When I was a little girl growing up, I loved going to the library! At that time, the library closest to us was a little brick building on Main Street. The children's section was downstairs, and it always reminded me of going down in a deep, dark dungeon :) The building was old, and the books were mostly old, so the library had a peculiar smell to it. Kind of like a mixture of dust and mildew :) But, I remember that I associated that smell with an arm load of new books to read.
Today, I still love going to the library. Fortunately for my children, the town we live in now just built a new library soon before Cosette was born. It's big and bright and clean with huge windows and a much better selection of books. (And it doesn't even smell like dust and mildew!) I'd like to know how many hours my children and I have spent in that library over the past five years! The librarians all know us by name, and we are quickly working our way through every book in the children's section! We 'hurrah' and clap our hands when they get a new shipment of children's books in :)
Today was 'library day'. We hadn't been out for a while due to busyness and cold weather, so we were eager to stay and browse and take a nice selection home. *Ahem* 'Nice', as in a whopping total of 36 items! They filled our huge library bag , and Cosette still had to carry an arm load herself! I am quite proud to say, however, that we have only ever had to replace ONE book. This is a miracle, considering we've probably checked out hundreds and hundreds!!
A common site after we return home is to see three children, all sprawled out on the couch or floor in the living room, happily looking through books. Cosette has been excited recently to realize that there are some books that she can read all by herself!
There are two simple rules that we have around our house in regard to library day:
1. Mommy or Daddy pick out or 'okay' each book before it is brought home. Mostly there's no problem, but occassionally a child will bring to me a book with a title something like "My dumb brother', or "The magic witch makes a special potion". Um, I don't think so, no thank you! I only want my children reading things that will edify them, or at least provide them with harmless amusement.
2. All library books remain in the living room ( or in a bed-room if special permission is asked first), and they must be returned to the exact same shelf where we keep all of the library books. This way they don't get mixed in with our own books. This is how we prevent books from getting lost and never returned.
Have you ever realized that there is nothing cozier than snuggling down with your munchkin sweeties under a fuzzy blanket and reading through a stack of books? I have my own memories of times like this with my own parents, and I hope my kids will too!