True Confessions- They Say That Admitting You Have a Problem Is the First Step


#sol18- March 5, 2018

It is really bad. I really do not feel right if a week goes by without my regular visit. My problem? BOOKS! It started innocently enough- as a child I loved reading and we had plenty of books at home and regular visits to the library.

When I became a mother I was determined to encourage my sons to love reading, so books were everywhere in our home. Bit by bit as my children started to grow up their old books became books for my classroom. Looking back, that might be when the trouble really began. My students loved the steady influx of newer books to the classroom and started making requests. I always loved book stores, so started buying books for my classroom in addition to buying for my sons (who can say no to kids wanting books, right?).

When I was married and we were living overseas we had US mail access via the Embassy, so Scholastic books were the best way I had to continue to supplement my class library because books in English were not so easily purchased locally. They were so cheap- I could buy so many (and all those glorious bonus points added up to more “free” books). Once divorced the US shipping disappeared, but not the book buying. I discovered an English bookstore and started frequent visits (which almost always resulted in more books than I planned for).

Moving to Malaysia I did not bring much. In the end 18 of the 32 boxes I brought were books-hmm. Now here’s the thing, before I came here I researched bookstores and learned that Kinokuniya was the biggy here. When I was shedding stuff before the move I passed on lots of baseball cards, baseball equipment and more to a family that had frequently stopped in my room to borrow books. They knew the best gift to give me was books, so arranged for a voucher to be waiting for me at Kinokuniya here. So of course, within 24 hours of landing in KL almost 4 years ago I had to visit the store and use that voucher (while I was there I bought a membership, because who could pass up that, right?). Suffice it to say that I removed the school’s version of the class library from my classroom on the day my shipping arrived and have not looked back.

So now it is almost four years later and I shudder to imagine how many boxes of books I have now thanks to my nearly weekly visits to at least one book store (never mind the fact that I order online too). My students are used to the fact that most Mondays I will be book talking books that are new to the room and that we will pick sticks to see who can borrow them first. Students know that I can consult various sources to find out when new books are being released and they plague me with reminders as big days arrive. I tell myself that I really do not need to own every book that I like, but it is so hard to say no to those lovely books at the store (or online).

I have read that customs tax for shipping into Cambodia can be steep- but surely not for children’s books, right? Surely I can keep feeding my addiction while here and then taper off once there (because have researched and the book stores there will not really have the current selection I need-also Book Depository does not ship there and while Amazon does the shipping may REALLY break my bank)? So forgive me as I continue to buy a few books here and there- it’s my weakness and I really will try to stop-later.

12 thoughts on “True Confessions- They Say That Admitting You Have a Problem Is the First Step

  1. You had me at the title — there has to be a way!! Your classroom library and literacy community sound magical!! What a lovely way to start my day!

  2. Oh, the moving of the books. I had to do that last summer, but it was only across town. I believe I had 38 boxes of books. Sending good thoughts for your move. I’m Michelle and I have a problem with books too. You’re not alone!

  3. Yo are not alone here! The number of boxes of books you have compared to personal belongings speaks to what you value…. and that your students know to expect new titles on Mondays. That’s a beautiful think in my book!

  4. Amazon Prime has been the death of me because of its free shipping. Hardly a week goes by without that familiar smiley package in the mail. I’ve gotten to know my mail carrier quite well.

  5. It’s a universal teacher language. Hello, I’m ____ and I’m addicted to books! But it’s such a great problem to have because it truly does give you content for conversations with students, families, and other teachers! READ ON!

  6. The problem is why do books weigh so much and take up so much space….I am in India and the only books students read here, are their textbooks….there are no libraries (maybe some in the major cities) and few decent bookstores. It’s a tragedy!

  7. This is a positive addictions. We sometimes make support groups with my friends and daughters trying not to buy books. It doesn’t last long.

  8. I too am addicted to buying books. Luckily I only moved down the hall to a new classroom last year. I didn’t have to count boxes, just kept filling and then emptying them!

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