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Reading My Library

Monday, September 28, 2009

Checkin' Out Books

I confess it right now - I've fallen out of the habit of going to the library. When I was younger, my mom was responsible in making sure we were driven to the library to pick our selected books up and then driven back when said books needed to be returned. She also took care of the pets in such a way that I thought having a dog was a wonderful, easy and delightful thing - until I grew up and got one of my own (and no longer lived with my mother)!

Dogs and library books are good things for moms to take responsibility of.

It turns out that I wasn't very responsible when it came to dogs (I gave up when the little puppy refused to grasp the concept of potty training and I ended up finding him a loving home with more patience and less carpet). Nor was I remarkably responsible when it came to returning library books on time. When I first moved away from home, one of the first things I did was go to the local library and get a card. I felt like I belonged to my new community. I was struggling financially at the time and did not have the resources to buy books. Instead I needed things like snow tires and, well, food. I made a regular habit of borrowing things from the new library. The only problem was, I would forget to return them in a timely manner. I had checked out 3 movies one weekend and then failed to bring them back for a period of some days after their due date. It was then I discovered that they charged $1 a day as a late fee on non-returned videos! At that time I had a choice - pay the fine and continue to use the library or eat and resign myself to re-reading the books currently on my and my roommate's bookshelves. I chose the food. It seemed wiser back then.

Eventually I married and, as a large percentage of married couples do, we had children. My husband has fond memories of growing up and making weekly or semi-weekly visits to the library. Yes, I had those same delightful memories but I had been scarred by the overdue fines experience. Plus, who wants to lug kids around all over the library in search of books? I was thinking that I'd rather just build up a home library but that carries its own type of expense.

Then I met Amy at Hope Is The Word. She used to be a children's librarian and she was and is forever talking about the glories of her library. Being a good blogger myself already, I felt as if I were lacking in some ways and so I eventually started taking my toddler on library outings. It wasn't as bad as I remembered (and my local library gives you a grace period if you don't get the books back exactly on time which works to my great advantage!). I've grown bolder and braver, checking out more and more books as the weeks have gone by.

The other night I was reading some library books aloud to my 3 year old son, whom I affectionately refer to as "Bookworm1" online. The thought occurred to me that it could be really fun to make it a personal project to read through the entire Children's Picture Books section of the library. I dared to voice the idea aloud to my sympathetic husband, Jonathan, who still has his limits. He looked at me for a minute and said, "That's an interesting idea" which, for Jonathan means, "OH WOW, THAT SOUNDS SO COOL, YOU SHOULD TOTALLY DO THAT!"

One new blog later, I'm fully committed. I'm doing it. That's right! I'm making a plan to read all of the Children's Picture Books at my local library and I invite you to join me in my journey.

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Then subscribe by e-mail or feed reader, and feel free to tag along............I'm goin' in (and praying it doesn't cost me too much in fines)!


  1. What a GREAT idea! My kids and I frequent the library. they know us well and we always come home with armloads of books...only limited by the fact that we often walk or ride bikes to the library :-) I never once considered systematically reading through the library...there are some great (and some mediocre!) books in there- I look forward to following your journey. (still deciding if I would join in myself!) :-)

    Happy reading!
    Jen N

  2. I look forward to following along on your adventure (and picking up reading ideas for my youngest). The library really is the way to go when it comes to children's books. Unless there is a book that is constantly requested, I am not sure the expense is justified when it comes to those books that are read only once and then sit on a shelf (I suppose once grandchildren enter the picture there is a chance of them being read again). We go to the library about once a week and fill up a bag (no limit on number of books checked out...yea!), so I would love to post about the books that are a hit with either myself or the youngest.

  3. What a fun project! Oh, how I miss the days of taking my little ones to the library, each of them armed with their own tote bag for books! Enjoy...I look forward to hearing about your progress!

  4. What a fun idea! And what a supportive husband! When my husband says "that's an interesting idea" it generally means "she lost her mind again and I'm back to eating 2 good meals a week." :)

  5. I'm glad you posted this Elizabeth Esther's blog. I've been hearing about your project around the blog-o-sphere for a couple of days, but I hadn't stopped by to see what everyone was talking about. Sounds like a great idea! I'm in!