Although I advocate borrowing books from local libraries, it’s important to maintain a home library as well. This keeps books present and accessible at all times. Reading is not an activity that requires permission or supervision. Since, I make a point of reading for learning and leisure, it’s behavior that my children mirror as well.
Variety is the Spice of Life
How To Raise A Reader, encouraged me designate several spots within my home where my children can access books, workbooks, and magazines. I do this promote reading, as well as, keeping books in their line of sight. Since my children are at different stages in their lives, I have an assortment of hard cover, paperback, and board books.
Where to Buy Books
Initially, I purchased books at Walmart, Dollar Tree, Barnes & Nobles, Target and Amazon. I wasn’t thinking about the cost or my kids’ curiosity. That is why, I beeline to the children’s book section of thrift stores. Most of the time, you’re paying no where near the books worth. That being said, you get what you pay for. Children are naturally curious. Generally, littles tend to use their five senses to understand their environment. Although hardcover books look great on bookshelves, they can’t withstand a child’s nature to deconstruct the world around them.
Durable & Age Appropriate Books
Yes, it’s important to teach children to respect books, but I see no need to set them up for failure. Even board books aren’t guaranteed to survive a child’s curiosity. This is why I try to thrift board books with strong spines. Board books that walk the thin line of cardboard or paper won’t last long. It’s not necessarily from deconstruction. Much like movies, children like to reread their favorite stories. The lower the durability, the shorter the books lifespan will be.
If you walk in on a destroyed book, consider how much effort it would take to tear it apart. Was my child ready for a Step Into Reading? Did I really expect that Dollar Tree board book to last long? These types of questions can help a parent regulate their reaction without deterring the child from independent reading. Besides tape can go a long way. It won’t look as pretty but it’ll get the job done.
Starting a home library is only as expensive as we make it. Use what you got. Books don’t have to be restricted to a bookshelf. In fact, my littles book basket used to be a Christmas Basket. Ask friends and family for gently used books. Go to brown back book sales at the library. Checkout yard sales. I’ve bought plenty of hard copy 5-minute Stories books for 95% off. The deals are out there. If you have a generous book budget, what are you waiting for?
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