I Say Goodbye . . . for Now

Every month of this school year I have made a trip to the opposite side of the state from where I live. I travel this distance to work with teachers K-4 to develop their understanding of writing workshop. I spend three days working with different grade levels each day. The days are busy with discussions, discoveries, and modeling lessons in classrooms. But after school I am on my own. The teachers return to their busy lives and I am left to my own devices.

I create my own entertainment. I have discovered a place I must go every time I am here. It is called Hastings, it is a book, music, video store. Some of the books they get are discounted, deeply. I plan my trip there very carefully. I need a lot of time to comb through every shelf, looking for a title or author that I don’t have, but need to have.

First, I check the bin of bargain books. Today I found Necks Out for Adventure by Timothy Erring. I already own this book. It will be perfect for a person completing their student teaching. This one will be a gift. Next I go to the bargain shelves. I moved Meerkat Mail by Emily Gravett to the small cart the store so conveniently provides. This will be use for voice and it shows how you can weave facts into a story, plus the format is unusual (postcards).  I have worked my way around several cases of the bargain books.

I move to on the nonfiction section. This has been a treasure trove of books by Steve Jenkins (I love his books!). Again I win, but this is not for me. The board book Move is perfect for my friend to read to her grandchild. On the next shelf down I find another board book that I must get for my friend, Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert. She was just complaining that she was tired of the same old books, so this will give her some fresh material.

Now, I move to the shelves where new and used books are intermingled. With Love, Little Red Hen by  Alma Flor Ada is on the shelf at a great price. Score another one for me! This book uses fairy tale characters writing letters to tell the story, perfect for inferring and letter writing. What’s this? Red Rubber Boot Day by Mary Lyn Ray. I have Mud by her, so this could be a companion book, but it is also a great model for a slice of life story. Kindergarten kids will relate to this.

The most expensive book ($8.49) is on the next shelf. Help Me, Mr. Mutt by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel. Another letter format book and so funny. I can see kids using this as a mentor for creating their own letters to an advice column. I decide to splurge on this one, usually I don’t go over $4.99.

Do you see why I love this place? Sigh . . .  this is my last visit this year. Hopefully, I will be back working with the teachers again next year. I will miss my monthly visit to this store. The good thing is they will have five months to stock the shelves with new titles for me to comb next year. Cross my fingers that this was not the last trip forever.

My treasures!


20 thoughts on “I Say Goodbye . . . for Now

  1. A lovely display of new purchases. I felt jealous as you wrote about teachers in your coaching/training on writers workshop. Your class sounds like a lovely place to be.

  2. How much fun was that! I love the fact that, after ending a day improving teachers, you spend your “free” time thinking about teachers and readers again. You are an inspiration, Elsie

  3. Oh, no….you’re as addicted to cool bookstores as much as I am! The only reason I go visit my son sometimes is because of the use bookstore that’s near his apartment! Sounds like you bought several great ones — and put much thought into who and what they were for. Lovely!


  4. First, thank you for the comment yesterday. It felt special & I appreciate everyone’s words. Oh Elsie, I love Hastings. It seems as if they’re only in small towns, so we visit one on our way from CO to MO & then at the small college town where my sister and brother-in-law live. It’s a great story & I always come away with books from shopping there. Finally, Janet Stevens is a former parent of mine. She used to come to draw with my class-a special lady.

  5. grade4wizard says:

    Monthly bookstore visits – I can understand it makes you sigh when you know that this is your last visit to this store this year. Your description and thoughts show how much you appreciate the time in Hastings. Your writing also shows how considerate you are with each book, knowing exactly who needs it and why.

  6. When I read your post title, I thought you were saying goodbye to a friend or family member. Of course, from reading your post, it seems I’m right after all — this bookstore is like an old friend to you! 🙂

  7. Books are treasures indeed! I can picture myself standing there looking for just the right book that meets my needs. A special places that meets the needs of so many people. Thanks for sharing!

  8. So many books…so little time. I love the feeling of walking into a bookstore with all those many, many choices laying out before you. The possibilities seem endless. You captured that feeling in your slice today. Thanks for sharing your trip!

  9. Oh Elsie, I love bookstores! And you captured your visit to this one so well. I simply must do a bookstore post before the end of the month. When we go to Powell’s in Portland, we set up our time to meet back in hours, not minutes! Love the photo at the end of the post. “I create my own entertainment” is such a great line. Give me a bookstore or a library and I’m about as close to heaven as I can get for now (unless I’m at a family reunion)!
    Thanks for all your encouragement to so many folks!

  10. There is something in this that reminds me of what I have been experiencing with you through this month. The way you “comb through every shelf, looking for a title or author I don’t have, but need to have.” reminds me of how you read our slices. I feel that same intent searching our treasures. The way you have a plan for every book brings to mind the thoughtful comments you leave me and others. You have a giving and encouraging way about you that I so appreciate!

  11. Tam says:

    This is a yummy post of books and a book store. I wrote some of the book titles down for my grandchildren. What a wonderful way to end a day away from home.

  12. aruddteacher100 says:

    Wow, I want to read all of these books…I don’t know them and I consider myself a kiddie lit junkie…Neat bookstore. I was afraid you were saying goodbye to our blogging community-You had me at “I Say Goodbye…For Now”. The power of a great title!

  13. wkb57 says:

    I was in that store with you. I could smell it, see the books, and feel your passion about reading and writing. This piece made me smile. Finding a treasure like this store is special.
    I hope they invite you back too…

  14. I know this wasn’t the point of your post today, but I was so intrigued by the fact that you would cross a state to work with teachers on their workshop practices. I am one or two years from retiring, and that would be a dream job for me. Helping teachers develop their workshop skills.

    I also enjoyed reading about the store you like to visit. We have an independent bookstore in our town in which I could spend hours!!!

  15. margaretsmn says:

    What a great day! Working with teachers on writing workshop and a bargain bookstore! Wish I could shop with you. Fun finds!

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