Many of these wonderful mom friends have lately asked me some version of the question, "where do you find all these great books?" So I thought I might share a bit of my (hopefully) sensible strategy for sharing a wide array of books with my sweet Little One.
First off, I absolutely believe the you can grow a reader. I'm certainly no expert, so on this topic I defer to someone who is, and has compiled a lovely list of "tips for growing bookworms."
I love many of these tips - #3 reminds me of my wonderful husband, who insists he hated reading as a child because all the books were dumb (turns out he has a voracious appetite for non-fiction but finds fiction a waste of time. While I cringe to suggest going soft on fiction....if that is what it takes to get your child reading, go for it!)
It is tip #4, "Make sure your children have books of their own," that I struggle the most with. This is because I am a bookaholic. If I let myself buy every book that I ever loved and couldn't live without, then you would never see me again because I would be buried under a mountain of biopics, epics, historics, romantics, etc. I once worked at a bookstore part time for extra spending money, and came out in the red.....Bad. Idea.
So, this is a how a full-time working mom with a rowdy toddler and very little to no spare time who suffers from bookaholism builds an adventurous library for her sweet LO's budding imagination.
Sensible rules for building an adventurous home library:
- If you don't have a library card, get one.
- Start finding books you want to share with your LO!
- Think of topics that interest your child (frogs? rain? rainforest treefrogs?) and use google or amazon to find books about that topic. They don't have to be the BEST books on the topic, or award winners....just find some books that look interesting!
- Check out some book blogs (the ones that I have on my blogroll to the right are a great place to start). Here you will often find some of the newest and up-and-coming classics.
- Check out the Texas 2x2, an annual list of 20 notable books for children ages 2 to 2nd grade. It even comes with a list of activities for each book. We're currently reading our way through 2010 (don't ask why that year, just picked randomly), and you'll be reading about those adventures soon.
- Look at winners of awards like the Caldecott (for younger kids) and Newbery (for more advanced readers).
- Think of books that you remember loving as a kid!
- Supplement your home library with classics that you think every kid should have or know. We started with Curious George, and she adores that little monkey.
- You never know when an impulse book buy may turn into a lifetime favorite. We have several books that we grabbed as we rushed through Target just to keep her preoccupied that have become lasting loves.
- You will get some amazing books as gifts! Notable among our favorite books that originated as kind gifts are Limu and Cooper (among many others).
And there you have it! A sensible approach for a bookaholic to build an adventurous mind without breaking the bank (or having the "hoarders" gang called in to dig me out of my book mountain).