Encouraging Reading: A Library is Born

The things I want to know are in books; my best friend is the man who’ll get me a book I ain’t read. 
 – Abraham Lincoln

In our continuing pursuit of the joy of the written word, we have embarked upon creating our own homeschool library.  The actual collection of books was started in my father’s childhood, continued in my own and has been vastly added to through the childhoods of our own eight children.  Prior to building the actual bookshelves we found that we had piles of books in every room, every corner, and on every surface.  We all knew where our favorites were so location was not a problem.  Literally  every corner of our lives was happily consumed by books.  Ultimately it was time for a bookcase. Well, actually a library.  So with this in mind we have been building a “school house” and “library.”  It has taken us over a year but we have finally done it!

Athena immediately dedicated herself to the Herculean task of unpacking the books (our close friends that we had not seen for a year!) and organizing them by subject and alphabetically by author.  This monumental activity took her 12 hours a day for more than a week.  She chose categories:  fiction, biography, travel, history, science, foreign language, religion, philosophy, poetry, reference, etc.  Within the categories she alphabetized each book by author.

I was very nervous with all this organization.  I am used to playing a mental game of Clue with my books, “I last saw this volume in the kitchen, under the table, with the candlestick.”   I honestly wasn’t sure if I could find the book I wanted by searching for it on the shelf.  Athena ignored my concerns and powered on.

Athena the Library Queen

Everyone in our family has worked hard to make our school house dream a reality and with everyone’s help we now have a fully functioning library and schoolroom with 1000’s of the greatest books a child could dream of; we have beautifully illustrated classics, enticing modern dramas, wonderful history and science books filled with paintings and maps and internet links.

Now for a great home education:  all we have to do is sit back, choose a great book and read, read, read.

It is not enough to simply teach children to read; we have to give them something worth reading. Something that will stretch their imaginations–something that will help them make sense of their own lives and encourage them to reach out toward people whose lives are quite different from their own. 
 – Katherine Patterson

 

Quantum and Jack London share a moment together

Let Me Count the Days:  Homeschooling is learning to read and reading to learn.

373 Responses

  1. Oh, my goodness, I LOVE your library. It makes ours pale in comparison. Wonderful work! I now have something to aspire to!

    Here’s ours. :)

    http://thinkingkids.wordpress.com/2011/09/27/a-place-to-learn-our-homeschool-library/

  2. I want that bookshelf/library! Really, that is something I fantasize about having. Someday, someday…

    • mlq,
      We have been waiting for this for years. We can’t believe it ourselves! We had the most fun putting the books away because everyone had to keep grabbing their favorite books to re-read them.
      Allia

  3. Ah wow, your library is incredible. I’m so jealous! You must have a massive house!

  4. Breaking the 10th commandment here.

  5. I’m speechless. That is amazing — and what a great, affirming task for Athena to personally organize the shelves.

    Very impressive!
    :)

    • Indeed the best part of our new library is the way Athena has embraced it as her personal responsibility. Having the children take ownership of the library is the first step towards them taking ownership of the importance of reading and of their own education. Long live the printed word!

      Allia

  6. What a fabulous library! I was once a homeschooled kid whose mother put a lot of thought and effort into building a great library for us at home. I’ve reaped the benefits many times over and will try to do the same for my own kids. Good for you!!

    • I love the way you remember your mother “putting thought and effort” into building you a library. She gave you an invaluable gift. I am sure you will share the blessings with your own children.

      Allia

  7. i like the library soooo much !!
    even i am collecting and reading books for building my library …
    loved the first quote by a. lincoln

  8. what a great idea and worthy pursuit. congrats!

  9. My dream! Kids today need to be encouraged to read books, actual , ink-smell-wafting-into-your-nose books. And making picking up a book in itself an adventure as you’ve all done here really supports that. Good work!

    • You are so right, kids do need to learn to love books. They do regard their new library as an adventure, especially since they were so involved with its creation. They love to climb up on the ladder and slide around and select a new favorite. Reading is water for the mind.

      Allia

  10. My books have been in boxes for years; I can’t wait until our library is done (we’re in the process of remodeling). Thanks for the inspiration!

  11. Haha I’ve been slowly expanding my own small collection of Fantasy and non-fiction. Our family is homeschooled as well and I must say, out side of everyone else’s personal books, we have hundreds of others. And they are everywhere! I think it’s high time that we do something like this!

    • I was a bit skeptical at first, but organizing all the books in one place and under one system has made it easier for all of us to enjoy all the books. Also, it works better from the homeschooling perspective.

      Allia

  12. Lovely post, and absolutely wonderful library – I would LOVE to have book shelves like that filled with all those books! Thanks for sharing and congrats on being freshly pressed!

