• About Farm School

    "There are obviously two educations. One should teach us how to make a living and the other how to live."
    James Adams, from his essay "To 'Be' or to 'Do': A Note on American Education", 1929

    We're a Canadian family of five, farming, home schooling, and building our own house. I'm nowhere near as regular a blogger as I used to be.

    The kids are 18/Grade 12, 16/Grade 11, and 14/Grade 10.

    Contact me at becky(dot)farmschool(at)gmail(dot)com

  • Notable Quotables

    "If you want a golden rule that will fit everybody, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
    William Morris, from his lecture "The Beauty of Life"

    "‘Never look at an ugly thing twice. It is fatally easy to get accustomed to corrupting influences."
    English architect CFA Voysey (1857-1941)

    "The world of books is the most remarkable creation of man. Nothing else that he builds ever lasts. Monuments fall, nations perish, civilizations grow old and die out; and, after an era of darkness, new races build others. But in the world of books are volumes that have seen this happen again and again, and yet live on, still young, still as fresh as the day they were written, still telling men’s hearts of the hearts of men centuries dead."
    Clarence Day

    "Anyone who has a library and a garden wants for nothing."

    "Histories make men wise; poets, witty; the mathematics, subtile; natural philosophy, deep; moral, grave; logic and rhetoric, able to contend."
    Sir Francis Bacon, "Essays"

    "The chief aim of education is to show you, after you make a livelihood, how to enjoy living; and you can live longest and best and most rewardingly by attaining and preserving the happiness of learning."
    Gilbert Highet, "The Immortal Profession: The Joys of Teaching and Learning"

    "Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment."
    Walter Wriston

    "I'd like to give you a piece of my mind."
    "Oh, I couldn't take the last piece."
    Ginger Rogers to Frances Mercer in "Vivacious Lady" (1938)

    "No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem."
    Booker T. Washington

    "Please accept my resignation. I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member."
    Attributed to Groucho Marx in "The Groucho Letters" by Arthur Sheekman

    "If you can't say something good about someone, sit right here by me."
    Alice Roosevelt Longworth

    "If we bring a little joy into your humdrum lives, we feel all our hard work ain't been in vain for nothin'."
    Jean Hagen as "Lina Lamont" in "Singin' in the Rain" (1952)
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  • Copyright © 2005-2016 Please do not use any of my words or my personal photographs without my express permission.

The butler did it

My father sent me the sad but not surprising news that the Murder Ink bookstore on upper Broadway is closing today, New Year’s Eve. I still have, tucked away somewhere, my black gun-shaped Murder Ink bookmark/business card from the original store on West 87th Street.

I also remember the Bar-B-Queen and the candy and nut shop, both of which were a few blocks away from where I grew up. I passed by both daily on my home from high school, and my late grandmother must have bought more than her weight in walnuts from the nut shop.

For those of you lucky to be graced with a nearby independent bookseller, and it’s not something to be taken for granted, please give it your support.

(I think at least one of the articles linked above is of the pesky Times Select variety; if you want the article, email me offlist at farmschool at telus dot net and I’ll send it along.)

Updated to add that I was sorry to hear today, this time from my mother, that Coliseum Books is next on the chopping block. I have fond memories of my father stacking my arms with the books on my summer reading list, and just sitting in the aisles looking through books to decide which to purchase. As the website notes,

Dear Friends,

Since opening our store on 57th Street in July of 1974, it has been our pleasure to bring you the best selection of new and backlist books. After closing that store in January 2002, when the lease expired, we searched long and hard for a suitable new location and thought we had found one here on 42nd Street. Business started more slowly than we had hoped but continued to build until this year, when increased competition from discount stores and book chain stores and the internet started to take its toll. We are now trying to hold on as best we can, and any support you can give will be much appreciated.

Just in time for the holidays we are starting to sell off our entire inventory. You can get great bargains as you choose your holiday gifts and help us at the same time. Shop early before the good titles are gone.

Thank you all for your loyal support..

George S. Leibson
Founding Partner

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