A friend of mine posted that her friend's mother had retired from years and years of teaching and they were looking to pass along her classroom library, so I said that I would love to take a look at things. This woman asked if it would be alright if I could just...take the whole library...and then pass along what I don't want. So I said yes even though I didn't know how large the collection was.
Andrew went to pick up the books while I did morning lessons with the kids. We told them that Dad was going to get a big surprise. Here's Zoë reading a library book to Alexander while they waited for the surprise to materialize:
And here are the kids with their surprise—books! books! books!
We spent the whole afternoon rifling through the collection, putting duplicates and unwanted titles into give away box. We've filled one gigantic giveaway box so far and still have a long way to go, but the kids are having a wonderful time reading through everything and discovering all sorts of fun things.
Alexander thought this big book was interesting:
He was also very interested in this little book-on-tape reading set, which came in a fun bag-with-a-hanger. He put on his best "explorer" face while he was doing his exploring.
He and I had a long discussion about cassette tape technology while the other kids were off doing other things and we two were still stuck sorting books, so when Zoë returned and found Alexander with the cassette tape he was ready with answers for her questions.
"What is this?" she asked.
"It's a tape," he said.
Zoë touched the ribbon, shook her head, and said, "This is not tape."
"It is tape!" Alexander said. "Mommy told me it is a tape!"
"It's a cassette tape," I said.
"You can record sounds on the tape—like music or talking or whatever—and then if you put it into a special machine it will play the sounds back for you."
"Special machine..." Zoë said. "Oh! Kevin has one of those!"
"Kevin?" I asked.
"Yeah. On Home Alone."
"Oh," I said.
"Do we have a special machine?"
"We do not."
"What's this shiny, shiny thing?" Alexander asked, holding up a CD.
"That's a CD," I said. "It also will hold sound for you that you need a special machine to hear again."
"Do we have a special machine for that?" Zoë asked.
"Somewhere...I think..." I said.
It was a wonderful time capsule experience for the kids, who unearthed technology from the 1980s, 90s, and early 2000s—slides, transparencies, cassettes, CDs—and books spanning those decades and beyond.
Here's Zoë reading the cat to sleep. She must have read 50 books today!
Waffelles had fun sniffing around all the piles of books, catching stowaway spiders, and sleeping among all the stacks of books.