My family went regularly to the library when I was a kid. I remember each of us bringing stacks of books home every couple weeks, mom included! We loved the library so much that we even played library at home.
We would do the summer reading program where you would keep track of the books you read, and you would get a prize based on the number of books. I don’t even remember my own prize, but I remember my sister got a set of pogs. I think I was a little jealous. I actually have those pogs at my house now, and my kids play with them.
I have been to the library quite a few times with my kids since becoming a mom, but I realized when going the other day what an asset libraries are for creativity.
Libraries rule and here are my library rules:
1. Go often.
…Even if you don’t finish reading every book that you check out. Keep in the habit of going regularly (and taking your kids if you have them). You can’t always buy new books whenever you want, but you can still read new books by checking them out at the library. If you don’t like the book it’s ok because you didn’t pay for it. You can take it back and get a new one. Make a certain day of the week library day and stick to it.
2. Check out all the books you can and keep them in one spot at home.
Our library let’s us check out six books per library card. Right now we have two cards so every time we go we get twelve books (Ninja boy gets to get his first library card the next time we go, and I think that is one of the most exciting mom moments ever).
My kids like taking the books into their rooms, and I’m sure you can guess that it makes it a lot easier to lose books that way. I started making them put the books back in a box in the same spot just for our library books. I check it every couple days to make sure we have the right amount accounted for. This is a great way to help you avoid late fees and scrambling to find books on library day.
3. Don’t just stick to the grown up section for yourself.
I have been checking out young adult fiction lately because they are fast reads. I know that I can get through them quickly so I don’t feel overwhelmed if I am busy. I can still finish a story while still getting things done in the rest of my life.
Also, we found this great art book for kids the last time we went that is going to help me with my creative projects probably even more than my kids.
4. Read non-fiction AND fiction.
Don’t ever tell me that you can’t learn something from a fiction book. I might go Hulk on you. I read somewhere that fiction literature doesn’t answer questions but asks questions, and the reader can draw his or her own conclusions. I love this description. Non-fiction is often for a purpose. You read it because you want an answer to a question. . .who was Abraham Lincoln? How do I change the oil in my car? How can I get more organized? This is good. We need to answer these questions. But I love to read a book that asks ME something…what would you do in this situation? Is this right and good? How can you relate to people in life that are going through situations like this character? Fiction makes you think while wrapped in an entertaining story.
If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales. -Albert Einstein
This is one of my favorite quotes. Non-fiction is awesome. Fiction is awesome. They both fulfill the same purpose–to make you more intelligent. Fiction just adds a little extra creativity to it.
5. Support your library.
Our library is privately funded. This means that they don’t always have enough money for growth. They have a thrift store and book store in the lower level to help with funding, and starting this fall we will have to pay for a yearly library card. I am GLAD. I would love to pay less than a $1 a month to read. If your library charges for a card, pay for it GLADLY! If you forget a book and end up with a late fee, pay the fine GLADLY! This fee supports your library to be able to provide you with this wonderful service. Be nice–most of the people working there are volunteer. Maybe you could be a volunteer yourself! If you are getting rid of books, consider donating them to the library. Then you could always check them out if you want to read them again.
Remember this PSA from the 90’s??