Oh, no.  I've discovered something dangerous.  Our library has a used book store. 

I've only been in there three times, so I don't really know all the details, but it seems to me they don't do occasional book sales, they just put everything out as it comes, if that makes sense.  And admittedly, this softens my heart a little toward our library, which could use a few points in its favor.  After all, they allow patrons to look at internet porn out in plain sight in the middle of the afternoon.  Plus, there's always a waitlist for the Harry Potter books.  Spring for a couple more sets, ya old cheapskate library.  Or better yet, maybe I should just finally buy them for myself and stop expecting the library to be my everything.

Anyway, I got spoiled when we lived in Ames, where the library is EXCELLENT and I never saw anyone looking at porn.  So all that to say, I've half-hated our library the whole time we've been here.  It needed a little sumpn-sumpn going for it, and this used book store is at least a step in that direction.

Exhibit A:

All of the above books were 50 cents or less, except for Walden, which was a brand new, nicely bound hardback copy for $2, and weirdly, Journey to the Centre of the Earth, which was a paperback in okay condition that cost a whole dollar.  Still scratching my head on that one, but I'm the sucker who paid a dollar for it, so joke's on me.  But either way, I got this whole stacka stuff for well under ten bucks.

Exhibit B:

Now, these are just cool, and the language is excellent (not all choppy and short-sentenced the way they now make story compilations for kids).  These were each $3, but they're from the 1930's and the binding is still super tight, plus I thought Atticus especially would love them (which he really does), so I splurged.

And now, for the crowning jewel... Exhibit C:

Now these.  Just, these.  They're leather bound and stamped in 24-carat gold foil (they still had some of the original invoice paperwork tucked inside).  They contain all kinds of classic works, many of which are eventually on our school reading lists (I'll get to that in a sec).  Plus, they were only a buck each!  Plus, aren't they gorgeous?!?!  I mean, look:

Yeah, ya do.

As for how I decide what to get, I use my own nostalgia as well as the Ambleside Online reading lists and priorities to help me pick.  I also love looking for coffee-table books (so far I've found a couple great ones, unfortunately not pictured; one on birds, and one on the pencil drawings of Leonardo Da Vinci).

Our homeschool method is very, very literature-heavy, and it's nice to be able to build up our library a dollar or two at a time.  So I've just started familiarizing myself with our upcoming years' booklists, and checking in at the library every few weeks to see if they've gotten anything new.  

And the crazy thing is, I've only grazed the surface of what the book store holds.  I've only looked extensively through the children's chapter books and the classics.  There are still tons more to find, I'm sure!  This is seriously one of the best things about Cedar Falls.  Take that how you will.


todd said...

those gold foil books though!!!!!

MamaMae said...

Whoa. Our library experiences have been almost exactly the same. The saving grace for our main library here is the amazing book sale. I just found a smaller branch that we can bike to this week and it is so much better! Do you have smaller branches as well? If so, you should definitely check them out! You can always request that they get you books from the main library as well.