17 April 2005

A bibliophile's quest

When I was about 10, I decided to organize all of my books into an "official" libary. I made little pockets for date-stamp slips and spent hours hand-writing each book's information on index cards to create a card catalogue (with protracted debates with myself as to whether I should include the Library of Congress blurbs from the insides or the text from the back covers).

Last week I arrived at the school in Santa Marta where I'll begin my two-year assignment. I brought an armful of books that I had picked up at a library sale, since I'd been told that they could use more books for the school's library.

They weren't kidding.

I owned more books at the age of 10 than they now have in their English section. Yet it's a wonderful room: the few English and Spanish shelves are side-by-side near the librarian's desk. There are games in the corner, resources for teachers on a far wall, and colorful puzzle-mats on the floor. It's a cool, quiet place where I watched my new class leaf through the books and whisper excitedly about what they found.

So I've decided to add a little book recycle bin to this blog. I can't offer remuneration, but if you happen to find a book or two (suitable for K-7th grade) you'd be willing to pass on to the southern hemisphere, feel free to get in touch. I can, however, promise a happy home and a long life to any lonely books.

I knew when I accepted this job that my main challenge would be the dearth of bookstores and libraries. So I brought what I could (what's a little extra baggage fee compared to modestly-filled shelves?) and determined to stoically face whatever came next. Here's to hazarding the wilds of a book-starved town!


Chris said...

Ana Maria,

Found your blog today via your comment on Jeni's blog. I'd be glad to send some books down for your school. Kid's books are ultra-slow-movers in our bookstore, so I'm sure that I can find some good stuff to send your way.

Chris Smith

amcorrea said...

Thanks a million, Chris! You'll be hearing from me soon with details. Also, let Jeni know that I hope to send her an account of the goings-on shortly.

Congratulations again on your beautiful newborn! I wish you all every happiness.

Worldwide said...

We occasionally get a few pallets of children's books that we can donate. Our only problem is covering the cost of shipping and handling. If you have some way of helping cover the costs of shipping and handling then we could send them your direction. Handling charges generally run about $.20 to $.25 per book. I'm not sure what it would cost to ship a pallet to your location but I'm sure we could figure it out.

We also have about 26,000 used adult literacy books that we would also could donate if you wanted them.


Worldwide Book Drive