When I began homeschooling my girls I knew that having a good home library would be important. I ran across this article written in 1919 that put into words many of my thoughts. I believe even in a world where we can get so much information online and have a whole library on an iPad that it's important to have a home library, even if it's small, for your children.
The article is republished below. If I ever find the original source I'll add it below.
"The home ought no more to be without a library than without a dining-room and kitchen. If you have but one room, and it is lighted by the great wood fire in the flaming fireplace, as Abraham Lincoln’s was, do as Abraham Lincoln did; pick out one corner of your fireplace for a library, and use it. Every man ought to provide for the brain as well as for the stomach. This does not require capital; there are cheap editions of the best books; it only requires time and forecast. We write in a private library, and a fairly good one for working purposes, of three thousand-and-odd volumes; we began it many years ago, on a salary of $1,000 a year, with five books -- a commentary in four volumes and a dictionary. The best libraries are not made; they grow.
"At first buy only books that you want immediately to read. Do not be deluded into buying books because they are classics, or cheap, or that you may get rid of an agent. One book read is worth a dozen books looked at. No book is possessed till it is read. Reference books constitute an exception, and an important exception, to this rule. These are the foundations of a good library. The essential reference books are a dictionary, a good atlas, and an encyclopedia. Any school atlas will do, though if you are able to purchase it a good atlas is much better; and best of all is a wise selection of atlases. There is no best encyclopedia; your choice must depend upon your resources, pecuniary and mental.
"Have a place for your library. A dollar spent in pine lumber, and a little mechanical skill, will make a larger and better one. Varnished pine is handsome enough for any parlor. A place for books will cry to be filled till it gets it prayer answered. Book shelves preserve books. One shelf of books gathered together is a better library than twice the number scattered from attic to cellar.
"Finally, a taste for reading is an essential prerequisite to a useful library. A well is of no use if you never draw water from it. At the same time a good library in the household, accessible to all, from baby to grandmother, is one of the best influences with which to develop a taste for reading. Have no books so fine that they cannot be used."
Sunday, June 22, 2014
This is probably not your typical reading list for a preteen girl but it's a list written by my daughter when she was 13. She loved reading adventure stories or stories about Indians or pioneers and then acting them out. I know there are a lot of girls out there like her so I thought I'd share her list with you. Please feel free to pass it on to others! (The words are her own and I didn't change any of the grammar or spelling.)
1. The Lord of the Rings - This is my favorite book of all times. I think it's the best book ever written
2. Beauty - This book is based on the Beauty and the Beast story. And is really really good.
3. The Swiss Family Robinson - I love books were people are shipwrecked and have figure out how to survive with what they have.
4. The Princess and the Goblin - Is a great fantasy book and lots of great morals in it, by the famous author George MacDonald.
5. The Redwall Abbey Series - Is another great story of mice and other small animals.
6. Mara, Daughter of the Nile - Is a action, love story set in Ancient Egypt.
7. Little Woman - My mom loves this story about the life of four sisters
8. King Solomon's Mines - Is a action book about Allen Quatermain and others trying to find treasure.
NOTE: Thanks for reading my blog post. If you decide to scroll through and read other posts please realize that I'm in the process of uploading lots of content from other locations that I've gathered through our homeschooling years. And I'm updating many of the old posts... a few at a time so come back and visit us again!