  13. I have always loved the idea of a library and I love yours! The high ceiling makes it so open and airy, I hope to have one just as big one day

  14. My family was homeschooled as well, but our “library” has only consisted of one skinny shelf and books scattered throughout our rooms. However, I learned to love books so much I’ve started writing them!

    Love your library!

  15. You’re library looks great! I was homeschooled by my mother until 4th grade and I honestly believe that my love of books and reading is the best gift my parents ever gave to me. Books have such a magical quality. The library from Beauty and the Beast has been my dream since childhood and looking at your photos shows me that someday I will have to build my own!

    • You are correct. The gift of truly loving to read is the best gift one can share with a child, and lasts a lifetime. You are so luck to know the magic of reading. I look forward to seeing your library one day.

      Allia

  16. I love your library. I wish I had the room to build bookcases like yours. I’d love to see pictures of your schoolhouse.

  17. That is a very nice library. And eight kids? I hope you’re not homeschooling because you’re fundamentalist Christians. But even if you are, I applaud you for providing a vast range of reading material for your kids.

    And think of this, everything is increasingly going digital, including books. I’ve noted that in my collection it ceased some time ago and is now resident on my laptop and my phone.

    • Do you find that digital reading is comparable to reading a book? We have several electronic reading devices but we all keep returning to the actual book. It is more fun to hold, easier to review and becomes a better friend.

      Allia

      • I find it a little more difficult for highlighting and annotating but I note the Kindle application is improving in that respect.

        What I do love about the e-readers is that they are small enough that I can take my library with me wherever I go.

  18. Oh I am in love! I would never leave that room. Great job!

  19. This reminds me of my family. We still have scads of books left over from homeschool and college, including most of mom and dad’s college texts from decades ago!

  20. I love your library, Allia. Love it, love it, absolutely love it. Thank you also for the beautiful post.

    Vera

  21. LOVE your growing library and just one of many great things about home education!
    Congratulations!

    • I have thought, “If my children read even a portion of these books they will be thoroughly educated.” More importantly, if they learn to love reading they will be able to continue their education throughout their lives.

      Allia

  22. This library is beautiful! I love houses full of shelves full of books – it makes them look and feel so cosy – the perfect place to read :)

  23. What is it Scout said? “Until I feared I’d lose it, I never realized I loved to read. One does not love breathing.” -To Kill a Mockingbird

    Your library is beautiful. Your children are blessed.

  24. Reblogged this on Bimba mia. and commented:
    Coz having this kind of library with your favourite books is such an amazing experience :)

  25. Awesome post! Thank you for sharing!

    …following your blog…

  26. I home-schooled for years and had bookshelves but this is a dream come true! BEAUTIFUL!

  27. I’m drooling over your library. All those lovely, lovely books lined along the seemingly endless shelves! Makes my pulse race just thinking about what sort of knowledge I’d discover. My home is also much like yours, sans library/bookshelves; there are books everywhere. However, I’m working toward remedying that as the additional 18 moving boxes filled with books is starting to get to me and the adventure of discovering which box a particular book is in has quickly worn off.

    • When we were unpacking the boxes it was like Christmas. Each box contained wonderful, unknown surprises. And once the boxes were opened they always contained books that we loved! Good luck with your 18 boxes!

      Allia

  28. I love this….ive always dreamed of having my own library-with a sliding ladder! Im growing my collection every week…hopefully one day it will look as amazing as yours!

  29. This library is incredible. As a book lover and believer in textual education, this library seems like a dream come true. I can only hope my future home bears something similar to your bookcase.

  30. It is my dream to organize all my books. We have SOOOOOO many. Right now I have some of them organized alphabetically, some by subject. But right now we have our collection spread out over seven different rooms! It is a but ridiculous. Congrats on your new library, and thanks for the inspiration.

  31. Simply fantastic. I love your library. Wow!!! I’m a big fan of reading. I can’t get enough of books. I’ll read anything, even the dictionary. Guess that’s why I’m a writer.

    Love your idea. It came out beautiful.

    val
    valentinedefrancis.wordpress.com

  32. That is insane. You have so many books. I love it.

  33. Do you think you can adopt me? Please??
    I LOVE IT!!!!!!
    I would never leave the house if i had a library like that!

  34. How neat! I love libraries; they say so much about the people who own them.
    Organizing all those books is a job I would enjoy.

  35. Wow! That is amazing and really fun looking!

  36. Books as you say, are our friends. Long live the printed word. A downloaded book cannot be a friend in the same way.

    My husband and have many books and we have collections back to my grandfather. And we keep adding to the number.

