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Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

How responsive are you?

Do you buy everything students request? Do you buy everything teachers ask for? Do you look through the handouts from magazines, workshops, and even outdated professional materials to add judgment to any of their requests? Perhaps even daring to add your own suggestions of newer or better titles?

What percentage of your collection is purchased in response to student requests? Just when I think I have provided for everyone, someone comes back to point out the gaps in my collection. Hello? Students? I receive $7.50 per student to buy books. I cannot buy everything you ask for. I buy you most of a sports series, then you come to me telling me that softball is the passion of your life and couldn’t I go find some books about it.

You sneak in during lunch time to tell me that your "new stepmom says The Neverending Story is the best book and I’d like to surprise her with a copy, so please, Mrs. Chen, could you go to some bookstores and find me my own copy and then I’ll buy it from you by working afterschool?"

Or, "Mrs. Chen, this book changed my life. I want to own it. Do you think you could find a copy for me and I’ll save my extra chip money from lunch to pay you back?"

I know, I brought this on myself. Reading is my passion. I love books. Students have seen me stroke a book cover, marvel over the Illuminated letters, and sigh happily remembering the first time I read a book. If they start to act like me, how can I begrudge them? Rats! Looks like I’ll be starting next year’s ordering list early now. Isn’t it wonderful that we can’t get complacent about our collections?