What bibliophile has enough bookshelves for that glorious book collection? When we moved into our current house, I made note immediately that the upstairs hallway was wide enough to house a nice bookcase specifically for my children’s book collection (after all, our first child was due 2 months later–what better thought to have on one’s mind?). I said this rather pointedly to my wood-working-loving husband.
Three years (and 3 babies, massive home improvements, job switch, etc.) later, here it is!!!!!! I need hardly tell any of my fellow bibliophiles what an ecstatic moment occurs when a bare, naked, in-desperate-need-of-books bookcase lands in your hallway. To add to the bliss, I had already categorized the boxes of books still lingering in our attic for just such an occasion. 1 hour later, all interesting children’s books were released from captivity and placed lovingly on the shelves awaiting precious children’s hands, eyes, and ears. (sigh) Isn’t it wonderful?
Here I must make an addendum to Megan’s infinitely helpful home library organization system: if you have a large collection of picture books, you may find it necessary to do some size-organization as well as topic/theme/etc. I had my husband build a bookcase with varying shelf dimensions in order to better use the space; some of my picture books are quite tall, while others (such as the Beatrix Potter collection on the very top) are quite small.
I should also mention that I believe it’s crucial to have books appropriate for little hands all over the house–within reach. We have a bottom shelf of a bookcase in the living room devoted to kids’ books, a small bookcase in the play area full of books, and one in each child’s room for his/her books. I think it’s better to have a few different places which encourage reading than have all children’s books neatly organized in one place. Remember, one of the best gifts we can give these little ones of ours is a love of reading! With that, I’ll close with this picture of one my boys below–in the midst of a play room/dining room painting project in which all furniture had been moved to the center of the room and most of it drop-cloth-covered, here sat one of my little ones, contentedly pouring over each book his little hands could find. He didn’t move for 20 minutes (this is a 14-month old!).