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Brought To You By the Letters A-Z

Please keep in mind, I’m being slightly liberal with my words but to put it mildly, my mom loooooooooves thrift stores. In fact, I don’t think she has ever left empty-handed (I love you mom!) and it’s quite possible that not only did I inherit my mothers inability to lie with a straight face, I also inherited her compulsion for thrifting.

My weakness has always been housewares and books though more recently, my heart would skip a beat at the discovery of an old version of Parcheesi, Sorry!, Monopoly, Life etc. I’ve been addicted to hunting down old board games at the thrift store.

With the upcoming birth of our child, I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about the types of things I want to pass on to my daughter (and future children) and the older I get, inundated with technological gadgets and stupidity, I can’t help but feel as though the simpler… the better.

I’m not naive to the fact that every generation probably feels the same way. My parents felt like the NES (Nintendo) was taking away from the time we kids spent outdoors while their parents felt like the television was taking away from quality family time while their parents felt the radio was a tool of Satan while their parents felt like crayons should only come in one color while their parents felt like bicycles should only have ONE wheel because two was much too complicated while their parents felt like when the sun went down, the only natural light was from candles…

I get it.

HOWEVER. I’m still really “old-school.” Sesame Street worked for me. I watch kids shows on PBS today and I feel like it’s GIVING me Attention Deficit Disorder. I have NO idea what’s going on. It’s a lot of “blah blah blah.. ZIIP… WOOOSH… oh yeah.. S-P-E-L-L!… cakes flying… hugs… dancing… commercial…” and that took all of ten seconds.

So I like thrift stores. I like books. I like ‘simple’ things. I have a child on the way. You still with me? Great!

My last two visits to the thrift store I haven’t found anything worthy of turning into a lamp but I have found a wealth of old kids books. I stopped in today and walked out with 40 hardcover books, all from the same series of “My First Steps To Reading,” printed here in Chicago between 1979 and 1984. I’m not even sure half of these books have had their spines cracked for the first time.

They are, for lack of a better word, AMAZING.

Each book covers one letter or number. The child, named [enter letter or number] has a box and in that box he/she puts things which begin with the letter. Each story is a bit different as in one box, the child ends up with inch worms, iguanas and an igloo and all hell breaks loose.


I just noticed this one reads, “My iBook”… foreshadowing perhaps?!

Also included in the series are fun books which focus things like manners, shapes, feelings etc. AAAAAAWESOME!

So, although I could easily fill a bookshelf with children’s books for our kid I think we officially have every letter/number covered and I can go easy on the thrifting. I can’t say I won’t stop looking or admiring old hardcover children’s books but I will start reminding myself we don’t need another 300lbs in books to move when the time comes.

Click twice if any of this makes sense to you!

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2 Responses to “Brought To You By the Letters A-Z”


  • Oh…the love of books ! They open up a whole new world for the child and the parents. Never stop bringing home the “good books” from the thrift store….you are enlightening your childs life and saving the book ! You can only hope to instill in your children the same love you have for reading and the “love of books”

    • As you must know by now, my love of books is a direct result of my genetics. When Carey and I dismantled the bookshelf to make room for baby, I think we ended up with 12+ boxes of books?!

      I will never deny my child a love of “good books” but I must admit, we now have awesome books for the letters A-Z as well as the numbers 1-10 so I don’t think we’ll be needing any more ‘learning’ books.’

      Any new thrifty books I buy will be purely for the sake of entertainment.

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