Besides my family, my No. 1 passion is books. I read constantly, mostly classic English and American literature. Our home is filled with books on bookshelves in our lending library, and my favorites are in my collection of children’s books.
Many of these were mine as a child, especially series like Little House on the Prairie and stories like A Wrinkle in Time. I also enjoyed masterpieces such as Treasure Island and The Wind in the Willows. I even have seasonal collections, including dozens of children’s Halloween and Christmas books. My grandchildren and I spend many happy hours poring over these.
I still love to wander in bookstores, looking for the latest offerings to add to my lending library. Used book stores really hold treasures. Recently, I found a copy of a book that I loved as a child that belonged to my mother – To and Again. I can’t wait to share it with my oldest granddaughter who is 4 years old.
However, as nice as it is to wander in bookstores, there’s still nothing that can quite match the Internet for variety and availability of children’s books. Here are two of my favorite sites to visit to help in my building my lending library:
Barnesandnoble.com has an excellent selection of new books that are always discounted. As a member, for a small annual fee, shipping will always be free.
Half.com is a subsidiary of eBay.com and, like its parent, features individual sellers, but no auctions. This site specializes in books, movies, music, and video systems and games, and you can find some remarkable bargains. It’s not uncommon to find hardbound books for $0.99! The shipping will cost you, but paying $5 total to get a book you’ve been hunting makes it worthwhile.
The Internet also has a wealth of information on children’s literature. Visit the International Children’s Digital Library to read books online in 60 languages. This site has thousands of free books, and information for parents as well as educators and librarians. Another fun website is www.storylineonline.net, where Screen Actors Guild members read stories aloud. This is a wonderful resource, especially for those who are visually impaired.
I haven’t yet warmed up to an e-book reader like Kindle or Nook. Call me old-fashioned, but there’s nothing finding a gem for my lending library, and then curling up with a real book — especially with a child at your side!