Selecting Books

I’ve had some people ask me about the way I’m selecting books to read to Bubba, and they’ve brought up some good points… so I’ll try to address some of those questions and concerns today.

First of all, I’m selecting books from the shelves in alphabetical order according to the author’s last name.  There are a couple reasons for this.

1. It’s the easiest way I could think of doing it.  I can easily pick up where I left off without having to think too hard (which is nice after a long tay teaching 27 first graders).

2. When we’re checking out and returning 15-20 books at a time (sometimes multiple times a week), I want to make it easy on the librarians and not cause too much extra work for them.

3. It allows me to read an author’s entire body of work at the same time.  I really like this because I feel like I really get to know the author by doing it this way.

Of course, there are some problems with this method.  First of all, great authors typically have some of their best books checked out.  This means that I might miss some of the best books because someone else has them checked out when we get to the author’s section in the library.  The way I’ve tried to avoid this is by constantly backtracking and checking to see if any books have been returned on the shelves we’re working on that month.  I may not catch every book, but I try to catch as many as I can.

A similar problem is that the library is constantly adding books to the shelves, and it’ll be impossible to go back and check every shelf for new books (especially when we get further along in our journey).  The fact of the matter is that we probably won’t catch all of these books.  I really don’t have a solution for this problem, so if you can think of anything to help with this I’d love to hear it.

Finally, some people have suggested skipping the “bad” books so we can get to the good ones sooner and not torture ourselves with the Barbie-type books.  As much as I’d love to do this, I want Bubba to know that there ARE bad books out there and that it’s okay to not like a book.  In school, he’s (hopefully) only going to be exposed to quality literature – books that he’s going to want to finish all the time.  When he’s reading on his own, he’s going to be exposed to poor writing from time to time.  I want him to be able to identify the poor writing so he doesn’t waste his time on these “bad” books when he starts reading on his own.

Let me know what you think… am I doing it the right way?  Is there a better way to “Read the Library?”  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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