  37. Wow! Amazing library, thank you for sharing :)

    Our bookshelves are an absolute mess, books stuffed in at all angles, we need an Athena to sort them out! A budding Librarian perhaps?

  38. What an amazing collection of books! It’s a bibliophile’s Nirvana. Or should that be Bibliovana?? ;-)

  39. I envy your school library! Athena did a pretty good job organizing those books! Kudos to all of you! Every family should have a library! Agree? I can stay there for ages! :)

  40. This is wonderful! I will be homeschooling if I ever have children and this library is inspirational. I have a few overflowing book cases myself and am fond of collecting books from my childhood. I got the pleasure of working in my college library for two years. Athena did a great job categorizing and alphabetizing, very professional! I always loved organizing and shelving for the library, especially in subjects that interested me. (I got to take a peek from time to time) :D I followed your blog as well and love your background image!

    • Thank you so much for your very supportive comments. It is nice to know that there are so many people who truly love books, reading and learning. Isn’t it great to have books from your childhood? They contain so many memories. Homeschooling is a great way to share the things that really matter to you with the people (your kids) who also matter the most. Have fun on the reading adventure.

      Allia

  41. For me bookshelves, not the kitchen, are the heart of the home. At the very least they are a close tie.

  42. What a wonderful library ~ it is gorgeous! Happy reading!

  43. Wow….this is my dream!

  44. Beautiful. What I like most is you still have plenty of room for new acquisitions!

  45. That is absolutely beautiful!! It is one of my dreams when I have my own home to have a library room or nook (given the space) with cozy seats to sip tea or coffee and hunker down with all of my dear friends. My books. This is wonderful that you did this. I love seeing kids falling in love with reading. It is such an important and enriching thing for us all. :)

  46. Wow, simply amazing! I would love to have something similar in my own place!
    I don’t agree one bit with home schooling but, who cares?! I guess that is an entire different discussion :)
    Congratulations on your awesome library and on getting Freshly Pressed!

  47. This is one of the most fantastic things I have ever seen. I have a multitude of books lying around, and reading this made me look around and notice that I had books in every space of my apartment. Awesome job on your home school library. Bravo.

  48. homeschooling is not great – but the library is outstanding.

  49. What a beautiful collection!!

  50. Wow. It’s absolutely fabulous!

  51. Beautiful library! So happy to have found another homeschool blog! I rarely see one on Freshly Pressed.

  52. The shelves are simple yet splendid!

  53. Love the library. Because I love books too!

  54. I love books and have been attempting to create a home library of my own. But I have to keep packing it up to use the room for other purposes. Someday tho….

  55. That is a great idea and the bookshelf looks nice.

  56. I have library envy!! It is possible to have kids that love books as much as games! Books last longer too!

  57. I enjoy giving our 9 – soon to be 11 – grandchildren books. Reading together is a pleasure that continues from one generation to the next. I remember my grandfather reading to me and using “funny voices” and that is something I continue as a legacy to pass on.

    • Remember to write a note in the books you give, including the date and occasion. I have several classics from my childhood and I love to see that I was given and read The Swiss Family Robinson at age 8. My children enjoy seeing these notes as well.

      Allia

  58. I love it! That is really impressive, and I wish my tiny 1-bedroom apartment could fit all of my books like that! Is it bad that I could tell some of the series from the first picture?

  59. Looks like you have a future librarian in your house.

  60. Love the bookcases! Your house sounds like my bedroom…books everywhere!! :D

  61. Reblogged this on goingtogermany and commented:
    Now if I had a home library like this one, imagine the possibilities……

  62. Reblogged this on Joffre The Giant and commented:
    Books to the ceiling. One of the joys of homeschooling.

  63. Reblogged this on luaydpk.

  64. Those are a lot of books! Keep reading and keep up the good work.

    Speaking of books. My second book is going to be published very soon–maybe in February. The title is “The First Time I Rode a Freight Train & other hitchhiking stories”. My first book was “High Plains Drifter: A Hitchhiking Journey Across America” (Amazon.com).

  65. As a former English teacher, I’m thrilled that you love reading! Athena did a fabulous job!

  66. Awesome! Our library/art room is crammed with books, photos in frames, and mementos. Yours is so organized and inspiring.:)

    • We have been much happier since we have become better organized. We now have a separate area for art, that helps with the organization.

      Allia

      • Oh, don’t think I want that kind of organization! Heaven forbid! I LIKE my library the way it is! Organized disorganization!:D To each his own!!!!

      • I totally understand! I was very nervous as my daughter embarked upon her massive book sorting scheme as I am quite accustomed to choosing my books from among piles residing all over the house. Now that the deed is done I can say that we are all enjoying the order. Before, only I knew where everything was, now everyone can find their favorite books. I guess it takes a sharing mentality to really appreciate the organization.

