When people – especially non-book people – visit my house for the first time, they invariably say, ‘Wow, so many books!’ And then if they make it to our playroom or Rowan’s room, they say, ‘Gosh, more books!’
I love buying new books. There’s something special about selecting a new book, making it yours and finding a spot for it on your shelf.
But I also love borrowing books from our library, and over the last few years I have increasingly had lots of fun buying thrifted or secondhand books. To help give a framework for sharing our favourite ‘non-new’ finds, Lou and I have decided to start a new semi-regular themed post, ‘Borrowed and Thrifted’. We hope you like it.
A couple of years ago I discovered a GREAT thing about our library, which is the online process of putting books on reserve. Often when I’m on the internet, trundling around all the gorgeous blogs, I find a book that sounds like one I need to read. I just hop straight across to our online library catalogue without leaving my chair. Our library has several branches, and if a book is on loan or at a different branch, the system allows you to put the book on reserve through the online catalogue. When the book comes in to my branch, I get an email, and then all I have to do is go to the reserve shelf, and grab the book(s) with my name on them. It’s so efficient, I can be in and out of the library in about 2 minutes. I do love browsing the shelves of the library too, but when I’m short of time, this (free!) system is much appreciated.
I found this treasure at the library recently: What the Sky Knows by Nina Bourke and illustrated by Stella Danalis.
I want to know what the sky knows
How to be blue
How to make clouds …
Sparse text and abstract collage illustrations characterise this picture book by Australians Nina Bourke and Stella Danalis. I love how the narrative gets you to think about what it means to be the sky with all the responsibilities it entails. But I especially love the mixed media artwork because I always try to expose Rowan to different styles of illustration in the books we read.
The illustrations themselves ask as many questions as the text: fish with legs and wings, flying carpets and ladders to the moon. The concise text does not mean that this is a book purely for younger readers; there is lots of room for discussion in this book and older children would be able to engage with questions about the illustrator’s interpretation of the author’s words, and would be able to use the illustrative style as inspiration for their own artwork.
In the next post in this series I’m planning to list some ways I go about tracking down secondhand books online… Stay tuned!