That Place With All The Books

So I have to admit, I haven't had a library card since I was in college, and even then, I was an art major, so much more of my time was spent in the studio than with my nose in a book. I do remember going to the library as a kid, but I dreaded the card catalog, and was quite relieved when they finally became tech savvy enough to install computers.  I liked reading mystery novels, murder mystery novels actually. The danger, the suspense, the search, the twists and turns of the plot; I think reading these books made me feel a little mysterious myself, and that was a nice relief for a straight-laced kid like me.

My dad has always emphasized the importance of reading. He used to point out that the few "really smart kids" in my high school classes were the ones who maintained a large reading list. Whether there was a direct correlation or not, there isn't much doubt in my mind that reading provides a variety of discussion topics and broadens the vocabulary. If you want your kids to read, they need to see you devour a good book once in a while. I, for one, definitely have room for improvement. These days, I don't find much time for myself, and the few minutes a day when Julianna is preoccupied only last long enough for me to fold a half a load of laundry. I have, however, finally gotten a library card. I'm happy to say that Julianna actually knows what the library is, and today when I asked her if she wanted to go to the library and read books, she exclaimed, "YES!"

Maybe I should call her Papa and let him know that I've started her off right.

There is a great children's section in the Kirkland library with several large baskets full of board books. Julianna saunters over to them and plops herself down to peruse the selection. Often I try to read aloud to her to decide which books we should check out, and JA's not afraid to offer her opinion by the third page. If the book is of no interest, she'll quickly close it in my hands and pronounce, "The End!" But if the story is one of which she approves (has colorful pictures she can identify and a few words she understands), she'll quickly grab the book to look through it herself or take a seat in my lap to help me turn the pages.
(Taken in November 2010)

In the age of computers, the internet, and Kindles, I'm actually quite impressed with the King County Library system. And what recently inspired me was a suggestion I got from one of the librarians to check out their Books To Grow On kits. I didn't understand what they were at first, but ok'd having the Books To Grow On - Potty Girl's Kit put on hold for me the next time it became available. When I went to pick it up at the library, I was quite surprised to be given a large, orange "tool box".

Inside, Julianna and I discovered 8 books (mostly children's but a couple adult guide books), 2 children's DVDs, a music CD, a curriculum guide and a doll complete with her own cloth diaper and potty chair! The best part, we were allowed a month to absorb all this material.

I'm just beginning to educate Julianna (17 months old) on this topic. She seems excited to learn, and I want to keep it that way. She loved holding the doll and taking its diaper off (then handing it back to me to put it back on - that's what moms are good for). Only half of the books and one of the two DVDs actually held her interest, but it was a great place to start, and will be a nice refresher course in a month or two when we check it out again.

Meanwhile Julianna continues to love the books we have at home. She often attempts to name the title when she picks one up and then pretends to read a few memorized phrases. (Boo Bird, Boo Bird... See! AKA, Blue Bird, Blue Bird, What do you see?)
This is one of my favorite sights... it's so "Julianna" with her ankles crossed. 
(Don't worry, Mom, the car was parked when I took this pic with my cell phone! ;)

Have you visited the library lately? The last book I enjoyed was Committed written by Elizabeth Gilbert. It was fascinating - even better (in my opinion) than the acclaimed Eat, Pray, Love. Any recommendations for my next read?


  1. The Help is a must read. It is set in Mississippi in the early 1960s. It's primarily about the black women who work as maids and nannies for the white women, but I think an equally important secondary topic is mothering.

  2. Have you read The Hunger Games? It is a young adult trilogy, but they were pretty captivating.