        Allia

      • Not taking anything away from your awesome accomplishment! Absolutely beautiful and grand! :D Sharing the wonders of God’s creation is the best reason I have for amassing my library too.it is a wonderful legacy to maintain and pass down. Keep it going, best wishes.:D

      • A library is a great place to begin a thoughtful collection of books which explain God’s work in our world. I am sure your legacy will be appreciated!

        Allia

  67. I love your library. Have you done any online homeschool?

  68. wow the library of my dreams! fabulous sliding ladder and all!

  69. That’s so cool!
    I can’t wait to set up in a country just to be able to have a huge library.

  70. omg ur library is awsome!

  71. […] Encouraging Reading: A Library is Born « Homeschool Happymess: A Naturally Inspiring Approach to Ed…. […]

  72. A great idea !
    I wish I had one too. It’s heaven for any book lover.

  73. Cool project. It gives me hope that printed books won’t go the way of the dodo bird.

    Jimmy

    http://www.slightlyreworded.wordpress.com

  74. My husband and I have thought of doing that exact thing. I want to live in a library!

  75. found your blog from fresh pressed, and i love your library. I’m so jealous!!!

  76. Amazing library! I have so many books but not enough room for them… I can’t wait for the day when I have a spare room I can turn into a library like this! :)

    • Organizing our books has given us all great pleasure. Now it is so much fun to read and choose various books. We have friends who ask to “borrow” books so it is becoming a community library as well as a family library.

      Allia

  77. Very nicely done! I always felt that when things are organized it increases an individual’s motivation. So in this case, organizing your books into a nifty library-like setting will essentially motivate your family to want to skim through the collection and pick up a piece to read!

    My family did something similar with our DVD collection which we have close to 800 DVDs (Yes I know its not a very intellectual comparison to books, but it will get the point across!). It was difficult to find a particular movie so we numbered each video and made a catalog of the movies with the title, actor, and rating. When you find a movie you like you look at the assigned number and find it on our shelves. I think from then on, we were more motivated to find older movies in our collection rather than just the recent ones we purchased.

    Great post!

    If it’s alright with you, I started a blog of my own not too long ago and I would like to invite you and your readers to please check out my posts, comment, and subscribe! I would really appreciate any feedback as well as your support by signing up! The link is http://www.logicmeetsreason.wordpress.com Thank you so much!

    • You are right. The children have been much more motivated to really think about which book they want to choose. They are looking at everything, not just reading the most recent thing they can think of. I look forward to visiting your blog.

      Allia

  78. I cannot even begin to express how envious I am about the library. If there is one thing that is driving me nuts living in New York City, it is the inability to have giant stacks of books organized neatly for my convenience. You are literally living my dream, passing books down like that… my big fear in life is that electronic media will prevent me from ever realizing my dream of having a library for my children to enjoy. Great post, and thanks for sharing.

    • I know just what you mean. I spent many years living in NYC and books weren’t the only thing stacked vertically (dishes!Clothes!) Don’t let the electronic media get you down. A beautifully illustrated and bound book is priceless. When you have the space you will build the library. Children seem to prefer “real” books to digital.

      Allia

  79. Library is where the mind is…

  80. When I finish university and get my own place, I am going to get me one of these. Even if I have to eat bread and cheese for a year to pay for it.

  81. I love reading and it’s fantastic that reading isn’t dying in this modern age of psp’s and got knows what.

  82. If at all possible might you email me a list of your categories? If you have the time I would be very happy to have it.
    I am a creativity coach who runs an online website for writing Fiction and Memoir. My site is being upgraded (proofread * head smack*) right now. But once it’s back up I’d be happy to share the 52 free online lessons with you in return, suitable for 9-12 grade level and higher

    • Certainly. The categories we used are: fiction, biography, autobiography and memoir, science, art and music, US history, world history, foreign language, philosophy and economics, religion, sports, preschool and young children. I hope this helps. I look forward to seeing your online lessons when you create them.

      Allia

  83. What a great idea and a great blog post.
    Thank you for sharing.
    sev

  84. I think one of the keys to good writing is having a strong voice.

  85. I’m incredibly jealous of your library! I hope to have something like that one day!

    Great job ^^

  86. Reblogged this on The Little Thing to Share.

  87. This is amazing! I grew up in a homeschool family with a love for the local library and our house had mini book stacks ALL over the place! I’ve been seeing a lot of great library pictures lately; have you every checked out the rare books and manuscript library at Yale? Most impressive one I’ve seen yet!

    • Yes! We love the rare books library at Yale. Last year we took a tour of the library and were able to read some original manuscripts from the 1700’s. We also got to see the Guttenberg Bible on display. I think many homeschoolers are growing up with books stacked in every room. It is a beautiful thing. Keep reading!

