Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bookstore Banter

I decided today that I want to amend my unit plans on rocks and Earth's layers and all that geology jazz.  So, what better way to incorporate more cross-curricular activities and spice up the activities that get a little repetitive in Earth science than to read a relevant, interesting book that corresponds with state standards?  Plus, we all know that a good movie often comes after a good book.  We're going to be reading and watching Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne.  It's one of the few "sci-fi" books that I enjoy. In exploring the book, I was a little disappointed to have a flashback to my middle school days and realize that I read the same book in middle school.  Back then, the new movie wasn't out, though.  Kudos to my middle school science teacher, Mr. G. for introducing me to such a gem.  (Earth science joke, get it? :P)

Anyway, after searching about a gazillion online sites and trying to figure out the best way to obtain a class set of these books with no money for books and no district-wide book exchange, I decided to head to some local bookstores and see what I could do.  The local new, used, and exchange bookstore didn't even have a copy of the book.  The next closest bookstore was Books-a-Million.  I hadn't stepped foot into one of their stores in years, probably not since high school.  I wandered around aimlessly because there were very few shelves of books and most of the books were just stacked on tables.  There was no order to the stacking, and alphabetical or genre order was totally absent.  I finally found someone to help me.  He informed me that I could get the one copy of this classic novel they had in the store (for seven bucks) and could order the rest, but that I would have to pay an ordering charge and wait 2-3 weeks for them to come in.  I bought the one that was there and saved the receipt.

Next stop: Barnes and Noble.  I walked in and, dismayed, found that the store is undergoing massive renovations.  Luckily, some sweet college student greeted me at the door and asked if he could help me find any books.  I explained (just as I had at Books-a-Million) that I was looking for enough copies of the book to make a class set, that I was okay with an abridged version as long as the gist of the plot and the science of the book were still there, but that I was perfectly content with the unabridged adult version.  This guy walked me to the back of the store, which even under construction was a million times neater and more organized than its competitor on an average day, and found me five different versions of the book to choose from.  Not too shabby, eh?  They had 5 copies in stock.  I figured this was a good start and went to leave, assuming I'd go home and start searching the internet again.  As I turned to leave, this sweet boy said, "Ma'am, would you like to order enough to complete your class set? It should only take 3-4 business days."  It was music to my ears.  I'm so excited to try this with my students, and they WILL read this book and do the activities I make to do with it AND relate it to the facts we know from class, even if I end up bald.  I'm so pumped!!!

So, B&N or Books-a-Million?  Experiences?  I'm certainly not going back to Books-a-Million.

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