With the end of my teaching career (well, at least that of Hamilton Elementary School), my bookshelves are stacked with books of all sorts. Today the process of picking and choosing those books began; those that come home with me or go to the kids. The process is difficult. I love my books, all books.
The fifth grade class and I labeled boxes with teams working at each box station; Civil War, Revolutionary War, Science, Planets, Indiana History, Poetry, Children's books, novels...well you get my picture. I took book after book off the shelf, one at a time.
I know when and where I received each and every book. I know what town, state or even country where it was purchased or given as a gift. I have autographed books by Bill Martin, Jr., Steven Kellogg, Valiska Gregory, Robert Newton Peck, Syd Hoff...
I can smell each book and know how long I have had the book, when and where I read it last. I also began to panic thinking of all the books and stories and poems that I have not yet shared.
I used to think that as well as my kids were growing up. Where will I tell these stories, poems...who will be my audience? For years it has been my school kids, now it will become my traveling audience, college classrooms and even my blog site.
This I do know. Most of the books went into my storage boxes. I could not part with them. They are friends, old and new, and we go out together.