Wednesday, 4 July 2012

We love Books!

A few years ago I used to sell Usborne books - mainly because they are fabulous, and I (and my friends) got a nice discount on the books by being a distributor. For some reason I fell off their system though, so recently I joined once more, and am now an Usborne distributor again - yay for discounted books!  My parcel of books, catalogues etc arrived last night, but because I had a boy who couldn't sleep (Middle had painful legs), I never got round to opening the parcel... until this morning.  Well, great was the excitement when we opened it up!  Youngest was particularly excited by the Wind-up Train Book and the Noisy Animals book; Middle was fascinated by the Lift-the-flap Art book, and he enjoyed the Run, Rabbit, Run book from their Very First Reading series (he still sees himself as a learner reader, even though he's now a very competent reader - I just go along with the level he's confident at, figuring that if I try to push him, he could back right off, and I really don't want that); Eldest has always loved visual puzzle books, so was very happy to see The Great Animal Search book, and despite being one who usually much prefers reference books over fiction, he really enjoyed the funny Don Quixote retelling - again it was a bit young for him, but it meant he could read and enjoy it in one sitting :)
There is one problem with all of this though: we have now utterly run out of bookshelf space to keep all our books in!  Even though I periodically have a cull of all the ones I'm not necessarily going to read again, we need more shelves!!!  But that's OK: I saw a quote the other day that said,
"A house that has a library in it has a soul" - Plato
Well that's nice - according to that, our house has a big soul (albeit not contained in a single 'library' room, but scattered about the house on shelves in pretty much every room).  You see, where some women hoard shoes and others collect handbags, my shopping weakness is - and always has been -books!  I just love them.  And I am enormously grateful that my boys are (perhaps unsurprisingly) growing up loving books too.  We have always included reading a story in their bedtime routines - and now that we have the time in the mornings, it's not uncommon to find us snuggled up in bed starting the day with a book together too!  As I've mentioned before, books are some of my favourite things to strew, because there's something about a book laying out on a table that says "look at my nice shiny cover... don't you just want to pick me up and see what fascinating facts or wonderful stories can be found inside...?"  Some of the boys' favourite projects and experiments have been inspired by those found inside a book :)
I don't force reading on my children - but I am enthusiastic about reading, and that kind of enthusiasm is infectious.  If I said to Eldest, "Do you want to do some reading today?" (like it's a chore/ lesson/ duty to perform), he would probably reply (in bored voice): "Nah"... but if - as happened earlier - I pull a book off a shelf (or out of a parcel) and casually say, "I think you'd really like this one..." and then leave it, apparently not caring whether he picks it up or not, chances are he'll at least flick through, if not (as today), be unable to put it down until he's finished!  It made me smile seeing him engrossed in 'Don Quixote' earlier - it really reminded me of myself as a child (my family used to say that I could be in the middle of an earthquake and not notice, if I was engrossed in a book).  With Middle and Youngest it's even easier - if they see me reading, they'll come to see what I've found, in the hope that they can join me in my reading adventures :)
Some people have said that with the internet making information as easily accessible as it now is, reference books have become almsot redundant.  I have to say, I disagree entirely (well I would: I'm one of those people who shun electronic books in favour of holding a real book in my hands with real pages to turn and the real smell of ink on paper to inhale). To find information on the internet you have to make a choice - to turn the computer on, to log on to the web and to hunt for the right page (which can be a bit overwhelming when presented with a long list of possible sites).  A book can be idly picked up in passing (especially if strewn there by a cunning educator) and can then inspire curiosity where you did not realise you had any interest.  I do stumble across interesting things online (I'm obviously an internet fan, otherwise I wouldn't be sat here writing my blog), but I'm just saying that books still have their place, and always will in any house of mine! :)
So, in the spirit of my book-loving day, I thought I'd share some more quotes with you, if for no other reason than to make me feel better about my 'bulging at the seams' bookshelves ;)

“A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.” - George R R Martin
"To read is to fly: it is to soar to a point of vantage which gives a view over wide terrains of history, human variety, ideas, shared experience and the fruits of many inquiries." - A C Grayling 
"A capacity and taste for reading gives access to whatever has already been discovered by others." - Abraham Lincoln
"You're the same today as you'll be in five years except for the people you meet and the books you read." - Charlie 'Tremendous' Jones
 "Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.” - Maya Angelou
PS I just had to add this - regular readers of the blog will understand why the following made me so happy: I came downstairs at bedtime to find Spongebob on TV in the front room - no surprises there - but unlike Middle who was watching, Eldest was reading!  Yes, reading!  He chose to read rather than watching TV!  In fact, he had completely zoned Spongebob out & was engrossed in his book while his brother watched TV next to him!  Happy Mummy :)


  1. I have the same problem with books, I even have them stacked on the stairs!


  2. Me too, we have no space left, there are books on almost every surface in the house! But I always said, reading is the most important thing - as long as my kids can read then they can learn anything.

    1. exactly :) Not every child likes reading, and I was determined I wasn't going to force mine if they weren't interested - but I'm very happy that they all appear to be book-lovers like me :)

  3. Books, books lovely books.
    Another family of bookworms here!
    Once of the reasons we moved last year was to have more wall space for shelving! They are now off the stairs, but that is a possible when we have fitted and filled up the other options.
    I'm just finishing up as Barefoot Books Ambassador - din't have the time to make it a business and it was getting in the way of my book blogging and compulsive Amazon listmania making! Http://
    Wasn't happy focusing on one publisher - even if many of their books are absolutely gorgeous and unusual.
    At one stage I read to my eldest for around four hours a day - it was a major part of her early education.

    1. I know what you mean - I doubt I'll make big business out of Usborne (just doing it for the discount) cos there are so many other lovely publishers out there :)
      I LOVE reading aloud to my kids (and they to me) - it's just such a special time for us :)
      We're just going to have to move house soon so we can have our own library!

  4. I love that A C Grayling quote, its so trueee.

    1. I know! not keen on flying personally, but I love the sort that you experience by reading books ;)