Sunday, October 21, 2007

It's a book, book, book, book world

Yesterday was a day full of books.

It started with a quick visit to one of the city libraries while Crayons was having her dance lesson (the library's across the street, more or less)--we needed to take several books back anyway so we stopped in there. Mr. Fixit found a couple of Glenn Gould videos, The Apprentice found some things she wanted, and Mama Squirrel found a whole lot of booklets on countries of the Middle East on the discard shelf. And Paddington Goes to Town (also discarded).

So we got out of there, picked up Crayons, dropped off Ponytails for her lesson, made a quick run for groceries (the store's five minutes away--gee, you'd think we did this on purpose?), picked up Ponytails, and collapsed at home with some lunch. So far, minimum book damage (especially because there weren't any yard sales or rummage sales worth going to this weekend). Mama Squirrel planned to spend part of the afternoon psyching up and finishing the wording to a support group talk she was scheduled to do last night: on books, of course. And do all the coloured laundry that's been piling up (homeschoolers can theoretically get away with pajamas but public high schoolers can't).

Then Mr. Fixit got a bright idea. Mama Squirrel had mentioned that the BIG library downtown, the one we don't get to very often, was having its annual book sale, and he needed to drop some used motor oil at that place where you take used motor oil, and the big library is sort of on the way there, so he offered to take Mama Squirrel and anybody else who wanted to check out the library sale, drop us off and then pick us up an hour later on the return trip.

Note this was Mr. Fixit's idea. Mama Squirrel, as I have said, would have settled for a quiet afternoon of puttering and writing. But there were a couple of other errands that could get done as well if we went back out, and the laundry could wait a bit longer. And Mama Squirrel had missed this particular sale LAST year, and it was too good a chance to pass up--so with a promise not to get TOO many books, Ponytails and Mama Squirrel went hand in hand down to the very noisy library basement full of tables of books and people squirreling through boxes.

To make a long story very short, we filled up a carton (33 books, mostly children's non-fiction; you pay by the box) and hauled it home. Ponytails was a great helper and found some good stuff to put in. Mama Squirrel was very happy because she found three of Edwin Way Teale's nature seasons books (we already had two of the four, so there was just one overlap to pass on to somebody else); The Winged Watchman; Amelia Mixed the Mustard and several other books of funny kids' poetry; a Mary Poppins cookbook; two Charles G.D. Roberts animal books (this is the other one); Carl Sandburg's poems, his memoir Prairie Town Boy, and another book by him; and some other things I can't remember but will get to in another post. Oh yes--while we were there and waiting for Mr. Fixit, I did a quick run into the children's room (borrowing, not book sale) and borrowed Rumer Godden's Little Plum for Crayons and Jean Little's Look Through My Window for Ponytails--both books I hadn't been able to find at the other library. (Crayons just finished Miss Happiness and Miss Flower (by herself), and Little Plum is the sequel. Ponytails just finished Spring Begins in March (by herself), and although there isn't another book about Meg--which makes her sad--I thought she might like to try another Jean Little book. We do have a paperback copy of Look Through My Window, but it doesn't have Joan Sandin's illustrations.)

We brought the books home--it was almost suppertime by now--and deposited the box in the middle of the living room where the Squirrelings pulled out books and Ponytails played "bookstore" with a calculator. Mama Squirrel reheated Friday night's potato casserole, put in some frozen chicken wings to go along with it, and hid downstairs with the computer until the garlic timer went off. She also pulled a couple of dozen favourite books from the shelves to take as examples for the meeting: so by this time we had library-sale books all over the living room floor, and books from our own shelves all over the rec room--not to mention a big box of support group library books that other people had returned here and that had to go back to the meeting too.

We got all that in the car and Mr. Fixit dropped Mama Squirrel at the meeting, where in addition to giving the Book Adventures talk she also picked up several Hampstead House books from a friend (we did a joint order; some of these are for Christmas presents) and several new Scholastic books for the group library. So they all came back in the front door along with that basket of favourites. And there was Paddington still languishing where he'd been left as well, without even one marmalade sandwich.

It's a book, book, book, book...floor.

But that gives me something to do this afternoon besides laundry and enjoying the sunshine and appreciating the Lord's Day. No, not reading them--making the Treehouse habitable again, or at least not dangerous.

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