My house is covered in books, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
My living room has a basket of books in the corner that belong mainly to 1-year old Katie. Most of the time, Katie can be found sitting by her book basket, browsing for her next good read. She browses by pulling the books out, one at a time, and making a big, messy pile o’ books on the living room carpet. When she finds one that suits her fancy, she picks it up, toddles over to Daddy or I, hands us the book, plops into our lap, and looks at us expectantly. It is through these books that Kate has learned to roar like a lion, say no-no, say ‘cheese’ for the camera, wave ‘night night’, smack her lips together to make a chewing sound, and countless other intellectual feats.
My husband built these amazing bookshelves for the playroom. They line the playroom walls, and all the books sit, covers facing out. (Thanks, hunny!) Three year old Maddie likes to play Library in there. I’m the Library-er, and Maddie is the customer. She picks 3 books from the shelves, puts them in her shopping cart, and I check them out using the play cash register that was meant for shopping, but works equally well in our Library. After she ‘reads’ them, she brings them back. Sometimes, she has to stop to remind her dolly to sshhhh. “Dolly, you have to be quiet in the wibwawy,” she’ll say. Then, of course, it’s her turn to be the library-er, and I shop for books.
Each of the girls also have lots of books in their bedrooms. Kate’s are kept in a green basket on the floor, and Maddie’s huge stock is kept in a dollhouse-shaped bookcase that was a gift from her Grandma. By far, my favorite time of the day is those few moments spent reading before I tuck them in at night. With Kate, it’s time to cuddle and giggle and learn. She’s starting to memorize some of her favorites, and she starts laughing before I even turn the page in Oh David! because she knows he has a P.U. diaper. Or she knows Clifford is going to fall down that mail chute and we’ll say “Uh oh!”. With Maddie, it’s ten or twenty minutes spent reading and talking and wondering and laughing and laughing and laughing. That pigeon who wants a puppy and to drive the bus and to stay up late cracks us up. Every. Single. Time. Some of the best conversations I’ve had with Maddie have been around books.
Yep, my house is covered in books. Jordan Sonnenblick wrote, “I also learned that if you can get a kid to associate reading with love, that kid will never, ever stop reading.” I certainly hope this is true.