Thursday, August 18, 2005

Keeping Your Baby's Favorite Books

I have been on a quest in recent years-- a quest to reacquire my favorite childhood books. My mother had six children, you see, so by the time my books were passed down to my siblings they were in less than perfect shape. Of course my mother had no idea how nostalgic I would someday become for my old books, so she tossed most of them. She donated the few that were in readable condition to the church rummage sale in the late 1970's. Boo hoo for me.

I have very vivid memories of the books that I loved as a child, although I could not remember the names of some of the books. I remembered that my mother had signed us up for a book club and once a month a new book would arrive in the mail. Titles like "Old Black Witch", "Open Your Eyes" and "The Cookie Tree" were my favorites. As I tried to find these old books again, using online auction sites like EBay and Ruby Lane, I came across a great website for a store called Loganberry Books. On that site I found out that the book club that my mother had joined for us had been called Parent's Magazine Press and it triggered my memory for a few other titles ("Alexander and the Magic Mouse" and 'Miss Suzy" to name a few). In addition, the Loganberry site had a section where people could post a description of a long lost book that they couldn't remember the title of-- I used that service more than once.

Whenever a copy of one of my old favorite books would arrive in the mail (usually courtesy of an EBay auction) I would call my mother to tell her of my latest acquisition. My mom felt bad, saying she should have never thrown out my old books-- she had no idea that years later I would be trying to reacquire all of them.

Some of my other long lost finds included "The Tiny Golden Library" (a set of 24 miniature size books) and "The Illustrated Treasury of Children's literature" (my sisters and I loved the story "Little Lisa"). Another favorite, "Ann Likes Red", reminded me of still another favorite "Big Beds and Little Beds". When these books arrived it was as if I had read them just yesterday. Indeed, I hadn't seen some of these books in close to 30 years.

If you find that your baby or toddler loves a certain book, try to hold on to it. Books should be treasured and cared for and your child's first books will always be important to him or her. I am grateful that today we have outlets like EBay and Amazon, where people can buy and sell old books.

As for my daughter, I will never throw out her copy of "Good Night God", "The Rainbow Fish" or "Silly Little Goose". If she's anything like me then I know that years from now my daughter will page through these books fondly, trying to relive a moment or two of her childhood.

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