Ahhh, book love. There’s nothing quite like watching my kids wade through stacks and stacks of books.
With 3 tiny humans in the house, I’ve long-since determined that all the frayed corners, torn pages, and disheveled shelves are simply signs of love and affection. Plus, I figured that, given that any attempts at order look a LOT like the meme below, what was the point?
I also firmly believe that to teach responsibility, we can’t be constantly cleaning up after/solving problems for our kids — if they want to be able to find all their books and keep them in good shape, they need to learn to take care of them, right?
But recently, all of this was set aside with a bout of spring cleaning which extended to sprucing up the books.
We sorted them by size…
I knew it likely wouldn’t last, but it still felt nice to have them organized.
To my delight, I discovered an unexpected outcome after nap time/school. Though I didn’t add a single new book during this clean-up process, it was as if my kids were seeing them all anew. They spent the rest of the day exclaiming over books they thought were lost and enjoying entire collections or author groups.
Though I know details like right-side-up and spine out will still fall mostly to me, this experience has shown me that I can view my time spent here with a fresh perspective.
Until the day comes that my kids can fully exercise fine motor and organizational skills, shaping their reading environment is an investment on my part.
Meanwhile, I can still teach them responsible book care within their abilities — it does not need to be an all-or-nothing kind of approach. But if I get a new idea to present their books in a way that will spark renewed interest and book love, nothing should get in the way of that.
After all, if “doing for them what they cannot do for themselves” doesn’t extend to fostering deeper love of reading, what does?
featured image: DeathToTheStockPhoto
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