Monday, June 28, 2010

A Book's Value

What makes a book valuable?

This is a question I often ponder as I look at the many books we own.

Over the years we have been able to purchase books to add to our home library. Considering how little we had when we first started Homeschooling and how much we try to use a literary style of learning we have been very blessed to acquire all these.

It hasn't always been an easy task. Some books we have bought second hand but most we have bought new.
We chose to buy these books instead of many other things we could have done and the question I have asked my self as I look around is: Are the books worth what we have paid for the?

As I am pondering I asked Autumn what she thought ~ "the way they tell you things without even trying. The old musty smell from second hand books and fabric covers are an added bonus."

Some of our books are more valuable because of the author and or illustrator. I have a wonderful collection of Tasha Tudor books that I value greatly. Marguerite de Angeli and Elsa Beskow books are another correctable series I try to obtain.

But as I think of the value of books - I think of the content.

I know some people look at the number of pages and then the price, and compare the two to come up with an answer.
Some people only collect valuable books and like Autumn some collect old books (they have better binding and covers she says) but I believe there is value in just about any book.

We have so many types of books that I have enjoyed over the years. I have my homemaking books, mothering books, raising children books, books about our Faith and Saints, cooking and homesteading type books, and of course all the 'about homeschooling books.'

We also have children's, classics, factual and information books.

Some books I read and I think- that was a great book, I really got a lot out of it. It has helped me understand a concept or been an inspiration to me or just plain good reading for relaxation.

But what about those books we buy that sounded great or were recommended by some one we trust and admire. What about those books? Are they really not worth the money that was paid for them?

Well this is my opinion after thinking on this over time. I believe if you only get ONE piece of information you didn't know or one inspirational quote, that book has paid for itself. If you were able to relax when you needed to and have some 'time out' that book was worth it's cost.

I have had books that I was disappointed with, especially when money has been tight, when I have wanted it for so long and finally I was able to buy it. As I have read through it waiting for the book to finally deliver what I thought it would, only to reach the end, close the cover and disappointed.

But as I reflect on books lately, as I have been waiting for my birthday books to arrive. I really think that perhaps I should look back over the books I didn't think I got my money's worth for and look for the sunshine within.

Having said this though I don't think I have had many of these books. I can probable count maybe half a dozen if I tried really hard. Mostly I have enjoyed reading or learning from books we have bought, or if not been entirely happy I have found something I wasn't expecting and was glad I had bought the book.

So to answer my own question: What makes a book valuable? A books value is not measurable. A books value can only be determined by my own attitude and how teachable I am. I can only continue to get value from books as long as I keep an open mind and a love of learning.
And I do believe price does not come into the equation!

What do you think makes a book valuable?

1 comment:

Katie said...

I love this post! My oldest is just beginning Kindergarten this fall and so I am just beginning to acquire a library! Your post has really encouraged me in my thoughts about whether or not purchasing books was worth the investment and I am looking forward to building our families library!! Thanks!


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