A Little Literacy, Please: My own library

Today begins a new column, temporarily replacing “Tot Talk Tuesday (child psych and education).  This one is called “A Little Literacy, Please.”   Ah, but there’s a lot of education and psychology interwoven with the literacy world, so consider this a natural extension. 

Our “family gift” this holiday season was new family room furniture (see Santa’s Sleigh Isn’t Red post from December 2010), including some much needed bookshelves. 

You see, I love books.  My whole family loves books.  And I was running out of places to keep them.  Any other non-bibliophile would have just told me to save a buck and  go to the library more often.  But I would scoff and say, “No.  I love books.  I want them to be around me.  I want to have my own personal library.”  Besides, I kind of like to reference books again, and have even been know to re-read them a year or so down the road. 

Another thing important to our kids–is to see books in the home.  And to see mom and  dad reading for pleasure.  And no, it doesn’t count if you wait to crack open that book after they have gone to bed. 

Kids who live in a home where books are readily available read more, have more interest in libraries, knowledge, and seek out books for answers to life’s mysteries.  Sadly, not many homes actually have books on display.  Ours really didn’t until recently (one of the downsides to living in a home with an open floor plan = not much wall space for bookshelves).  Cringe. 

Well, the day came for me to haul up all of the books from the basement and place them on the new bookshelves.  Volumes upon volumes of books were brought out into the open once again.  Thud–I’d sit the books down on the floor only to return with another armload. 

Kate was watching television at the time.  Cringe, again.  Before long, she was fixated on me and not “Fetch with Ruff Ruffman.”  I could feel her eyes on me, “What is it, honey?” I asked.  “Oh, I’ m just watching you, momma.” I smiled and nodded as I continued with my book project. 

Before long, she started asking me about the books I was placing on the shelves, “What’s this one about?”  I’d answer her…the Civil War, girls and self-esteem (“what’s that?”  I told her), Italy, etc. 

Later, at the dinner table, she looked over to the newly filled bookshelves and announced, “I like our library, mom.”  My hubby and I caught each other’s eye and smiled that small smile of parenting pride. 

The next day, Kate created her own” library” in her playhouse in the basement. “Mom!  Come look what I did–I made a library in my playhouse.  It’s so cozy.  You will love it!”  And I do.  I think it’s completely adorable.  I couldn’t ask for more (well, maybe a kid who could read all of those books on her own…but there’s time for that!)

Follow along on Tuesdays as we focus on children’s literacy…books to read to and with your child, special literary characters, how to create a children’s library at home, etc. 

For now, happy reading!

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