Friday, July 22, 2011

A Love of Books and the Library

I love books. I always have. I often had my head buried in a book and was known for reading while walking, eating, and while I couldn't read while sleeping, I did regularly fall asleep with my head on a book while reading late into the night. I finished those summer reading challenges to read x number of books within a week of getting out of school.

As a young child, my mom introduced me to the smell of a new book. It was one of the first things we did when we got books. I ran my fingers over the cover and the spine almost tingling with excitement to discover  the world contained within. Then, I'd open the book, press my nose to the middle, and breathe deep.
I simply wanted to devour books with all their sensory goodness.

When asked what I wanted to be when I grew up the answers varied only between author or librarian. In particular, I wanted to be an elementary school librarian so I could share my love of books with children early in life and spend my days reading to the various classes that would visit me. I loved to learn about the authors and illustrators of my books and by third grade I could tell you about the person who wrote the book I was reading, what else they had written, what awards they had received, and a little bit about their life.

I want my kids to love and appreciate books as much as I do. In fact, all of the things I want to impart on my children this is only rivaled by my desire for them to love nature. I want them to be excited about the possibilities of a new book. I want them to dive into magical worlds and travel to exotic places all from the comfort of their bunk bed or a rocking chair on the front porch. I want to join them on some of these journeys, and others I can't wait to watch them set off for on their own.
One of the many piles of books laid out in order waiting to be read in our house.
 With this in mind, I have a confession. It was only this week that I finally took my children to the library and got library cards for the town we moved to two years ago. My older son had been to story-time at our old library a few times when he was 2, but other than that my boys didn't know what a library was. In fact, Wednesday morning when we were reading the piles upon piles of books they had taken off the shelves to read and I looked at the two of them and said hey do you want to go to the library to get some books? my 4 year old responded but mama we don't have money for that.  So, we see that not only do they not have a clue how the library works, but also that I've explained to them all too often that some things cost money and that means we can't do them all the time. Of course, the sweet book-loving boy that he is he quickly said But wait! I could get my money from my piggy bank! before I could explain that the library is free.

We went to the library. We got library cards. I soaked in the moment when we walked into the children's section and my son looked around in awe saying they are just so. many. books. Do you think we could read them all? Oh what we have been missing. Now, it's not to say it was a perfect trip. Elijah, at 2, decided to freak out when he didn't have a balloon like the kids coming out of a children's program, and he was quite impatient with the idea that I had to give the book of his choosing to the woman at the desk to check out before he could take it home. But, Benjamin? Oh and Ben and I could have sat there for hours.... running our fingers along the spines, sitting at the table with a carefully selected pile, and reading every single one. In fact, as we did just this for a little while I had a few small children gather around us for our own little story time. Maybe, I am fulfilling those childhood dreams of imparting a love of books to children and spending my days reading to them after all.

Source: via I on Pinterest

I am excited to have a weekly library routine with the kids to nurture our love of books, connect with the community, and learn the responsibility of keeping borrowed books safe and returning them promptly. (I might not have been so good at that last part in my youth, so we'll work on that lesson nice and early.) And before I know it, I'll be begging for the boys to pay attention because it's time to wash up for supper and they are off fighting dragons or solving mysteries right before my eyes. I can't wait.


  1. <3! we love our library story time! so glad that it was mostly a good experience!

  2. - Sarah
    Our town has a Cops n Kids reading room thats open every week. It's like the library, but better. We go a couple times per month.

  3. Our girls love our trips to the library! Ours also has a huge play room, with huge, stuffed shapes for building and climbing. Of course, the girls love this...but I'm kind of disappointed, because it almost makes the excitement of the books secondary to that of the playing. There's a time and a place for everything...

    Enjoy your new-found (free!) fun!

  4. Mackenzie and I have been a few times. Your boys are so sweet!!!! Happy reading!

  5. I love the library so much, too. That's exactly what I want to pass on to my little one, but similar to E's story - several months ago our library got a fantastic new children's computer. It's a great little computer, but what does Bug want to do when we go to the library...? I kind of wish it wasn't there. I need to read aloud to him more and hopefully he'll start to see all the treasure that sits on the shelves.

  6. Libraries rock. Couldn't wait to get my kids their own library cards (had to be in school first to have their own card according to our library).

    An intresting tidbit (ok *I* think it's interesting) about library cards. They are one of the few things ANYONE can get. My husband was thrilled when he moved here (from Canada) his library card was the one thing he could get without having to jump through hoops before he became a US citizen. The library was thrilled to have him! :)


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