Monday, October 08, 2012

Our Bookshelves

When we first got married, we combined our libraries.  Daniel had a few Christian non-fiction books and a small box of his childhood books that his mom gave him.  Mostly Little Golden Books and Bugs Bunny books.  I had a small collection of favorite science fiction books.  Together we signed up for a book club, using our dog Molly's, name as our "child" for the program.  Through that club we got a large collection of Disney and Dr. Seuss books.  Over the years I added a rapidly growing collection of my favorite authors like Anne McCaffery, Mercedes Lackey, Terry Brooks, Tolkien and L. E. Modesitt, Jr.  The only real collection Daniel bought was Narnia series by C. S. Lewis.

As the kids came along, Daniel and I picked all their books, mostly from yard sales or book store sales.  But a strange thing is happening now that we have more pre-teens in our home.  They are choosing their own books.  Creating their own collections.  And slowing taking over our home library.  Some of their books are for school, but more an more are becoming their favorite series.  Our shelves are now full of Maximum Ride, The Ranger's Apprentice, Hunter Brown, Daniel X, Harry Potter and of course, the Percy Jackson books by Rick Riordan.  Really, anything by Rick Riordan finds its way to our home library.  It's becoming harder and harder to preview all the books they are reading to decide if they are acceptable reading material for our kids.  I've been reduced to reading one or two books in the series and deciding based on that.  But, as a Mercedes Lackey fan, I've learned that one good series by an author does not mean that ALL their works are equally safe for kids to read.  Or even that every book in that one series is safe.

I also try to remember that my kids are allowed to read fluff, because it's fun. Not everything has to be great literature.  My little sister, Toni, hated reading when she was little.  I used to read Goosebumps books to her out loud in our room at night and purposely not finish the book so that she would have to read some of it herself to find out the ending.  I'm not sure if she ever became a big fan of reading, but I do think that some kids are more likely to read if adults don't make all reading feel like work.  The best example, though, is being a reader yourself.  I hope my kids see me enjoying reading and enjoy hearing me read aloud to them and develop my same love for books.  So far, it seems to be working.

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