I haven’t blogged in quite a while, I know. Lots of personal things going on have kept me from writing as much as I would like, and blogging about NOT writing probably wouldn’t be all that interesting to read. I have made some progress on my overly-ambitious January writing goals, but I haven’t accomplished everything I would like. I’ll set February goals and share those soon.

The biggest thing I’ve been doing in January, when I haven’t been interrupted by polar vortex snow and cold days, is teach a couple classes of my writing methods course. I’ve also been teaching my social studies methods course as well. The last few weeks in both classes, I’ve brought in children’s books. In social studies, I wanted to show how teachers could use text sets to teach certain social studies concepts in ELA, and I just packed a huge bag of books for Monday’s writing class on mentor texts. 

Whenever I want to bring books in, I run into the same dilemma– I don’t have nearly enough children’s books. I mean, I have a decent amount (especially for social studies) but I always envision stacks and stacks of books to bring in for these classes and I don’t have stacks and stacks. So, what to do? Do I buy more to add to the collection or do I borrow?

I never know the right answer. I don’t have a ton of money to spend on books. I have asked around about funding options at work and have hit a few dead ends (most of the funds I have available are for research, not books). I am not giving up on finding funding, but even if I did find money to spend on books, where would I start? There are so many options! And I would want to stretch my dollar the best I could–where would I purchase them?

So borrowing from my local library is nice and free, but lately I have had some specific titles in mind that aren’t available. My library is quite nice, but it can be a pain stopping in every week to check out a new stack and then taking them back when I’m all done. And borrowing books just means I have to keep revisiting the well every year and I don’t get to just pull from my shelves.

What approach do others take? Do you spend a ton on books or borrow? If you buy, where can you get the most bang for your buck?

And not bringing books to class just isn’t an option. The smiles on everyone’s faces when I walk in with a giant box or bag of books is too good to pass up!

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