A couple of nights ago I was standing in the hallway, considering the bookshelf, and the titles on the spines. Occasionally I play little games, like, if there were to be a catastrophic economic collapse and I could never buy another book, would I have enough books to provide my children with a well rounded, rigorous education? Some people focus on water filters or heirloom seeds, I spend my "radical" moments thinking of books. I guess it's like the old quote about buying books when one has a choice between them and food.
As I stood there, my eyes came across a surprise. Now you know, it's not been very long since I put all those books back on that shelf; still I met the unexpected. In the "Scriptio Continua" post, I wrote about Sam copying Hiawatha's Childhood. Here, perhaps, you'll think I found Sam's copy of Hiawatha's Childhood on the book shelf, but that wouldn't really be surprising. No, I found an old book with a blue spine and gold lettering, Illustrated Classics: Poems of Longfellow. Aha! I guess we originally bought it at a book sale or yard sale for a dollar or two, and thinking it was surely educational, gave it a home on the shelf. To my delight The Song of Hiawatha is among those poems. I now have a nearly endless supply of work for Sam; Bryan and I chuckled about how long it would take Sam to copy it all. Though, in truth, I'll probably let him just read most of it and copy out his favorite sections.
At homeschool book sales I have met those other homeschoolers who keep a complete list of all books on a Palm Pilot, a Blackberry, or an iphone. Clearly...clearly...they are very organized. But where's the fun in that? They'll never search the shelf for a book they thought they had, buy it thinking it was needed, and then discover the six year old was reading the original in her closet. They miss the joy of discovery. And if I could say "joy of discovery" in French, I would.