      Allia

  88. book I ain’t read.”
    Did Abraham Lincoln really say “I ain’t”? LOL.

  89. Wow that library is awesome!It’s too easy to rent a film now I need to start reading more often!

  90. Absolutely amazing. I used to dislike books when I was a kid but now I absolutely love them. I wish one day I will have a library as big and rich as yours!

  91. What an amazing library and an awesome idea! I just recently put up some new bookshelves to accommodate all my books, but it pales in comparison. And that sliding ladder…amazing.

  92. Congrats on your new amazing library. Very inspiring post for me, another homeschooling mom.

  93. Nice! I have my own bookshelf too… it’s quite small but I love it. This inspired me to make it bigger.

  94. GORGEOUS library! I’m so jealous! Wish more people would read instead of watching “reality” tv. Formulate their own thoughts instead of being told what to think, or rather, not to think.

  95. What a GORGEOUS library! I am so totally jealous!

    Athena sounds like a girl after my own heart! I’ve got great plans for “some day”, when I can have my own in-home library, too (I currently have over 1200 books in my own collection, and that doesn’t include my kids’ books, or my hubby’s!) I, too — like Athena — hope to categorize them, then arrange them alphabetically by author. Go, Athena! :D

    ~MizB of Should Be Reading

    • I look forward to checking out your blog. You sound like a real book lover. Athena really put her mind to this task, I would have become distracted along the way. Hope you have a library soon!

      Allia

  96. Nice post! I also love books very much ever since I was in grade school. However during this time, I can no longer read the books I like because of hectic schedules that I have. ButI always see to it that I won’t miss reading anything in one day, so what I do is to download and read ebooks form my phone so when I’m traveling, I’ll still be able to read something.

    I’m proud to be a book lover!

  97. Loved the library! I want to have one too! Unfortunately, none of my friends is a reader. Sigh!

  98. This is lovely! I can only aspire to have one like it one day.

  99. luv your library [<3] I'd love to have a library at home too.. and a piano practice room as well :)

  100. Congrats on being pressed….keep reading!

  101. […] Read more here: Encouraging Reading: A Library is Born […]

  102. You are the best, come on, I stand by you

  103. Reblogged this on joelletomlinson and commented:
    My dream library. Reading is one of those things that is neglected far too much.

  104. Your library looks amazing! Congratulations!

  105. This is honestly my dream. I hope to have a big enough space one day to display all the books I’ve been collecting and treasuring over the years. Thanks for the inspiration.

    -Sam

    http://www.travelgirlseesworld.com

  106. Love the blog!!!

    Hey guys I’m a writer and i’M NOT GOING TO BE ANNOYING AND ASK YOU TO READ MY WORK, BUT I WOULD LOVE IT IF YOU ALL CAN CHECK MY WEBSITE AS AN AUTHOR AT http://www.celindasantillan.yolasite.com/ tHANK YOU!!

    AND KEEP READING PEOPLE! TEN TIMES BETTERR THA TV! LOL

  107. What a wonderful thing. We’re an equally bookish family and love that books are just part of the fabric of our lives. We have multiple bookcases and piles of books around our home, which work quite well, but I envy your beautiful newly arranged library. Your daughter’s efforts are truly amazing – I wouldn’t have had the patience to do what she achieved. Well done!

  108. What a collection! Your library is beautiful and I love the ladder (very “Beauty and the Beast”-esque!).

    I always pick up books and then put them down after a few chapters (if at all). This has inspired me to have another go at it!

  109. LOVE IT, omg. I have always wanted a giant wall of bookcases in my house (Beauty and the Beast, anyone?) and you’re the first normal person I’ve seen who has done it!! Kudos, and I am trying this when my boyfriend and I finally buy a house.

    • Several people have mentioned Beauty and the Beast. I guess I am going to have to re-watch that movie. Thank you for your assumption that I am normal! I am sure you will have a great library too.

      Allia

  110. We have easily enough books in our house to fill shelves like that – one day, I will have a library. I think that’ll be what I look for in a house when I’m of the age to have my own – a room I can turn into a library! I hate giving away books or even throwing them away, no matter how battered they are and how many times I’ve read them. They’re MINE. All mine… ;)

    Also, you call it Clue, but we call it Cluedo. Is that just a version thing, or is it a significantly different game?

    • Clue is the mystery game where you try to solve Who did What Where. Is that the same as Cluedo? Books make wonderful memories, and those memories belong solely to the reader. It is very hard to give them away.

