day six: books and bugs

January 6, 2017 @ 4:33 pm | Filed under:

Scotland shelf


There. I’ve been through every book in the house. There are hundreds stacked up, ready to be donated, just as soon as someone who wants them shows up with boxes. Thousands more survived this round of cuts, and I’m itching to curl up *right this minute* with about 80% of those. (Insert despairing cackle.)

I’m steeling myself to let some of the weaving books go. Some were reference for writing the Martha books; others were instructional for my own rookie efforts. I’m going to let Spinning and Weaving With Wool and the big book on linen find homes with someone else. (Sitting here writing this post, I couldn’t remember the exact title of the linen book. Then I remembered I probably ordered it from Amazon. And sure enough, there it is in my order history. From 1998.


I’m a little freaked out right now

One notable observation we made while culling the collection was how many books could be let go due to our now relying on the internet for their kind of content. Informational texts, science projects, cookbooks. (Okay, but I did keep Lotions, Potions, and Slime—I don’t care if you can find all those activities on Pinterest now; that book has family history.) If I ever need to know how to finesse linen in a handloom again, I’ll Google it.


Last night’s picture book: Mr. Wuffles by David Wiesner. So good. Huck was initially baffled by the strange alphabets of the aliens’ and insects’ languages, but as soon as he wrapped his head around the concept, boy did he enjoy interpreting the dialogue. He started over again as soon as we finished, and then he took it to bed with him. I love experiencing a wordless picture book with a child—how his trepidation gives way to glee as he gets into the spirit of the ‘reading.’

My favorite parts of this book are the ‘cave paintings’—the insects’ murals on the wall under the radiator, depicting the history of brave stands the ants and ladybugs have made against the fearsome feline attacker. The detail is remarkable, and you get the fun of deciphering another wordless story within the wordless story.


I finally got my 2016 booklog up to date (more or less—not everything’s linked up, but the titles are all there). I may have to declare Goodreads bankruptcy, though, and just begin fresh with 2017. (Which is what I wound up doing last year.) It takes too long to click through all the layers of search new book—add new book—choose shelves—set start and finish dates when you’re doing it for dozens of books at once. Will I keep up as I go next year? Probably not.


I’m pining for a new episode of the West Wing Weekly podcast. Holidays, schmolidays!


Consider this a PSA—Creativebug is running a special: one month of free unlimited access. If you explore my Creativebug tag you’ll see how much enjoyment my family wrings out of our $4.95/month subscription.

(affiliate link, but only because I’m a happy customer)

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6 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. Jennifer says:

    I learned so much on Creativebug. I actually made Nina a hand smocked dress for Christmas after taking Lisel Gibson’s smocking class.

  2. Jen says:

    We just started with Creative Bug right before Christmas. I’m determined to learn to draw this year.

  3. Melanie Bettinelli says:

    Mr Wuffles sounds like something we need to get.

  4. sarah says:

    I envy you how many books you have! On one of my house moves a few years ago I let go of hundreds of books, don’t ask me why, I had a sudden surge of minimalising and thought I didn’t need all those homeschool resources, picture books, and novels with a little mould on them. ALAS! I needed them! Every single one of them! Even if only to just look at!! But the truth was, they had been stored in the basement of a house with mould problems and I was overly cautious. How I would love to have thousands of books. Sigh.

    • Melissa Wiley says:

      If we had more space, I wouldn’t feel compelled to purge so heavily…we’re terribly smushed here. 🙂 Most of the books I’m donating are things sent to me for review. We get way too many to keep. Every year after Cybils I have to do a great reckoning.

  5. Karen Edmisten says:

    “One notable observation we made while culling the collection was how many books could be let go due to our now relying on the internet for their kind of content.”

    Even though I KNOW this, I still struggle with it. I still have to have someone pry certain books from my hands, you know? But I’m working on it….