I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. ~Anna Quindlen, “Enough Bookshelves,” New York Times, 7 August 1991
Books have always played an important role in my life. Whether to escape reality, if only for a few moments or to learn a new skill, I have always had a book nearby.
I don’t read now nearly as much as I’d like. Mostly I get in a chapter here or there while sitting in the waiting room of a doctor’s or therapist’s office. These days I’m mostly engrossed in homework, soccer, karate. Oh, and I’m also completely engrossed in being read to.
I enjoy the suspense of a new Fly Guy book. Three glorious chapters that keep me going with the sweetest voice reading them to me. The easy reader books that another little voice recites to me with ease bring my heart such joy and pleasure.
This weekend felt like Christmas at our house. A friend was going through some of her son’s things and gave us 2 large containers of books. Well over 100 book if I had to try to put a number on it. We went through them on the living room floor, everyone oohing and ahhing. Like I said, just like Christmas!
We sorted the books based on those we had and those we didn’t. Then we sorted based on age group of the book (some were board books meant for younger children). Then we sorted based on books we wanted to keep and those we would like to share with other children. In the end we had 2 very large stacks that will remain at our house and a ream of paper box that held those to be donated elsewhere.
I started to organize the books – cuz’ that’s just how I roll.
Because of my personal love of books there are many in my house. That also means many shelves to hold them.
Before my boys were born I was buying books to read to them, books they would someday read to me, books they would fall in love with and read by flashlight under covers in order to try to read a few more pages before getting caught and sent to bed… again… Their books are housed in a 6 foot tall, 3-1/2 foot wide, 5 shelves shelving unit.
It is full…
They have another, smaller shelving unit – 2 foot tall, 3-1/2 foot wide, 2 shelves shelving unit.
It is full…
With a large sigh and a bit of a heavy heart, I realized it was time. Time to go through our books. Time to give our treasured words to someone else. Time to say an official goodbye to the boardbooks we held so dearly for so many years and replace them with the chapter books of the years to come.
I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t difficult to clean out those books. So many of them held such amazing memories. Days of being able to snuggle 2 boys in a rocking chair AND hold a book in my hands to read to them. The way they enjoyed certain phrases that were read. When they memorized Goodnight Moon. The number of giggles produced with each utterance of The Napping House.
So many of these books worn with love. Several of them spending night after night being snuggled in a crib, toddler bed, twin bed.
Today I boxed them up. Only the books. I left the memories in tact. I loaded them into my car. The goal is to create new memories for other sweet little ones.
There are new reading memories to be created. I look forward to the reading by flashlight days. I long for the days when we share books, have discussions about the stories we read.
I’m excited to fill more shelves with words and memories to cherish for a lifetime.