These Books: Slice of Life

These Books: Slice of Life

Oh these books of mine.

These books need to be packed.

I need a lot of boxes.

In the next four weeks, I am packing up my classroom collection. My classroom library. These books. These books are saturated with memories. They are adored by particular children. They each take turns being my favourite. Some are visited on a regular basis by former students who drop in to ask, “Do you still have that book, the one that . . . ?”

These books. This collection has been the source of new words learned and new concepts understood. It has inspired countless art projects and drawings. Books in this collection have been favourites. Have been fought over. Have been held close and remembered.

These books have given us words to talk about death, jealousy and prejudice. These books have shone a light on love, forgiveness and generosity. These books have made us laugh and rage and roar. These books have painted the sky, whispered the wind, suggested the rush of ocean waves, the quiet of midway from midnight, the warmth of a blanket lair.

These books. I think about how they have entered my room. Most have been carted in by me. Book by book. Book by book by book. Books purchased on my book collection trips to the bookstores I love to visit. Frequently, my bright yellow backpack is full of books. Books and my lunch. Books and an extra sweater. Books and the shoes I will switch into when I arrive. But always books. I am a book pack horse. I walk, loaded down with pages but light with excitement at the prospect of sharing the stories I am transporting.

Books have also arrived by post. Sent by publishers and beloved authors. Specially ordered when the bookstore didn’t have them. How many trips has our mailman made into the building with books for my classroom? Big boxes. Flat boxes. Bright yellow rectangles. Puffy white envelopes padded with bubble wrap and adorned with an array of stamps.

These books. These books are each welcomed. Explored. Read aloud. They are relieved of their jackets. Labelled. Stickered. Put into the collection. They might be stolen away and hidden with attempted permanence into a child’s book box. They might be read daily for weeks and then sit on a shelf for months before being rediscovered.

These books. These books. These books.

These Books: Slice of Life

I have been readying them for the move. Some need laminated covers. Some need to be weeded. Some will be left for other readers not taught by me. Some need to be read aloud, here, one more time. As I touch each one, I visit my read aloud memories or conjure the image of a child who read the book endlessly.

These books. These books will be packed up carefully. The baskets and the bins will come too. I am hopeful for endless shelves but prepared that not every book will find a place to rest immediately. It will take time.

These books. These books will stand with me when a new group of children meet me in a new room of a new-to-me school.

These books.

Those children.

Together. we will create a new reading space. Grow a new community of readers.

In those times when I look up and remember that it’s all new and not yet home, these books will help me find my balance. Let me place two solid feet in the middle of it all.

These books.

They are my stories.

My comfort.

My tickets.

My charms.

These books.

Bad Irony: Slice of Life

Slice of Life is hosted by Two Writing Teachers. I thank them for the community they provide. Read more slices here.

40 thoughts on “These Books: Slice of Life

  1. You do have an amazing collection of books. I feel privileged to have had a glimpse into your classroom and seen how your students loved these books. Wishing you the best in your new classroom.

  2. “…loaded down with pages, but light with excitement…” I’m a book pack horse too. I carry my treasures in bins and boxes to book club each week and then return them to the trunk of my car (no classroom space for me anymore). You’ll be comforted by these books as your wave your charms and work your magic in a new classroom. Blessings!

  3. I love reminiscing through books. It’s like taking a walk down memory lane or browsing through old photos. I wish you well with the move. I know your books will settle in just fine. ~Amy

  4. I loved this part, “I am a book pack horse. I walk, loaded down with pages but light with excitement at the prospect of sharing the stories I am transporting.” Sometimes I feel like a book hoarder! But, it is exciting to bring a new book – to think about how much the students will like it or how one student will also be excited because you have the book they wanted to read next. Good luck in your new classroom!

  5. Oh the books! Putting them away and taking them out is like looking at old photographs of my life. Each year brings a whole new set of memories. You just reminded me that I need to start hoarding boxes!

  6. I agree so much with you! And the more years we teach, the more memories each book holds and the more books we continue to accumulate. But we can’t teach without books!! Good luck with packing.

  7. You are right, Carrie, the books will hold you up, and keep the memories for you each time you begin new ones. I’m not surprised that you honor the books as part of your life, not just the teaching one I think, too. You say “this is the book when. . .”. Wishing you the boxes and the grand space for them next year! Thanks for sharing what so many of us think about books, too. I pull out a book and still remember a conversation, a special book group that read and loved it. Hugs to you these final days!

  8. Books hold magic in their words, but even more so with the memories they hold from the reading of those words. I know the next school of students will be blessed by the books you bring into their lives.

  9. Those special children will help you pack these books with love. My former lovelies helped me pack books before both of my out-of-state moves. The book talks we had while doing it (both times) were priceless.

  10. Fun Post! I am helping my daughter do the same – move grade levels last year we moved the older books out and younger books in. Now she is returning to third grade and I am excited to go through the older books again and add them to her library. What a delight books are!

  11. I love how your books are an anchor. As you move on they will be with you. What a loss for your current school to see you move on.

  12. I love that you’re a book lover and a teacher of new book lovers. You are changing their lives… They will remember.
    These books have given us words to talk about death, jealousy and prejudice. These books have shone a light on love, forgiveness and generosity. These books have made us laugh and rage and roar. These books have painted the sky, whispered the wind, suggested the rush of ocean waves, the quiet of midway from midnight, the warmth of a blanket lair.

  13. Your words really resonated with me. When I retired 3 years ago, I sold some books, but so many came home with me. 3 years later I am still struggling to pass them on. As I look at the boxes and rows of books, I can see a child who loved a certain book or character; I can remember when I read the book and reactions of students. Such wonderful memories.

  14. I love reading your blog, Carrie. Books are treasures, and somehow, children’s literature is especially precious. Thank you for sharing your books and your world with us.
    Now, the burning question… How on earth do you sort and organize all your books for packing and unpacking?

  15. Thank you for sharing so many of these books with us on your blog. They are well loved by your students and will be loved wherever they end up. 😉

  16. Thank you for sharing your passion to me! I am a teacher and was once an on-call SSW who worked in your classroom for a day. Where will you be going Carrie?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s