Raising Readers Means Keeping Books At Our Fingertips.
This librarian has a confession to make. The books at my house are not organized perfectly by color or arranged alphabetically on my shelves. In fact, they’re a mess. They teeter in towers on end tables and are scattered across the floor. You’ll find my library books thrown on the backseat of my car and stacked on the stairs. Alphabetical order? Please. Call it typical life with little ones, but I’ve started to embrace the bookish chaos.
Rather than beat myself up about not having a perfect system in place, I’ve actually noticed a real upside. There are always books at our fingertips. If I’m making dinner, there is probably a board book left on the counter I can hand to one of my kids. When we head out for a walk, there are likely a few abandoned titles sitting in the garage. And that mountain of books on the living room rug? It’s a good reminder to ask them to bring me a few to read.
And my books are everywhere too, so that maybe I pick one up when I notice them playing quietly for a few minutes, instead of scrolling on my phone. Or so when I collapse on the floor and let them watch Frozen for the umpteenth time, I might reach for a magazine I checked out of the library, instead of automatically starting to pick up toys. Our bookish mess serves as a visual reminder to weave reading into everyone’s daily routine.
Some days I trip over a board book or some come spilling out as I open the car door and I vow to Marie Kondo my life. The books get put in pretty new bins (impulse bought at Target) and arranged nicely on bookshelves. But inevitably we fall back into our messy bookish ways.
For this season of life, I’m going to be ok with that. I can tell myself that I’m raising readers. And so those piles can stay on the floor. We’ll be reaching for them soon.
Laura Szaro Kopinski, A Bookish Home