      Allia

  111. WOW that looks like our house, lol… I love love LOVE books. If you read my about me page, you will read what everyone we know has to say about all our books, lol. I should get one of those tablet reading devices, but in reality, there’s nothing better then holding, smelling and even taking in the actual book. I do envy the big library as mine is a bit smaller, but commend y’all for building it for your kids and using it as a teaching tool!

  112. Love this! Will be reading more of your blog for new ideas! Thanks for posting & congrats on the FP!

  113. I am inspired! Still contending with the notion of homeschooling again. I keep getting these timely posts, and now this one. Perhaps God is speaking to me?! Thank you, and congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    • Homeschooling is a huge responsibility but at the same time it brings tremendous joy. Make the decision that is right for you, since you are the one that will be responsible. You will know what is right through thought and prayer.

      Allia

  114. Wow, I’m seriously jealous – your daughter is living my dream – she’s even got the ladder I’ve always wanted!

    Adopt me? lol ;)

  115. I am so glad that there are people that encourage and motivate their kids to read because one thing I’ve noticed among children and that is that they do not care to read. They’ll do anything, but not read. As a child, my mom, my aunt really, but she raised me, used to read to me stories like Snow White, Cinderella, etc., and I loved it and once I was able to read on my own I visited the library often to read books that interested me. Keep it up:)

    • We do not provide many alternatives to reading. Literacy flourishes in an environment filled with books but sparse on other distractions. Reading is a true joy and it is our responsibility to see that children can experience this joy early in life.

      Allia

  116. Wow. Am I envious of those bookcases!! What a wonderful idea – such a gift for your family. And I just love the fact that you have the children’s books of different generations available for your kids.

    • The books belonging to my father and grandfather are some of our favorites. They have particularly beautiful illustrations and remind us that bookbinding is an art not easily replaced with the digital product. Reading is a gift that can easily be shared by multiple generations.

      Allia

  117. I love to read and dream of having my own library in my home. Your library with a moving ladder is so inspiring. Thank you!

  118. I AGREEE WITH YOU TOTALLY.
    Congratulations for your idea.
    See my blog: http://livroseterapia.wordpress.com/
    Mário de Noronha

  119. I love your library. It’s so awesome. Also, I love the name Athena. I would do the same thing she did, organizing the books by category and alphabetical order.

    I love to read and have books all over my room. Hopefully, one day, I’ll be able to have a place to live where there’s enough space to have a whole room dedicated to books.

    • Isn’t it great having books all over the room? I love to be able to turn in any direction and find something fascinating to read. Someday you too will have a whole room dedicated to books, in the meantime enjoy the book chaos, it too has its merits!

      Allia

  120. very nice post. It looks so beautiful and well-organized library.

    TechSmartLife

  121. I must admit that I am slightly jealous of that gorgeous bookshelf! But I’ll get over it. Congratulations on building that, that is something you and your family can cherish for years.

  122. That is an amazing library! I want one that grand one day. Mine is taking over my office. I don’t have enough wall space for shelving units so I just have to deal until lover and I can buy a larger home.

    • We too have had stacks of books and shelves in every room. That can be fun too, searching for your book can help you discover other ones you may have forgotten. Exploring stacks of books is a great way to spend the afternoon.

      Allia

  123. your library looks amazing…lucky you people are…m so jealous.even the idea of sitting by the fire with a book in your hand and the happy feeling that lots of them are waiting for you…..its heavenly!! beautiful idea and beautiful realisation of the idea… :)

    • A great joy of a good library is that you can be secure in the knowledge that another great book is still waiting to be discovered. And of course reading by the fire is the supreme joy…Also sharing your books with others…

      Allia

  124. Home schooling is good and libraries are good reading is good literacy is good. New Here come visit.

  125. Oh, I love it! We aren’t a home-schooling family but we are a book-loving family and a book case with a ladder looks like a slice of heaven. Congratulations on your school house and new library.

  126. Oh My God! Now I want to read in a library like that, what more will the children! It’s very exciting!

  127. Your library is fantastic. And how wonderful that it is organized. But the best part was seeing a young child curled up with a book. Congrats on being freshly pressed.

  128. My husband and I are both book lovers and moved into our first house together after we got married last year. We’re living in the parsonage of the church where we’re on staff and have four bedrooms all to ourselves! You can bet one room is a library AND it was the first room completed when we moved in. Yours is beautiful! Love the shelves. You built those? I homeschooled as a kid and have considered on more than one occasion homeschooling my own one day. What fun it is to have a never-ending supply of books in one’s own home. Beautiful!

    • I grew up surrounded by books. My parents built bookshelves and used them as room dividers. The bookshelves could be used on both sides so no matter which side of the room you were in there were floor to ceiling books. Homeschooling is a great way to share family values – like reading!

