Best Book I Have Not Read

Writing, Reading, Teaching, Life, Attempting to Balance it All

What business does a padlock have on a library? Ever? May 16, 2010

Filed under: libraries — bestbookihavenotread @ 7:12 am

My brother-in-law lives in California with his family. They moved from the East Coast (Maryland) to the West Coast (CA) for a job.

It seemed like the other side of the world.

It seemed like a great opportunity.

In many ways it has been, but today’s conversation has given me yet another reason to be thankful I live in the smack in the middle of Ohio. Things may not always be rosy, but I wouldn’t trade for what they are facing with their schools. My youngest niece will have 40 students in her class. She is already on a split/staggered day at her school where one group goes early in the day and one group goes later. The first year they were there, her older sister was bussed forty-five minutes across town from the school they lived less than a mile from. She ended up being home schooled.

Now,  specials are all cut, the librarian  let go, teachers were given a two-week unpaid furlough, and, to add insult to injury, put a d**n padlock on the library door!

Okay, these are tough financial times. Many states and districts are having to make hard choices. But to put a padlock on a library door is, in my opinion, completely asinine.


Weeding in Winter? January 2, 2010

Filed under: books — bestbookihavenotread @ 7:30 am
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Franki over at a Year of Reading posted about book weeding (the process of removing books from a collection) and it is pain I relate to! As we prepare to move to a new home, the realization that I probably won’t be going back to a classroom anytime soon, and the sheer number of new books I’ve accumulated since mid November of 2009, has had me weeding as well! I have found it can be a very painful process. Like Franki, I also had my classroom library at home in the basement. Last year I donated half of it to a new teacher in our district. As our home has been on the market this fall (and in preparation for a move), I have taken a box or two a week from my basement to the different buildings (elementary, intermediate, and middle) for teachers to take to add to their own classroom libraries. Even though I have come to a good place in my head about getting those books back into kids’ hands (and not just gathering dust in my basement), some days when I walk by the pile in the teacher workroom and see a personal favorite languishing and not having been already snapped up, my heart does sink a little. Don’t they realize what a gem they just passed up?

To counteract that feeling, I’ve also taken to selecting books from the boxes to deliver to teachers who I know have certain interests in let’s say historical fiction or fantasy, etc. To see their face light up (and their students) when I walk in with a armload of books does my heart good. My daughter has dubbed me the book fairy, which I have to say I like better than when the school secretary nicknamed me the book slut last year!

I come to book hoarding naturally. My father has floor to ceiling bookshelves in his office that have books sitting two deep. While being surrounded by books is something I associate with good feelings, I realized that there is no way that I will probably reread even 1% of the books I own. Books are to be loved and shared. The best way to do that, is to pass the book on, not keep it on a shelf.


Our Reading Histories July 6, 2009

Filed under: summer reading — bestbookihavenotread @ 5:47 am
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I know it is not necessary to state that I love reading. I also love talking about reading. The other day at the pool, a friend and I started chatting about our childhood history of ourselves as readers. I’m not talking about when we learned to read, or how, or even our first book memory (all of which would have been interesting conversation fodor as well); we specifically were talking about our relationship with libraries and books as children.

My friend read mainly in the summer-I read year-round. She started with the A’s and read through all the books and then would mark the spot she left off to start up again next summer. 

I, on the other hand, would read through series until they were through and then move on. In between series and genres, I would comb the shelves alphabetically for books that I hadn’t read yet. 

Both of us LOVED biographies such as Angel of the Battlefield: Clara Barton or the few books that existed in an early version of a mail book-club such as Shoeshine Girl.  

Both of us are positive we read every book that was in our local public library as children.

Neither of us understand library summer reading programs that end in July! What is that all about? Doesn’t August count? Doesn’t a reading program that has an end date imply that children aren’t expected to read after that date?

Our other friends at the pool that day looked at us like we had a third hands. Meanwhile, we were just happy to have found a kindred spirit who understood that the little red wagon that was taken to the library, wasn’t for getting a ride home. It was a measuring device for how many books we could check out!


Ohio Residents-Write your senators and representatives! Save our libraries! June 22, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — bestbookihavenotread @ 11:26 am

At a news conference Friday, Ohio’s Governor Ted Strickland proposed cuts to state funding, including more than 50% of Ohio’s Public Libraries. Read the article here and then e-mail your local representative and senator. It is easy to find their e-mail address using this site.  It took me less than 5 minutes to e-mail both my senator, my representative, and send a comment to the governor.