You’ll remember my inspiration of earlier in the week. I was getting ready for the book fair, remember? It was a wonderful, exhausting, inspiring weekend.
We were to have a local author come and talk about her work, and sign some books. She did, and it was so lovely! She spent time talking to each student, talking about her work with another author. She also shared the foreign language editions of her books.
We talked about their similarities, and their differences. We celebrated their loveliness and their unique features. She was so gracious, and generous with her time (she beautifully signed EVERY ONE of the set of books I picked for the library). Thanks again, Suzanne! She also gave us a sneak peek of upcoming works, and we can’t wait.
We always have a wish list, a cart of books that parents can purchase for the library, if they like, chosen by a variety of folks.
~I choose some, based on my #nerdybookclub discussions with librarians, teachers and authors on Twitter, on reviews, or on my own previews of books.
~Students request some, based on their own or other recommendations.
~Teachers make requests based on their needs for support materials in delivering their Units of Inquiry and reading instruction.
The Grinch even came for a very quick visit on Sunday, during a special story time. One of our families got there just in time to join in the fun!
Here’s one big thing, and I’m still in shock. Most of the wish list books disappeared from that cart before the end of the weekend. This means that our families stocked the library with books that will add fun and value and depth to our collection, and keep their students coming back for more. The generosity our school experienced this weekend from our community is more than I’ve ever seen – and I’ve seen plenty over the years!
What was my favorite part of the book fair, though? I don’t post photos of kid faces on the blog, so you’ll just have to picture this for yourself. Close your eyes and find in your head a Dad and two daughters. Dad is in the children’s section, sitting on the floor against a bookshelf, knees up, nose in a book. One daughter is sprawled on his knees, nose in a book. The other is snuggled up beside him, nose in a book. That image is emblazoned in my mind. It summed up the weekend for me.
All weekend, families came to browse, and we talked books. They stacked up arm loads of books, and more books, and set them nearby for me to “watch” while they browsed for more. For our school, the book fair has become a place to spend time in books. It’s not just about the purchase, though there certainly was a whole lot of that going on, too. It’s about the experience. Even the booksellers tell us our school is unique in our attendance and enthusiasm. This never fails to surprise me, since it feels so normal, to me, and so wonderful, all at the same time. I’m very grateful to be a part of the tradition it’s become. That is what inspires me today.