Home libraries are important resources for both you and your children. The reference material can provide quick and easy look-up for questions that come up at the dinner table. Handy references also help during homework periods both because your children learn how to use the material and discover the answers they need for their homework project.
Many people think having a computer with Internet access is the only thing needed to support home resource needs, but actually there are reasons why other resource material can provide an enhanced understanding of the subject matter of interest.
One reason why physical reference material is helpful is that it works whether the electrical power is on or off and can be used even if your computer has crashed yet again. Another reason readily available books and other resource materials can be useful is the physical representation. For example, a globe gives a much better representation of the earth and the location of the continents and oceans than a flat screen. And finally, no matter how good search engines are, sometimes you just do not know the right words to use in the question to get good results. In those cases, it can be easier to locate the information you are looking for by thumbing through a book.
Create a home library which provides an excellent resource for you and your family by including the following items.
A world view. Provide several resources which help one visualize the world. Include a globe, large world map, and an atlas. The globe allows one to see the relationship of one country to another and gives a more accurate picture of the shape of the world in which we live. A world map will have more detail than a globe is able to provide. The atlas will have the most detail and may include information on countries like their population size and make-up and exports. Also a good atlas will include information about topography, vegetation coverage, ocean floors and major currents.
Words, words, and more words. An unabridged dictionary is a critical resource. Aside from looking up the definitions of new words, dictionaries often include special sections with labeled pictures of topics like anatomy, atmospheric and soil layers, boats and ships, insects, mammals, state flowers, solar system, birds, fish, and plants. Large dictionaries also typically include alphabetically listed famous persons with short biographical summaries, geographical listings with areas and population figures, listings of fictional names from stories, mythology, and legends, foreign phrases, scriptural names, abbreviations, practical mathematics, tables of weights and measures, special signs and symbols, listings of prominent members of government; the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States and much more. If you knew only what was in the dictionary, you would be quite a knowledgeable person!
In addition to a dictionary, other references for writing that are very handy include a thesaurus and a style manual.
How do I fix that? Having a home repair guide or a guide to doing anything can help you deal with the inevitable need to repair, maintain, or otherwise fix problems. There are a number of books like this. Look through several and choose the one with instructions you understand.
Subject matter expert. Include books which provide information on your favorite areas of interest. We have over 300 books on gardening in our home library because we enjoy gardening. We use many of these books often as we look up new plant possibilities, identify a pest, research the growth habits of a tree, and so on. Whatever your interests are, you will want to have ready references.
Sit down by the fire with a good book. Include classic stories or favorite books which you will read over and over in your home library. Reading books for enjoyment is the most successful way of maintaining and improving reading skills.
Book Buyer. Have authors and illustrators autograph their books whenever possible. Many bookstores hold book signing events and schools sometimes sponsor author visits which include a book signing. You may wish to maintain a separate collection of signed books as these books can appreciate in value. Your book buying appetite may be larger than your budget. In addition to buying at full price from bookstores and other venders, consider the following optional ways of procuring your tomes. Buy at library sales, second-hand bookstores, and yard sales. Purchase discounted books at book stores and from internet venders. Some recycling collection centers include book trading stations. Trade books with friends and family.
Library Maintenance. Keep only those books which you find yourself turning to again and again. Culling your books every year or so will maintain the freshness of your library and ensure the library fits within the space you have allotted. Dust your books and shelves weekly. Store books flat on the shelf or completely upright. Storing at angles degrades the book’s spine. Vacuum the room thoroughly at least once a week. The glue in book bindings is food for certain types of insects. Vacuuming the carpet and curtains will control these pests.
Books can relax you, invigorate your mind, transport you, and inform you. Creating a home library for you and your family provides a resource which you can use to bring greater understanding and enjoyment of the world around you.