      Allia

  129. Oh. Wow! I have library lust for your schoolroom bookshelf wall. That looks so beautiful and amazing. I have always wanted a wall of bookcases rising to the ceiling, filled with all my constantly multiplying volumes. Your photos go in my inspiration file.

    Great work!

  130. This is beautiful!

  131. I adore your home-school library! We just set up our library, too. Of course, ours is quite a bit smaller, but we love it. We started it 8 years ago when we started home-schooling.

  132. Oh wow! I love my kindle but I would still love a library, we had so many books growing up, your kids are very lucky :D

  133. Beautiful post. Thank you.

  134. Really a good article on reading !!!!! Children should be encouraged to read good books which will enrich their vocabulary and make them well verse with great authors like Mark Twain, Louisa May Alcott, Jack London and Alexandre Dumas.

    Thanks
    Prashant Badiger

  135. I absolutely love this idea!! I can’t wait to implement something similar when I homeschool. It enables your children to learn so many valuable lessons; organization, responsibility, and fun with a ladder. :)

  136. Such a wonderful thing you’ve created there for your family, I would love to be able to do that, but we lack the room. My wife has said we need to start buying ebooks instead of novels because our bookshelves are full!

    • Ebooks are good for transitory reading – books you don’t intend to reread or savor. My experience is children prefer real books that they can touch and hold and turn the pages and look at the pictures. One way to make room for new books is to eliminate books that aren’t really that special. We donate ours to the local library book sale.

      • I completely agree with that, the ebooks we get are novels for me & my wife. All the kids books are “real”. We’ve been using our local library since we started homeschooling, they have a very generous lending limit, so the kids always come back with a couple of dozen books each time they go, every few weeks

      • You are lucky your library is so generous. Ours is too but somehow I still end up owing fines! My favorite library tool is a laundry basket, that way all the books are in one place and they are easy to read, fined and return.

        Allia

      • I have just started reading Terry Pratchett’s ‘I Shall Wear Midnight’ to my eldest, which I only have in ebook form, it’s the first time I’ve tried this, so I’ll see how it goes :)

      • I am sure your child will love this story, especially as you are reading it aloud. That always makes a story more enjoyable.

  137. books – real physical books are oh so beautiful!!! thank goodness there are people who think the same.

  138. Your library is beautiful!

  139. Wow. This is inspiring to a homeschooled bookworm like me. I can’t afford one now, but a library like this is one of the things I want to pass down to my kids.

    • You can gather your books gradually, as we did. We found many great books at our library booksale, some for only $! or $2. At the end of the sale we were allowed to take home whole boxes for $5.

      Allia

  140. I am a librarian at heart and I am awestruck by the dedication to reading in a home situation. You may have seen this video already “Joy of Books.” I loaded it on my website. I also just posted a review of The City of Ember and the People of Sparks, which might be ones found in your collection.
    blue skies,
    CricketMuse

    • We too are librarians at heart. I look forward to visiting your website and seeing “Joy of Books” which I have not seen. We do have The City of Ember but not The People of Sparks. I look forward to reading your review of these two books. I am so glad to find so many fellow book lovers.

      Allia

  141. AMAZING library! I’m jealous! #LiveLoveLearn

  142. Wow! I’m so envious. Your library’s amazing! :) We recently moved houses, and I lost a lot of books in the process. I’ve only started rebuilding my book collection. I’m rereading everything and reviewing the books for cataloging purposes. Hopefully in a few years I’ll have a glorious collection like yours. :)

  143. Beautiful! One day I hope to have enough books to be able to make my own library.

  144. Wow, it is so amazing ! It is one of my dream to have a library as in the Beauty and the Beast. Yours look splendid! I hope to have my own one day and that my kids will appreciate to read books made of paper.
    Great work!

  145. What a wonderful library and the encouragement it brings the children is simply fabulous. GREAT WORK!!

  146. Your library is absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!!

  147. And I still fantasize about owning such a library at home someday.

    Seeing that I’m still 18 and hot blooded, I hope to make that true one day, filled with all my favourite books!

  148. This is my dream! Love it and loved reading about it :)

  149. Beautiful library. It is wonderful to be surrounded by books. The digital stuff is great to but there is nothing like a room full of books.

    Congrats on the FP

  150. Excellent library! This is one of my top priorities when I get my own place. Love it!

  151. The library looks wonderfully inviting, great job on putting in together :)
    I have been lucky enough to have inherited more than a thousand books, most of them many decades old and with beautifully decorated, golden covers.
    The perfume of them still strikes me as magical to this day.
    On the topic of paper versus digital, I must say that we should embrace the new technology and do our best not to destroy trees needlessly, while at the same time preserving the paper books that already exist for their aesthetic value.
    Have a good day !

