Blog,  In the Library

What To Do With The Picture Books?

Last week I finally tackled the toppling piles of books in our library which had been accumulating for months. Once I accepted I couldn’t fit all those books onto the shelves, I began a ruthless cull, tossing books that I had considered treasures yet no-one else did. Thirteen boxes of books departed the house making one friend extremely happy and liberating me to enjoy actually having space on my shelves!:) The culling still didn’t enable all the books to fit onto the shelves, but pulling all the picture books out of their bookcase did.

For so long I haven’t been happy with having the picture books in a bookcase, I felt that the small visual of skinny spines wasn’t encouraging the children to browse and select. I was certain if I could only find a way to visually present the front covers of books the children would be more aware of what was available and would enthusiastically browse and select. To this end I placed two small children’s tables in the library, scrounged around the farm for boxes that were not too tall and sorted the picture books into various boxes.

Each box is collated by category; Australian, History/Geography etc.  The children can easily flip through a box and see what is available, they have been happily discovering old and new favourites.

 Aesthetically they aren’t pretty nor are they the final solution, I still hope to win the book bins at our town library’s auction, failing that we will build our book bins ourselves. But for now this is working, Jem particularly is drawn to the new layout, every night he races into the library and carefully selects what books I am to read. A win!

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  • Laura Pearl

    You have the most awesome home library I've ever seen! I agree with An Almost Unschooling Mom–it's a young readers dream room! When I was a girl, I would have lost myself in there for hours. (Who am I trying to kid? I'd lose myself there now!)

  • Theresa @ OrdinaryLovely

    I have soooo many thoughts…

    1. Your library is amazing!! What a wonderful collection to have for your family and even better that you have such a great designated spot for it!

    2. I'm a little jealous, but I'm trying to control it 😉

    3. I definitely agree that seeing the covers in very enticing for young readers. I've thought about having one shelf in the house that I label something like "good books" and put in a dozen or so face out and see what happens. I know we have so many good books that no one has seen because they get lost in the shuffle. I'd love to be able to rotate them and have the kids exposed to all the good books in the house.

    4. I hope you win the book bins. I'll keep my fingers crossed!

    5. How do you encourage/teach your younger kids to put your books back in the correct spots/boxes? (hopefully preventing the fairy tales to get mixed in with the chemistry, for instance!) I have hesitated categorizing our books b/c I'm concerned I'll spend inordinate amounts of time re-shuffling them every few days.

    6. Thanks for sharing this post. It's given me some ideas to think about and I LOVED getting a peek at your library!

  • Erin

    Yes it is a dream room:) Often find children (and adult's) reading and browsing in there. Do all feel free to come and browse:) We can then sit out on the deck chatting books.

    Not even sure when the auction is on, hoping, hoping.

    Encourage you to cull, it was painful the deepest I've done but I feel so happy to have done it. And my friend is thrilled to receive so that helps.

    It was so hard when most of the books were packed away in our shipping container for three years, love having a spot now.
    ahem I have to confess there are bookcases in 4 bedrooms as well.

    re 3- why don't you give it a go and see, though how would you stop them sliding off the shelf?

    re 5- well I have them categorised on the shelves into subjects and actually I'm the one who reshelves mostly, either they put it back where they get it or they pile. That's okay, but the pile grows and waits till I get to it. the book bins are only new so we'll see, so far I've seen the same approach, they either put it back into the same bin or they pile.

    Love to know what you end up doing.

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