Friday, October 1, 2010

Book Collections Part One

I am teaming up with my friend, Veee (Veee, not Zeee) to talk about books. The hows', whys' and whos' of our collections, more specifically.

We were asked by a mutual friend: "What books do you collect? What have you gotten the most mileage out of? When you are somewhere where there is a vast quantity of used books available cheap, what is your criteria for choosing what you choose? What do you NOT buy? Where do you get books to fill in your collections? When do you just go with what the library has? When do you give in and buy new?

That's a lot of questions. We are starting with the first: What books do you collect?

You can see read Veee's first post here. I own every one of the collections she listed (except the Francine Rivers, of which I have no knowledge). I won't be duplicating her list, but if I had posted first, her most of her choices would be here.

Narrowing my focus down to longer stories and chapter books, I will begin with The Grandma's Attic Series by Arleta Richardson.

My parents bought me the first book in the series when we were driving from my home-town in Oregon to Whidbey Island, WA for a visit with family. I remember choosing the book off a rotating rack in a gas station and begging for it. I remember sitting in the back seat and beginning to read, then I remember finishing it, closing it with a contented sigh, looking up and realizing that we were waiting in line at the ferries. I had read the entire trip! When I was an adult, I learned that there were more books in the series, and of course, I had to own them all!

Here's the list of titles in the series:
  1. In Grandma's Attic
  2. More Stories From Grandma's Attic
  3. Still More Stories From Grandma's Attic
  4. Treasures from Grandma
  5. Away From Home
  6. A School of Her Own
  7. Wedding Bells Ahead
  8. At Home in North Branch
  9. New Faces, New Friends
  10. Stories From the Growing Years
I have a daughter who is a horse lover. This next collection was obtained with her in mind. C. W. Anderson wrote The "Billy and Blaze" books that are so great for beginning readers. He also wrote many, many chapter books about children and their horses. She enjoys them very much. In fact, there are quite a few missing titles in this picture. They are on her bedroom shelf. You can get a full list of his works by clicking his name above.

Hans Christian Anderson is another that I have made a point to collect. What wonderful stories he told! How he sparks a childs imagination! One of the first 'big' books my daughter Polly read was "The Little Mermaid" She has read it several more times, too. With 168 works, there's a lot of collecting to do still. I have more of his work on other shelves, but this is the bulk of it. I like to use his books to show the Lambies how different illustrators can make a story 'feel' so differently.

Lloyd Alexander is another of my favorites. His "Chronicles of Prydain" are included in the Ambleside Online curriculum. They are excellent. He also wrote many other series' and stand alone books. I have read half or more of the ones I have collected, and enjoyed them all!

I will be sharing a few more favorites in my next post. My friend Veee is already onto Treasuries, so I am behind. Watch for Part Two soon!


  1. This clearly was not the week to finish The Total Money Makeover.

  2. Just you wait, Iphegenia! Picture books will be soon!

  3. New Question, I know that several of the beloved series have been "modrenized" (see OKLAHOMA! for reference) with less offensive topics and simpler plots/ language. Now, when it comes to Mary Poppins -- I get it. Do I need to watch out for that in any of the collections that you have listed? I'd like to know before I put them on my PBS wish list.

  4. I am not aware of any revisions. In many, many of the books I red with the Lambies, there are words that are not exactly modern or pc: queer (meaning strange or unusual), savages (meaning people who live in a native, non-European culture), ass (meaning donkey), gay (meaning happy, joyful) etc. I verbally edit sometimes for ass, and explain the evolution of our language as needed. Request the older versions and you can avoid any editing that may have been done. Newer books do not usually state that they are revised.

  5. I just saw the C.W. Alexander books at our library while going through the authors who begin with A. I am going to check them out next week.


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