Let’s talk books! Kid’s books specifically…
“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.”
― Groucho Marx
Yes, you want your kids exposed to excellent literacy from a young age.
But gosh, over flowing bookshelves, books sprawled all over the floor or piled up on surfaces can drive you batty!
If your kids, especially when younger in age, have difficulty keeping their books neat and tidy, they may have TOO MANY BOOKS!
When Your Kids Have Too Many Books Consider:
* What Condition Are The Books In?
Kids’ books can get a lot of wear and tear especially in the early years when everything seems to end up in their mouths. So take time to pull out any books that are really tatty or chewed, water damaged, have pages falling out and are beyond a simple repair job. These books can go straight into the appropriate recycling bin. I often find that books which are in poor condition, get read a lot less anyway.
* What Is The Reading Level Of My Kids?
Are there lots of cute board books which your kids have outgrown?
Consider donating these books to your local charity shop, or even passing them onto a playgroup or other Mums who have children in that age range.
What about books that are too old for the reading age of your kids?
If you think your children will enjoy reading those titles as they get older, keep them. These type of books may include favourites from your own childhood. I kept a set of animal stories that I loved reading as a 10 year old. Similarly, my daughter really enjoyed reading them when she got to that age too! These books ended up being quite special for my daughter, because they were no longer in print and not available to buy.
You may choose to put away these books for when your kids are older or even store them with your own personal collection of books.
* What Are My Kids Interested In Reading About?
Our children’s interests can vary a lot as they get older and also from one another. That’s something I have noticed with my three. For example, we had several My Little Pony books that I chose to give away because my daughter had moved past that stage. Well, the two younger boys were not interested in reading My Little Pony books now or in the future. Now we have a lot of dinosaur books on our shelves.
As my kids get older and can start decluttering their own things, I get them to think about keeping only their favourite books. By favourites I mean, those books they enjoy enough to read over and over again. Rather than liking a book because it has a pretty cover or someone gave it to them for their birthday.
A collection of favourite reading books is the best one to have!
* What Are You Interested In Reading To Them?
“A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.”
― C.S. Lewis
I strongly believe reading is meant to be fun and enjoyable for both kids and parents! Hence my suggestion to keep mostly books that you enjoy reading to your children. You can find our list of favourite recommended read a loud books for the early primary years here.
* How Much Space Do You Want To Use For Storing Books?
Ah!! Natural limits!
Storage space is a natural limit.
It indicates that you might have too many books to fit in the available space.
It teaches your kids to consider which books are their favourites (as previously mentioned) and keep the best. Well because the storage option you choose will only hold a specific number of books.
If we are constantly trying to find a space for everything… nothing is of real value.
Book Storage Tip: Make Use Of Your Local Library
Sometimes you can feel afraid or anxious about letting go of stuff even when there is too many books.
What if the kids want to read this book again? What if I want them to read it some day?
One thing I tell people who mention that, is that you can always borrow those books out from their local library. Really you can!!
My kids and I are regular visitors to our local library. In fact we go so often that two of my 3 kids have memorised their 11 digit library card number off by heart. Not that it is about borrowing books, though! It’s because they like logging on to the library computers. Boys!!
There are many benefit of borrowing books and other resources from your local library over having your own extensive collection (or too many books) at home.
You get access to a much larger range of books without having to a pay a cent. You can try out authors or different styles of writing with your kids and know that they don’t need to take up storage space in your home indefinitely. Plus, at a time when more of us wanting to simplify our loves, using a shared resource makes sense. It’s also a great way for your family to engage in your local community!
I have also found that borrowing more than buying books has helped my kids to be more independent and responsible. The consequence of paying for a book if it’s returned damaged, has more effect than Mum saying “Look after your books!”. They have also learnt how to borrow their own books, print off items from the computer, reserve books they want to read and even how to approach the librarian and ask for help with finding or borrowing a book.