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!