Well, now that our daughter is almost four years old, let me tell you the reality. Our bookshelves are full of books that she barely looks at. Santa and the Easter Bunny both tried to bring books to her this past year, and all of those books sit on the bookshelf, yet to be read. I rarely, if ever, buy books for my child.
But... I have a child who loves books. We have a more than a plethora of good books to choose from.
We have a nice, ever-changing, pile of books that sits on the floor of our living room, next to the fireplace and it's usually filled with books that I would have never purchased for my child. And my child is learning about things that I never would have thought to teach her about this early in her life, like U.S. Presidents and the lifecycles of trees and bees.
Did I mention that we love the library? Maybe we're even proud to say that we're a little bit obsessed with the library.
We go weekly and switch out our books and learning materials for new ones. We take out anywhere from 15 to 20 books each week (I know, it's a lot) and usually one learning kit which typically includes books, videos, and toys all around a specific theme (this is how she got hooked on the presidents).
In preparation for our recent trip to visit family out of state, there were several texts back and forth with family members to plan trip details. One of those texts from my husband to my mother in law was, "Do you have a library card?" And sure enough, once we arrived, before we headed out to the playground or to visit family, we stopped at the library!
When my daughter was younger, we took advantage of library programs in an effort to get out and about a bit during the week rather than staying cooped up at home. Most local libraries offer story times, movie nights, craft days, and other fun, most often free, programming. We would attend those programs, although we didn't borrow books initially (I was still on the "I will buy books for my child that she will love" kick).
One day, when my daughter was about 2 1/2, I asked her if she wanted to borrow some books from the library. Her eyes lit up, and the rest is history!
We've come across some really great books, authors, and topics that we probably would not have otherwise, if it weren't for the variety at the library. I try to keep track of the books we've read in goodreads and rate them so that I'll remember what we might like to try to borrow again someday. There have been a few of these favorites that I have purchased, either new, or at the used book store (another fantastic place), however interestingly enough, these books now sit on the bookshelf unread since purchase! We've worked our way through several new favorite authors and even will sometimes go online to our library website and request books that they do not have but can get from other libraries all over the state and deliver to our local library for us to pick up and borrow. I sort of feel like we have the whole world right at our fingertips!
So, I just wanted to encourage you today to check out your local library, if you don't already! It has been such a great resource for us and something for which I am so thankful. It's brought about some really neat things in my little girls' love for learning that I think we would have missed out on otherwise.
Does your family frequent the library? Do you and your kids have some favorite books? Some of our favorites right now are the Ladybug Girl books by David Soman, anything US Presidents related, and This Tree Counts and These Bees Count by Alison Formento (I just checked goodreads and see that she has some other books in this series too that I will be looking for on our next trip!). We are obviously always looking for new books to check out (literally and figuratively), so please do share your favorites! And feel free to connect with me on goodreads so we can share recommendations there too! I haven't updated in a few weeks... better get on that now!