Sunday, November 21, 2010

What Not to Buy

My friend, Vee and I are wrapping up the book collecting series. I'll be doing one more post, highlighting illustrators that I collect, despite the author. Today, we are discussing "What Not To Buy".

Vee said almost everything that needed to be said about in her recent post, (sorry!  Homeschoolblogger is no more and all her great articles were lost! This is a tragedy!) but I'll have a go with a post, too.

1. Twaddle, of course. However, what is twaddle in my home may be beloved in yours. For example, we adore Little Critter. Some folks don't. I don't care for David Shannon's books and despite winning the Caldecott medal, I think they are ugly both in text and visually. Investigate lots of different books even if they are 'twaddle' to others. Don't feel bad for getting rid of books that everyone else loves if they are not right for your family.

2. Abridgments. You simply miss out on what makes a great story great. Reading abridgments can also make your child a lazy reader. They are dumbed down and fail to inspire. They are also often missing references that the author made about the Lord, so a great Christian story becomes just another story.

3. ALL the books in a series. So many times a great story is conceived and written, and then the franchisement of it begins. Book Two is pretty good, Book Three is just ok, Book Four is downright silly Book Five stinks. However, there is still Book Seven. Eight, Nine and Ten to go! When a series goes downhill, let it go without you. Inkheart (but please read the first one; it's fantastic!), Nancy Drew and The Boxcar Children (after #19...get #1-19!) come to mind when thinking of series that go downhill fast.

4. Exclusively pristine hardcovers with dustjackets. Please don't be a book snob! Books are meant to be handled and they will get grubby. Hardcovers are expensive and it's much harder to find them used. Is it better to have only a few really great titles, high on a shelf where they are safe, or to develop a love of reading in your tots with books surrounding them? I like a hardcover as much as the next person but I won't ever pass up a softcover copy of a book I want simply because it's not hardcover.

5. Disney and other adaptations of classics. Vee mentioned this and it goes hand-in-hand with twaddle and abridgments. Please read the original versions of stories. There is so much more to them than can be expressed in a movie, and the Disney books will almost always be simply printed versions of the movie.

Do you have any guidelines to add? I'd love to hear your suggestions!


  1. I mostly agree...We don't buy paperback books NEW. We get them used for less than $1...unless it's something like a Magic School Bus or an expensive book like those by David Macauley (Pyramid, Cathedral, Mill...). Also, I agree with "don't" buy Disney, but for a different reason - the book adaptations of movies fall flat...they can't get everything from the movie in the book! Still, we have some from garage sales b/c my kids like the pictures and use them for reference when drawing their favorite Disney movie characters. I might add - be careful of treasuries. They often crop pictures and sometimes squeeze multiple pages into one...though I do love finding treasuries that are well done.

  2. I agree w/ you about pristine hardcovers BUT I greatly prefer hardcovers for short books. I don't like not being able to read the title on the spine. If I can't see the book title, it won't get read.


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