Happy New Year everyone! Starting off this year with an update on our Chinese Home Library since there’s been massive changes since my last post about it. Our library actually changes quite frequently. Every couple months or so I do a purge and get rid of books that are either outgrown or we don’t like. Life is too short to read crappy books, right?
I estimate that we have about 500 Chinese books in “circulation” at our home library, which is modest compared to others I know, but we’ve barely even read one-third of it!
The factors to consider when building your library is considering your personality, child’s personality, age, Chinese level, budget, space, time, etc. Do what works for you and don’t succumb to peer pressure to buy what you don’t like or need. 😉
Little Man is 6 years old and all our books are for around 5-7 years old, or kindergarten to first grade. Personally I don’t like to buy too far in advance because his interests change rapidly.
Where to buy Chinese books:
90% of my books are Simplified which I buy from Taobao (China) directly. For Traditional books, I buy box sets from Gloria’s Bookstore (USA) and singletons from 博客來 (Taiwan). Generally I stick to Simplified (which is what I grew up with and most comfortable) unless there is a series I really love that is only available in Traditional then I get them in Traditional.
Copy and paste the book names below into the bookstores’ search engines and you will be able to find the links.
What to buy:
My tip for people just starting to build their home library is: buy famous, well-known sets. Well-known books have better storylines, better quality paper, and good resale value. Stay clear from obscure authors and obscure sets – they can be really bizarre or awful quality!
I have included the Traditional Chinese names for them in parenthesis if available. I also linked to book reviews by the awesome Julie @ Motherly Notes. Big thanks for her hard work and time! I always watch her videos to determine if it’s a set I’ll like or not.
How to Organize:
You can see that I organized my stuff into three main categories: Picture Books, Pinyin Books, Bridge Books. Aside from being the most logical way to sort them, it is also because books in the same category tend to be of similar size. For example, all the bridge books are small and narrow and fit well on the rotating bookcase. They are then organized by height from tallest to shortest, and following that, they are organized by color in rainbow order.
And without further ado… I present to you our January 2019 inventory!
Pinyin Series (left to right):
- 流利阅读 注音版 Set of 4
- 蜗牛典藏屋 童话故事 Set of 4
- 老师没说的为什么 Set of 8
- 米小圈上学记 一年级 Set of 4
- 小屁孩上学记 一年级 Set of 6
- 台湾大奖好性格童话故事 Set of 8 (小兵快樂讀本)
- 罗尔德达尔 注音版 Set of 5 (Roald Dahl)
- 笨狼的故事 Set of 8
- 中国传统节日故事绘本 Set of 10
- 好宝宝健康成长儿童绘本 Set of 4
Comics (left to right):
- 米小圈 成语漫画
- 植物大战僵尸 爆笑漫画
- 闹闹漫画乐园 Set of 5
You can see our favorite picture books in this blog post. Other picture books I love are 壳斗村 and 蜡笔小黑 (pictured below), 3D 西游记 pop-up book, and 奇先生妙小姐 Mr. Men series.
Bridge Books (3000-7000 characters):
- 阅读123 第一辑 第二辑 (con’t)
- 企鹅机动队 Set of 11
- 儿童财商教育绘本 Set of 10
- 老鼠和鼹鼠 Set of 5
- 屁屁偵探讀本 Set of 5
- 启发童话小巴士 第四辑 Set of 5 (故事摩天輪, Ferris Wheel)
- 启发童话小巴士 第三辑 Set of 5 (故事摩天輪, Ferris Wheel)
- 启发童话小巴士 第二辑 Set of 5 (故事摩天輪, Ferris Wheel)
- 米小圈 脑筋急转弯 Set of 4
- 无奇不有魔法学校 Set of 12 (無奇不有魔法學校)
- 怪杰佐罗力 Set of 5 (怪傑佐羅力, Zorori)
- 小妖怪系列 Set of 6
I have some other sets scattered around the house but I’m too lazy to take pictures of them. 😛 I also update our book display pretty often with holiday-related books or books that I want to “promote” to him. His current interests are Chinese legends and 米小圈.