Happy National Book Lovers Day!

Alternative Title for this post – A Day That Fuels My Addiction To Children’s Books: A Co-Dependent Celebration

I think I have truly earned the title of Book Lover. In fact, becoming a mommy to the Mini has taught me just how much I love books. Not only does my heart sing when I see her spending time in books, I never anticipated how much I would miss reading books myself. (Can you say “bye bye” to free time?) I find myself actually clamoring for ways to spend time in a book, catching up on my blogs, checking out a mag…anything!

A small story.

I’m in my local Barnsey. I’m with Mini Mimi who loves books but is also All. Over. The. Place. Luxuriously browsing? Uh, no.

As I take my little friend out of her stroller to check out some books together, I notice a gorgeous display of new picture books. I crane to see some titles while unstrapping. I push my never-the-same mommy brain to remember said titles. I squint to see the books on the bottom shelf as I watch Mini Mimi begin to move farther and farther down the aisle.


I scoop up my friend, swallow that inner voice that is telling me I am flying my Freak Flag waaaaay too prominently, take out my phone and take several pictures of all the shelves so that I can look them up online while Mini is sleeping.

True story. Aside from a few strange glances, can I just say, “winning?”

I hear a lot of people poo poo the e-reader. (Yes, I just said “poo poo.”) They say that there’s nothing like the feel of a book. Well, as someone who has no time for anything, I can say that in my world there’s nothing like the time or luxury of reading, no matter what it’s on. Seriously – I’d read the latest Jennifer Weiner if it was printed on baby wipes! (New business idea for moms??) Do I love the feel of a brand new, shiny picture book? CLEARLY! Do I like the look of my beloved books stacked neatly in bookshelves? SO MUCH THAT I FANTASIZE ABOUT BUILT IN BOOK SHELVES IN MY DREAM HOUSE!

But when it gets right down to it, do I just love to read? Yes. Do I want Mini Mimi to love to read? Do I care if my students are reading a magazine, a take out menu, a graphic novel or a piece of non-fiction? No. I care if they love reading and can really DO reading, if you know what I mean.

I think it will be a long time before schools do away with books. I work in some schools that don’t have enough books – why would anyone think they would suddenly have the funds for an e-reader for each and every child? (I mean, if schools buy e-readers for kids before they buy pencils, I just might scream, so there’s that.)

In honor of this fabulous day (in the midst of so many gloomy ones for us educators…can you even stand to watch the news these days?), let’s share a title or two to kick of the new year. Any faves? Books you can’t live without? Books you want to celebrate? (Pssst…I procrastinated for a solid 20 minutes and created this board over at Pinterest. Also a true story.)

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  • I feel a bit like a cheater by not yet being a teacher (I've still got a year and a half of college before I'm certified), but I found a book in one of my classes and fell absolutely in love. It's called Nonsense! with poems by Edward Lear and pictures by Valorie Fisher. Fantastic, quirkly, little poems with collage art work. Many of the complicated/unfrequent words used in the poems are defined in the pictures which I thought to be a brilliant idea.
    Or there's Love You Forever written by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Sheila McGraw. Honestly made me tear up in the bookstore – beautiful story.

    August 10, 2011 at 4:55 pm
  • I LOVE Jennifer Weiner! Crazy that you mentioned her out of all the authors out there. Good call! P.S. love your blog 🙂

    August 10, 2011 at 4:55 pm
  • My 3rd graders absolutely love the chapter book, Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School and Other Scary Things by Lenore Look. Our favorite picture books have been Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge, The Old Woman Who Named Things and Thomas' Snowsuit!

    August 10, 2011 at 4:55 pm
  • I, too, have a passion for books & even more for reading. And I just had a baby at the end of June. Suddenly, something I used to do 2-3 hours a day has become nearly non-existent. When I do have time to read, it's been parenting or breastfeeding books. Or how to teach your child to sleep. None of the lovely fiction I so adore. The best time for reading, I've found, are the times I'm suctioned to the breast-pump. Sigh.

    Everything you wrote about I can completely & totally relate to. So nice to know that I'm not alone.

    August 10, 2011 at 4:55 pm
  • I think it will be a long time before schools do away with books.

    The school I worked at schools ago? Has no books in its library. I am serious as a heart attack.

    August 10, 2011 at 4:55 pm
  • For picture books, I love 'The Relatives Came,' by Cynthia Rylant. The illustrations are a hoot, and it is oh, so Southern! linky
    I also really enjoy 'Ming Lo Moves the Mountain.' The children really like that they are smarter than Ming Lo, a grown-up. more linky
    I teach 6th grade so I get to introduce my kids to the wonderful world of mind twist through 'The Giver.'

    August 10, 2011 at 4:55 pm
  • I'm a children's librarian, and i constantly take pix of books I want to buy for my collection 🙂

    August 10, 2011 at 4:55 pm
  • Do not feel bad about taking pictures of books with your phone, I do it also! With my mommy memory I never can remember titles to books any longer.

    August 10, 2011 at 4:55 pm
  • I couldn't live without Shakespeare's words, the Harry Potter series, Little Women, Watership Down, Little House on the Prairie, and Shel Silverstein's books.

    August 12, 2011 at 6:57 pm
  • Agreed! I just want my students to read. Read the back of the cereal box for all I care. I created an adjustable reading log that allows for so much more flexibility with reading — because getting our children to enjoy reading and be proficient at it is what really really matters.

    August 12, 2011 at 6:57 pm
  • My third graders love the Judy Moody series. I start off every year with the first Judy Moody as a way to create community. We all make our very own "Me Collages" and share them. I also love the fantasy, Poppy by Avi and I dream of the day that Disney or someone will make the movie. Every summer I do a summer book club with a small group of students. This summer we read many classics. Some of the books we read are Tales of Fourth Grade Nothing, No Flying in the House, Esperanza Rising, and Mr. Popper's Penguins…they are all winners!

    August 12, 2011 at 6:57 pm

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