Oh, my friends... my stacks are nice and neat but you should see them when they've fallen over on the floor! At least I keep all my library books on a captain's chair next to the breakfront. Especially those I borrow from the library that charges for late books and DVDs.
I still enjoy coming home from a library sale and dumping all the books out on the living room carpeting... going through each new (and cheap) treasure. I don't enjoy finding a place to put them.
When we were in our elementary school years of homeschooling, kid's books were still a quarter a piece at the sales. We'd come home with three grocery bags of books at a time. Friends who started homeschooling even earlier told me you could still find plenty of Landmark books for a quarter before that... they were popular enough that one was fortunate to find them later. Now all books are at least a dollar but still a great deal.
I didn't attend the last two library sales, feeling my budget must go to living expenses and eating instead. As much as I love books, I love eating even more (even in the summer when I don't have much of an appetite). :)
I was asked if we read the Harry Potter books. Well, it probably won't surprise you that we didn't. I was very careful about the books, films, and TV that both my kids watched when they were young because of my past experiences. I was even known to be careful what families my children spent the night with if I thought they would be exposed to defiling videos.
When I was a teenager, I loved Dark Shadows... hurrying home from school to watch it on TV. Because of that show, I took a journey into the occult for awhile. Thankfully, I came to learn better and threw all that away but it showed me the power of "story" influencing young minds.
Of course, Christopher is now free to read them if he wants and he did watch one or two of the movies when it was on TV. The older he got, the more freedom he had in his choices. Because of my past experience, I prefer not to bring into the home anything that remotely glorifies witchcraft or the occult.
However, I fully understand there are Christians who did read and enjoy the series. I don't put anyone down as each family is different. Christopher and I watched and enjoyed a few Japanese anime' series when he was young, something I know a few Christian families would not watch because of their Eastern religion worldview. (Which we discussed as we watched them.)
I think we can overdo screening our children's literature. There was a website years ago when we first started homeschooling where the mother preached against books like Anne of Green Gables because the girls got into trouble. Hello... isn't that the point of the literature? Anne learned from the consequences of her bad decisions and our children learned along with her.
Stephanie has a friend who doesn't read books to her children that have animals talking (no Narnia???) because they do not talk in real life. Although she certainly doesn't agree, she knows she must respect her friend's opinion as a parent.
At the same time, I wanted to keep both of my children as undefiled as possible (when they were young) by the worst the world has to offer. I had no filters on what I read or saw as a child... including some of the vilest magazines and books available at the time. How I wish there had been a gatekeeper to protect me from those visual images.
As both of my kids became a teenager and (of course) a young adult... they had more control of their reading materials as well as videos (now DVDs). The older they got, the more I wanted them to use their own discernment.
So... all that to say I don't put people down because of what they choose to read... or watch... or what Bible translation they use. I'm not hesitant to say what we have decided as a family and give the reasons why (as with my past experiences with the occult) but when my best friend at the time couldn't wait until the next Harry Potter book came out... it didn't hurt our friendship. (She moved away, that is why she is no longer my best friend here at home) :)
Oh, the Elizabeth George I mentioned is the one who wrote A Woman After God's Own Heart, which is one of her books I've reread often.
I've seen the novelist Elizabeth George books at library sales. I loved watching the Inspector Lynley series on PBS Mystery, which was based on one of her books. It was so interesting.
As so many comments said... so many books, so little time.
Picture: A Good Book; allposters.com