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Create a 'Books Wanted' Notebook

Books are a precious commodity in many homes. In fact, I heard of one husband saying "the most expensive real estate the family owned was the rare space on the bookshelves". This is no exaggeration considering many homeschooling families have literally hundreds of books. As the number of books grow in a home, you can lose track of what you have and what you want. This simple notebook should help manage this task and prevent wasted money by preventing duplicate purchases and lost opportunities because you thought you already had a book and didnít buy it at that tremendous used book sale you just happened to run across.

This is also a great inventory tool to keep up with all the books and curriculum that you DO have, even if it is in storage.

First, create a small notepad or notebook of books that you have and/or books that you would like to have. Put these lists on separate pages and break them down into what ever categories that work best for you (i.e., fiction, non-fiction, primary level, teen reading, leisure, classics, "must haves," individual series lists, etc.)

Second, visit your local library. Very often there will be displays set up in the children's or young adult sections that have new or often requested books. Too, get familiar with your library's card catalog. Many libraries today have their catalogs on computer which allows you to narrow down your search and still pull a significant number of hits from different areas of the library... very often letting you print them off as well. Don't forget to bring your notebook to write down any books that you would like to check out or acquire in the future. [Sections of the library to check would be juvenile fiction, young adult, cooking, crafts, history, etc.]

Third, cruise the aisles of the local bookstores. Bring your notepad or notebook with you so that you can note titles of books that you would like to acquire. Then, when you go to the used bookstore, book fairs, or even yard sales you'll be prepared with a list of what you have and what you are looking for.

Don't forget to check on-line sources such as amazon.com and the used book/curriculum boards for even more ideas.

IMPORTANT: DON'T FORGET TO KEEP YOUR BOOK LIST UP-TO-DATE! Your booklist is not going to be nearly as helpful, and in time will become useless, if you don't maintain it. This notebook will also come in handy when presenting your student portfolios as you can even make notations on it when a book is read and which child read it and/or when.

You can make these notebooks as detailed as you would like. I myself use a "loose leaf" type binder with three rings so that I can add in new pages when I want. At the moment, I am even considering upgrading my system to include color coded dividers for different topic headings and/or books that belong to my children personally. I hate it when I buy duplicates of one of their serial books.

Wondering where you can find a list of good books for your children to read? Try 1000 Good Books list. It is a list of books put together by Classical Christian Education Support Loop and is divided by approximate grade level. I have found this a very useful resource and recommend it if you are truly searching for some classic good books to read.

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