsession. But it is under control. Really it is. So I am having a little book envy at the moment.
I pared down my personal library when we had water damage. And when I ran out of shelves.
Your library sounds awesome and so wonderful for a homeschooling environ. No excuses not to read!

The Reluctant Homeschooler said...

My daughters both share my passion for reading. I'm hoping my son also catches a bit of our enthusiasm. My only limit is time, and I sure try to make time to read every day.

The unforeseen reward for homeschooling is that my husband is now paying for the books ;-)

What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.”
— Albert Pike, Scottish Rite Freemason (1809-1891)