I looked over some statistics the other day and was surprised how much was done in the last four years. To celebrate I’m offering 12.5% off all individual books with code ‘4thbday’ until 4/4!

  • 138 books
  • 9 unicorns captured
  • 46 books never before transcribed and republished
  • 31 reprint rights granted
  • 4 titles never before published
  • 13 books with newly sourced images
  • 10 books rearranged or split for easy scheduling

When I started Living Book Press I was recovering from some bad health and just starting to homeschool my boys. I had been so overwhelmed looking at all the options when it came to homeschooling. From styles to individual curricula within those styles. When I found Charlotte Mason it really resonated with our goals for our children’s education, and I loved books, so it was a perfect fit. Finding Ambleside Online was amazing. We didn’t have the money to buy a curriculum so having something that was free, I could read books on a device if I had to, and the lovely Jeanne had tweaked it for us Aussies. I was set.

Not being one to do things by halves I put together a booklist for the first few years and started keeping an eye on books so I’d know the prices to expect. I saw mention of ‘Unicorns’, those hard-to-find gems. Some of the books I needed were prohibitively expensive, especially here in Australia. I didn’t have the confidence to just substitute books, so I needed to find them, but the prices that were being asked if they did come up made them prohibitively expensive. It was almost enough to make me give up on using this style of homeschooling. I don’t know how the thought of reprinting came to mind, but one day it did. I did a few weeks of research into what it would take and then borrowed a couple of the books from some very generous moms. I carefully scanned them and got to work transcribing and editing pictures etc. After years of being unwell and feeling rather useless, it was so nice to be working on something that would be helping other people. I might share my (mis)adventures in working on the Book of Marvels another time, but in March 4 years ago I was able to offer for sale my first four books. Old Bob’s Birds, The Little Grammar People, and the two Books of Marvels.

A good amount of time had passed while I taught myself everything so I was almost ready to start AO2 by the time these were released, so I started in on a few of the AO2 books that couldn’t be found affordably here in Oz, and then I just never stopped! Requests came in, there were more unicorns to capture, I’d see people’s frustration on Facebook about not being able to find a certain book, and I’d get to work. Other times I’d get frustrated jumping through books so I decided to rearrange them or split them to make it easy for others using AO. If I can save each family a minute searching for the next story, or working out and marking where to stop reading for the week then hopefully you’ll have a few more moments to spend on other things.

Falling into publishing was rather serendipitous, it’s introduced me to so many incredible people, taught me so much, and allowed me to school our boys using wonderful literature. I have a lot of irons currently in the fire so, hopefully, some will pay off and there will be a lot more exciting news to share in the coming months. But whether they come through or not I’ll keep on chugging away trying to make life easier for all of us.

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