    • You are so lucky to have inherited all those wonderful books! I agree the smell of old books is intoxicating. Digital books are nice but they do not create the same sense of commitment, not withstanding the need to preserve trees of course.

      Allia

  152. I LOVE BOOKS SO MUCH !!!

  153. Wow! And I was so proud of my library. I need to build my collection so that I can have a ladder one day, too.

  154. Those are the coolest bookshelves I’ve ever seen!

  155. 1000s of books….. that’s totally awesome!!!!!!!!

  156. Very impressive! And an amazing thing to do for you and your family.

  157. I’d kill for book shelves like that!

  158. That’s the library most people on dream of having.

  159. I am truly jealous… And, in a word, impressed. I skimmed your biography and find myself in awe of your approach.

    I suffered through public education, and have spent my first three years re-educating myself, and the effort continues today. The 12 years I spent in public schools were worthless. Senseless projects that did nothing but waste time, wasting time books that are not even considered classical canon and writing “essays” on those books that didn’t go past 2 pages.

    I’ve been playing catch up ever since graduation. I loathe the entire idea of the educational system (even in college, many of my classes and projects are essentially worthless).

    Also, I want your library. I’m building my own slowly but surely. I happened upon 20 harvard classics and 41 various books from another hardback collection for 10 dollars at an estate sale, which certainly helped (of course, I haven’t read nearly enough of them. Most of them are the complete works of certain authors; however, having them has created a great reference library for an English major like myself). I have also nearly filled a second bookshelf of books I’ve actually read, and am about to start on a third. My children WILL be home schooled, and I vow to have an all inclusive library from which to teach them.

    • My first three years of college, I mean.

    • Thank you so much for your endorsement of my efforts. I really appreciate that you understand my disappointments with the traditional school system. We are doing a great disservice to today’s children my allowing them to be undereducated while giving them the impression that they have “graduated” from school.

      It is fabulous that you were able to buy an excellent book collection for only 10 dollars! We have bought many of our books from secondhand shops and library book sales. This is a great way to procure a classic collection. Enjoy the books, the reading and most importantly, your interest and knowledge of English literature.

      Allia

  160. Awesome writing style!

  161. I know you are a Book Booster–I hope you will sign your name to the list.
    Blue Skies,
    CricketMuse

  162. Imma jealous of your Library

    I SAY AWESOME!!

  163. These days we (by which I mean the woman I live with ;) ) prefer to keep the walls of our house clean and uncluttered, with occasional paintings and African tribal masks, but I remember a time when I would build my own shelves and cover every inch of wall space with books. Ah, wasn’t that a time! I envy you!

    • Book collections are wonderful, cluttered and otherwise, but I am sure you have your priorities in the right place. You can borrow and return your books from the library but your relationship is their for you to keep. Enjoy!

      Allia

  164. I hope to get such one of mine own!!!

  165. Have you read the book called the “The Opportunist” by a new and very talented author Tarryn Fisher who is getting rave reviews

  166. That is amazing. I’m jealous!

  167. This is really wonderful! As a school librarian, I am so impressed with Athena and your beautiful library! Great job!

    • Your are correct. Athena was really the driving force behind the organization of the library. All the kids love it though, and now they are more aware of how to “search” for a book. The kids are very proud of their library, which is the best gift.

      Allia

  168. Wow! What a beautiful library! It looks like a wonderful room to get lost in.

  169. Reblogged this on xiaodanchen.

  170. I was homeschooled! love the name of your blog and the library looks awesome! way to go athena!

    • Thanks! It took us awhile to think of a name but then Homeschool Happymess just seemed right. As you know, things are pretty messy in a homeschool! Thanks for your encouragement. Athena was very personally dedicated to this project, for which we are very appreciative!

      Allia

  171. Here is one more book you can add to your library. My second book was published in January of this year: “The First Time I Rode a Freight Train & other hitchhiking stories” (178 pages).

    “The First Time I Rode a Freight Train & other hitchhiking stories”

    http://tim-shey.blogspot.com/2012/02/new-book-first-time-i-rode-freight.html

  172. Shiz this is superb! I always dream of having this! I love it so much! I love it like.. I can’t even compare. Ha-ha! You’re great!

  173. This is exactly what I’d eventually like! I currently only have around 200 novels and a handful of reference books my ultimate goal is to compile a home library! Wonderful post!

    • It sounds like you already have the beginning of a great collection. We got many of our books at library books sales and other second hand book stores. I am sure you will have a great home library too. It is a great way for family members to connect, through the sharing of favorite books.

      Allia

  174. Great effort. That library is mighty impressive. Keep up the good work.

  175. Jealous! I would love to have this in my house aha.

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