Wednesday, November 12, 2008

book work nook work it works

My kids are addicted to books and they have been since they were incredibly young. There are lots of things that I need to improve on in my life, but my kids love of books is not one of them. Their skill in reading is another story, and if you want to read a little bit of it you can do so here.

I started reading to my kids when they were beyond little. Just days after we were out of the hospital and I was finally getting over the fog of my C-section meds, I started reading to my son. I started off with books like this and this and this.

We slowly moved on to other books and more books and more books and more books and more books.

My wonderful husband thinks I have too many books. I tell him that we just don't have enough bookcases. I have seven bookcases. Can you ever have enough?

When the kids were little though, I didn't have anywhere near this many and what I did have wasn't of the same quality. I really picked up any book I could afford and most of my books were used and most of my books are still used. I would get them at thrift shops and used book stores and places like Airman's Attic which is a free thrift shop for Junior Enlisted in the Air Force.

As I have slowly been able to afford more books, I have slowly become more and more discriminating. I have slowly passed more of the just OK books on to others at Airman's Attic and I have slowly picked up more books that are more then just OK books.

The one thing that has never changed though in my house is that we read... many, many books a day. I have read to my children for unlimited amounts of time and have yet to find their limit on my reading books to them.

The second thing that has never changed in my house is that books are always available for the kids to get to. I have had book baskets beside comfy kid sized chairs since my kids were just a year old. In the beginning the baskets were stuffed full of fun board books that they could sit and look at when they needed some quiet time. Or when momma was making dinner and couldn't read and cook at the same time, or just whenever. Often times they would be sent to the book nook to settle down. It was not even a time out and it works wonderfully as a quiet area for them.

In our old house, we called the book space with their little chairs and baskets the Library. It was really just a little corner of our living room. Here in our new home, the name has slowly morphed into "The Book Nook." The kids voluntarily head over there MANY times a day. They pull book after book off the shelf and they look at pictures and they study the details and they check it all out.

I have tried to organize it by subject matter somewhat, but that only sorta works. They love just about any kind of book out there and you will find every genre of book on these shelves. I do have the Magic School Bus books pretty much in one spot and the Early Readers pretty much in one place. I have the very early phonics readers in a separate place and the fiction and non-fiction is mixed all over the place. The picture books are down lower and the kids chapter books are up higher. We mainly read the chapter books in the evening, but we have been known to sit down and devour a nine chapter book in an afternoon. None of use wanted to stop reading... we all wanted to find out what was going to happen to Little Bo.

What works for me is having a kid's book area. This is a place that my kids can go that is theirs. When they were young they would mainly just pull books from their baskets and not the shelves as much, so I would rotate different books into their baskets. Now I do not have to use the baskets as much.

What works for me, in this spot, is having small kid size comfy chairs. My kids are about ready to grow out of these guys and I have been considering a couple of high quality comfy bean bag chairs. I do think the chairs and the comfiness is important. They will stay there longer and look through more books if they are comfortable.

I also have this crate. It is full of library books and this is where they all must go back to. Library books are not to go upstairs (this rule was instituted after I found some overdue books under a bed). This entire crate goes to the library with us once a week and then it stays right here in the Book Nook and they pull books out all through out the week.

When I find books that my kids LOVE we actually follow those authors. We check out their websites, we find out when their new books will be released and we show up at the bookstores on those days to have a snack and to read our new book.

I have had friends over and my kids have sat glued to books in the book nook the entire time. People are amazed and I am frankly thrilled! This has slowly evolved for us into such an awesome thing! I am SO grateful that it has become such an important part of our home and of our lives.

What works for me is fostoring a love of all things books!

Check out more things that work for others at Rocks in my Dryer's Works for me Wednesday!


Kristen said...

Love the pics and of course the concept. I like the new shelf I had not seen.

Jenny said...

Clever title to your post!

I was thinking, at my husband's rank of E-6, he is allowed 11,000 pounds of stuff. I think you have about 11,000 pounds of books alone.

Just razzing you a little bit. I would have LOVED to have grown up in a home with that many books. It really would have been a wonderful dream come true to just sit in my own little corner and escape to another world through a chapter in a book.

Great post!

FHL said...

You are a book maniac *wink*

I think it's awesome....and I STILL want to find a basket and copy your car "book nook."

brian said...

"I have seven bookcases. Can you ever have enough?"
No! And husband needs to get on board and buy you 100 more books as penance for saying you have too many. That's what I do to Susan when she groans at my books. And sometimes I buy 100 more books even if she says nothing, just as a preemptive strike!

Scooter said...

Books totally rock! I love nothing more than looking up from my book, and seeing my girls' little noses stuck in their own little books. It is such a blessing to me to have them share my love of reading, and to have a trip to the library or a gift card to the book store be more exciting than going to the mall.

Anastasia said...

Love this post! It is so exactly what we as a library teach our family--have books available, get them where you can, keep library books in their own place.... Also wanted to let you know that a previous post inspired me to buy 3 copies of each Elephant and Piggy book for our easy reader section. Previously we had a few in the picture books, but that was not enough and now I'm in charge of easy readers so I could remedy it!

I also enjoyed seeing your bookshelves bowing a bit.... Some of ours are still in boxes; maybe someday we'll get them all on shelves!

FHL said...

Um, you may have, kind of been, possibly, blog tagged ;o)

Although, this tag is special, it's disguising itself as a bloggy award :o)

FHL said...

Heee heeee :o) It's kind of like having homework....isn't it? *wink*

But to make amends....If you guys are around for Thanksgiving and would like to join us (D's parents will be here as well) we'd absolutely love having you guys. Thanksgiving just doesn't feel right without a fun crowd ;o) Just let me know.....


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