Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Kids' books: National Geographic

Ed. note: this is the second post in a series on kids' books for your Doomstead.  The first was about the legendary publisher Grosset & Dunlap.

Nature and science books from National Geographic are a staple of Goodwill and Value Village thrift stores everywhere.  Here's my collection:

118 National Geographic books
The 118 books here includes two that I found after taking this photo, on a horizontal 3rd-tier shelf underneath these two.  I picked up the shelf at Value Village, too, stripped and sanded it, and finished it with an attractive Danish wood oil.

This includes several series of books: 69 of the "Books for Young Explorers"; 38 of the "Books for World Explorers"; and 11 volumes of a set they did in the late 1990s called the "National Geographic Nature Library".

The Young Explorers books are for little kids and early readers, published from the early 1970s into the late 80s.  I had a few of these as a kid:
A few Books for Young Explorers
World Explorers books are for older kids, longer and much more detailed.  These were mostly published in the 1980s.
Some Books for World Explorers
And, lastly, the Nature Library, also aimed at older kids, but very slick and graphic-heavy:
National Geographic Nature Library
The World Explorer series is dated and a little like visiting Epcot Center, but it's not like the underlying science has changed all that much, or that your kids would be reading peer-reviewed articles in Nature instead.

These are some of my kids' favorite books, read and re-read countless times.  You can typically find them in the 50-cent range.  I've maxed out and can't find any more that I don't already have!  I haven't found a new National Geographic book in at least six months, and I'm always out there sifting through the shelves.

It's cheap and easy to build out a set like this over time.  Once your kids are reading, they will devour the books on their own.

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