Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Shelf Space...

In our living room we have two double wide bookcases. Almost all the shelves hold books that are part of a series. Such as, The Work and The Glory, Ralph Moody books, Gene Stratton-Porter books, Teachings of the Prophets, the Barnes and Nobel pocket classics, Great Books of the Western World, and a few others that I'm to lazy to get up and go look at. (We went hiking today, my feet hurt) One series we have up on the top left shelf is about to be removed and replaced. I have been thinking about this for some time (almost a year) and now my children are agreeing.

We have read this series a couple of times and listened to the audio tapes a few times as well. My husband and children have spent time carving due to reading this series and we were all excited and stayed up late when the last three books in the series came out.
We read the first four books in 2001/2002. This was about two years before I started to understand the idea of reading classical literature. I actually didn't know that we should read classics from the earliest of time to present day.
Boy have I missed out over all my years. And catching up isn't easy.


So here I am today looking forward to this change. Let me say a little more...I received the Spring catalog from Memoria Press and found an article on the very subject that has been pricking my heart. The heart of the issue is this: There are books that are good and those that are great. All books have the potential to be dangerous says the author. I have not read enough classics to know if this last statement is true. For example I can't see how Little Women could be dangerous. I am indebted to Louisa May Alcott for her shinning example of Marmee. This great classic, one which I will read often, has helped improve me as a mother.

Anyway, the article goes on to say that if a book is good but has the potential to become dangerous one of the things we need to do to combat the possibility of danger is expose ourselves and our children to great literature that will expand the mind and show the difference between these two types of books.

I have wondered what makes the Lord of the Rings series or the Narnia series classics. I have read The lion and the Witch and the Wardrobe. My children have read all of Prince Caspian. We are listening to The Dawn Treader and The Magicians Nephew. I really enjoy these novels, I can create the picture in my mind. What will Lord of the Rings provide? I don't know.

What are the books we are removing? I think you already know. Yes, Harry Potter series is coming down, after all, they are good books but I don't think they are great and inspiring novels. We are going to compare the three series and decide as a family which series will be given the prized shelf in the future.

P.S. I'm amazed that my children were so agreeable to remove H.P.


Mac said...

Hey Nikki,

When I read your post, it made me think of this article, which kind of responds to the notion that every book could be dangerous:


Glad to see yall are doing well; I really miss hanging out with Gove at Suda.


Mac said...

It looks like the link got cutoff, here it is again.



Mac said...


Also, I just wanted to say that The Voyage of the Dawn Treader has staying power because of its tightly-woven use of religious symbolism. That will be my favorite of all the films because it was my favorite book as a child. Reepicheep is timeless.

Nickie said...

Hi Mac,
I read the paper you sent to me.I finished feeling sad for the author. She seemed to prefer dark depressing books. granted she read Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights but without other whole or healing books I would think it is hard to be happy and socialable. How about some Ralph Moody or Gene Stratton-Porter, some Pollyanna (if she had kids),Louis L'Amour adventures or better yet, the Book of Mormon, it's full of hope.
Thank you for your suggestion. I think of you as a guide. I have fallen on my personal study of languages but I don't plan it to stay thus.
Great to see that Mickelle is pregnant.