Monday, July 17, 2006

Story Time

I am so happy right now I could just spit.* When I got home tonight I found a big box on my doorstep. Inside was my latest eBay prize. **

Wait, let me back up. A few weeks ago, LA-B and I were sitting around making another one of our "Pumpkin-Do" lists. These are the lists we have been making that itemize the various things we need to do in anticipation of the arrival of the Great Pumpkin.*** This particular list was made up of things we needed to get for the nursery. It included a rug, a lamp, and a bookcase. After we made the list, we went out in search of a few of the items.

We debated buying a new bookcase versus finding a previously enjoyed one. Anyone who knows me, knows my vote is always to repurpose rather than overpay. LA-B is a little less inclined to buy used. Not that he is snooty, he is just a quality kind of guy. And, in this case, buying used was going to mean work for him as he would surely have to paint the chosen piece. But, LA-B is also a, hmm, how shall I put this, frugal. So the idea of spending a little and doing a little work, generally wins him over. And, in this case it did. So, we headed to Out of The Closet**** on Sherman Way. It's funny because on the way there, LA-B noted that we never find anything at this particular Out of The Closet. He is right, really. I've been there many times and have never made a purchase. I always end up walking across the street to the Council Thrift Shop. There I have scored a framed Mexican wrestler needlepoint,

a small bookshelf for Man Room***** and a copy of Gray's anatomy******that I used to make an iPod case for LA-B. But on this particular day, Out of The Closet actually was kind to us. We found the cutest 2 shelf wooden bookcase. Now, me being me, I couldn't just buy it and call it a day. I always have to go to 3 or 4 stores to make sure I am not going to find something I like better. So, we walked across the street to Council Thrift, then around the corner to Goodwill and across that street to this crazy little junk shop that was filled with what looked like movie props, promotional items and lots and lots of dusty oddities. None of these shops had anything remotely interesting. But, we still didn't go buy the case from Out of The Closet. We had one more stop to make. LA-B had mentioned maybe buying a bookcase from a real furniture store. So, we headed over to an unfinished furniture retailer just to see what they had. There we learned that solid wood (as opposed to pressed board like you get at IKEA or and office supply store) costs a lot of money. A simple unfinished 2 shelf bookcase cost $280. LA-B noted "we would still have to prime and paint this, right?" Yep. So THEN we headed back and bought the bookshelf from out of the closet.

OK - so I know everyone (or the 3 people that actually read my BlaHg) is just dying to know what this shelf has to do with the mysterious eBay package. Simmer down my pretties, I'm gonna tell you.

While LA-B sweated it out in the garage priming our Pumpkin's new bookshelf, I thought it might be fun to find some books that could live on this new piece. I started out just researching some parenting websites to see what other folks say are good books for kids. But that all seemed boring. All the books looked so mass produced and generic. I don't remember my books as a kid being like that. My books seemed real and important. They were things to be cherished and adored. They were special. And that's when it dawned on me. I had to get my favorite books for Pumpkin. And, where does one look to replace their childhood wishes? EBay. And they didn't disappoint. I managed to find the entire collection I was searching for - in MINT condition. I paid $15 for all 10 books. It's the Collier's Junior Classics and I LOVE them. The Editor and I were weaned on these books. The stories are etched in my memory. Once, nearly a decade ago, I came across this same collection at the Deseret Industries thrift shop in downtown LA. It was right around the time that my niece Lizard was born. I scooped them up and gave them to her for Christmas. I think that set is probably in a box in Lizard's mom's garage now. But I know that my mom taught Lizard that those were very special books and that it was a big treat to have Nana read to her from them.

The set that I received today is flawless. I don't think anyone has ever read them. I swear, when I opened the first book in the series it snapped as if the spine had never been cracked. The colors are bright and vibrant (unlike the faded covers and crayon marred pictures in our old set.). I am so anxious for Pumpkin to come out so I can sit in our big green chair and read to her.

I think I shall start with "Kiki Dances" from Volume 1 "ABC Go!"

Maybe her Auntie will come visit and read to her about "The Blue Nosed Witch"

or "The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes."

My only regret is that her Nana won't be here to teach her how special these books are.

I guess that's up to me.

*I never really understood that saying. How is spitting symptomatic of happiness?
** I've always thought it was a little silly that one "wins" things on eBay when, in fact, one pays for the prize.
***As we have yet to name her, we've been calling our little baby to be "Pumpkin."
****Out of The Closet is a thrift store whose proceeds go to AIDS related charities. Get it? Out of the closet. Clever.
*****LA-B's home office
******The medical reference book, not the ABC dramady.


Anonymous Sheri said...

Some of the newer kids books are good if you look at them a little more closely. And board books, with pages that can't be torn, are GREAT for little hands. Caitlin is 21 months and now looks at the board books by herself sometimes and "reads" them out loud. Goodnight Moon looked awful to me the first time I saw it (those garish red and green colors!), but Caitlin loves it. We can ask her to point out the moon, stars, boots, and other objects in the room and she loves that. She fixated on the red balloon in this book and in Goodnight Gorilla for months. Now she likes to point out the banana on every page of Goodnight Gorilla. Each week or month she finds something new in these books, although we read them to her almost every day. The Karen Katz books are also good (although the flaps can be torn!). Caitlin especially likes Toes, Ears, and Nose by Karen Katz because she can point out her body parts along with the book. She started counting recently, and now loves Miss Spider's Tea Party, which has numbers in it. I splurged on a new book called Baby's Busy World which has lots of pictures of and words for objects she is used to seeing--that's a favorite, too. Look for books at garage sales and church consignment sales for deals. T.J. Maxx and stores like that are good for discounted new books.

9:46 AM, July 18, 2006  
Anonymous Rhachel said...

Not to burst your bubble doll but I think those are probably Kabuki masks in needlepoint.

I love a good kid's book. I expect to buy you bunches when that thing pops out of your uterus!

7:23 PM, July 18, 2006  
Blogger -Dave said...

I read you post last night.Grey's Anatomy was a must have book
for reference in art school. I've since lost my copy to the ages.Your blog made me think I should buy another copy. I called my local bookstore this morning
to see if they had...
no joke...the girl I talked to actually said..."I don't know if that show is on DVD yet". and she put me on hold to speak to the movie and music dept.
Sadly your asterix's seem needed to some.

3:15 PM, July 19, 2006  
Blogger The Editor said...

Flora McFlimsey is probably one of my favorite Christmas stories from that set!
So we MUST have the old set somewhere in the house somewhere...

I love the Olivia books myself.
And Little Golden Books are always a favorite.

I can't wait for the Pumpkin Peach!

1:23 PM, July 20, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was googling, looking for these books and found your post! We have a baby coming in the family, and someone named MOM thinks that she's going to give MY COLLIER'S JUNIOR CLASSICS to this unborn little snot!!!

I have to find the kid his OWN books. He can't have mine.

EBAY, you say??? I've avoided that place. I guess I'll have to brave it. I'm not letting Mom give my books away.

5:42 PM, August 08, 2006  

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