Those Wonderful, Tapestry Books (and Where to Get Them)

My youngest with one of her favorite lower grammar books

“Mommy, please read to me.”

This is a request that I can not resist. I know how quickly my little book lovers become big book lovers, and I know how quickly they grow out of my lap! Some of my most cherished homeschooling moments include snuggling and read-aloud time.

While I love many things about our curriculum, Tapestry of Grace, the reading selections are my favorite. My younger children gravitate toward the beautifully illustrated lower-grammar books. Challenging and engaging, the upper- grammar books serve as an enjoyable bridge from grammar to dialectic-stage skills. Text increases, yet illustrations hold attention. Dialectic-level books encourage understanding of story. While some are high-school level, they hold attention and challenge developing critical thinking skills. My rhetoric students are  no doubt becoming prepared for college through their Tapestry literature and history studies. Tapestry of Grace books fill our home. They’ve provided my children with rich experiences, adventures, and knowledge. They adorn every room of my house, and if we didn’t own them, I’d miss them terribly.

Each year, when it’s time to “pass down” books, it is like giving away a favorite comfortable article of clothing. “Oh mom, I LOVED that book! Do I really have hand it down?” I hear.  Of course, once the older book-passer-downer is given her new stash, all is well. From my almost-lower-grammar preschooler to my rising junior in high school, my children are blessed with Tapestry’s carefully chosen, rich, engaging books. They are truly the best of the best.

One of the biggest challenges for Tapestry users is acquiring the books needed. I know because I have spent a great deal of several summers pricing and piecing together our book list… quite a task with children in every level! I’ve discovered over the years, three ways to get the books I need:

  1. Borrow from the library: This is free, but time consuming and unpredictable. The library has been the cause of Tapestry abandonment and the death of our schedule more weeks than I care to remember. While I have good intentions, I just can’t seem to get to there, so I give my children a pass for “just one more day..”
  2. Purchase Used: If I find a Tapestry book I need at a yard sale, Goodwill or a used book sale, I grab it, pay for it, and thank the Lord for bringing such a deal my way! However, online bookstores are not always the best bargain. By the time shipping is added to the cost, the book price often is little less, if not more, than it is new. Also, keeping up with multiple transactions is confusing. I’ve ordered books that never did arrive and discovered the problem the night before I needed them.
  3. Purchase New: Of course, there are a plethora of options. Bookstores abound. But my favorite store and one I am delighted to patronize is Bookshelf Central.

Bookshelf Central and Tapestry of Grace have partnered with one another, and the result is a friendly, convenient, informative bookstore that caters to unique needs of of Tapestry users. What are those needs?

  1. One place that carries all Tapestry titles. I personally have never found Bookshelf Central to be out of anything I need. Unlike other stores, there is no need to shop each title. If it’s a Tapestry book, it’s in their inventory.
  2. The ability to sort book lists by the year plan, unit, level or subject. This is immensely helpful when I am planning my purchases. This year, for example, we didn’t purchase the dialectic art books because our co-op owns them. Sometimes I just want to buy one unit at a time. These lists can be printed which is another helpful feature. I can truly complete even a large order in just a few minutes.
  3. Full descriptions of each and every book. Tapestry implements many books in their curriculum that other websites don’t describe, at least not in detail. I love to read Bookshelf Central’s descriptions. One thing I appreciate immensely is their suggestions. Periodically, they will mention, “If you can only buy one book for all levels on this subject, buy this one.” I nearly always follow their purchasing suggestions for saving money.
  4. Information on how long each book is used: This also saves me money. If a lower grammar book is only used one week and I have a book that I can substitute, I do. Bookshelf Central provides the information that helps me make those kinds of cost-effective decisions.
  5. Pictures of Books: I must admit that I have so many books that a picture of the cover is helpful. There have been times I’ve ordered a book that I already owned because I didn’t recognize the title. I almost never forget a visual image.
  6. A used bookstore: Tapestry users can list their used books and make a little money. If I am going to buy a book used, I’d much rather support another Tapestry family than buy randomly from a large used bookstore with zillions of sellers.
  7. Very fair, comparable prices: I have found Bookshelf Central to be as cheap as Amazon, if not cheaper on most of their inventory.
  8. An opportunity to give: Donated used Tapestry books are given to missionaries who need them. I really like this 🙂
  9. Excellent Customer Service: I’ve spoken with them on several occasions and they are always very helpful.
  10. Free shipping on orders of $175 or more: With six children in four Tapestry levels, this is easy for me. However, I have split my order with a friend a few times to meet this minimum.

Year 1 books... all together in one place.

Last summer, for the first time ever, I took inventory and ordered every book I needed from Bookshelf Central. In the past, I’ve acquired my books through the library or piece-mealing. Never again. My books arrived quickly and in perfect condition. The children and I delighted in organizing them by level and having them ready for each new week. Supporting a store that puts effort toward saving me time and making my book shopping as stress-free as possible, is something I feel good about.  I did not miss my previous experience of waiting for individually wrapped used books to arrive from various sellers. I didn’t miss e-mailing to inquire when books were shipped, and I don’t miss weekly trips to the library. My books are organized and ready for each new week which means I have more time to do what I love – enjoy reading Tapestry books with my children!

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4 Responses to “Those Wonderful, Tapestry Books (and Where to Get Them)”

  1. Cindy Says:

    I guess this is what comes of deciding not to be an internet consumer. You’re producing, instead! 😉 I’m loving your blog posts. Keep ’em up!

  2. Tina Says:

    Thank you, Cindy. Tapestry is hosting a blog contest and I’m trying to enter 5 categories 🙂 Glad you are enjoying them. More to come…

  3. Heather Says:

    You are so right, Tina! It is so much easier to be able to order them in one big lot and be done with it. I can’t I always do that, but it sure does make life easier. Something we homeschool moms love! 🙂

    BTW, I hope you win!!!!

  4. Tina Says:

    awww…. Thanks, Heather. I can’t always order them all at one time either. One reason I was able to last year was I didn’t need as many levels because we have done year 1 before. But yes, if you’re able, it’s easier!

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