Tuesday, March 5, 2013

For the Love of Books

Tyler loves to read. He always has. When he was tiny, I would rock him in the nursery and recite Goodnight Moon and I Love You Stinky Face from memory while he snuggled into my neck with his right thumb tucked securely into his mouth. As he grew into a curious toddler, his love of books grew right along with him. It was never a struggle to get him to sit through a story and one of his favorite places was the library. If the house grew silent, I didn't worry that he was off coloring the beige walls a bright shade of green...I knew I could always find him parked in front of his bookshelf or tucked into a cozy corner, surrounded by heaps of books.

At nearly six years old, Tyler's collection of books has outgrown the shelves in his bedroom, spilling into Mattys' room, the toy room and various bins and baskets throughout our house. There are books he received for his birthday, Christmas and Easter and many from before he was even born. Classics, lovingly inscribed with sweet messages from aunts, cousins and friends on the day of his book-themed baby shower.

Our compilation includes those ordered from Scholastic, purchased from our church book store and still others that were passed down to Tyler from when Ryan was a little boy. We even have one that I grabbed on a whim on my way out of a local thrift store. As we snuggled in later that night to read it, I noticed there was an inscription inside the front cover and immediately recognized the handwriting as Ryan's moms. The book ended up being one that she had given to a daycare kid as a gift some fifteen years earlier. Small world.

Each night before bed we have the same routine. Tyler changes into his pajamas, brushes his teeth and picks out five books of his choice. Somewhere along the line we made a rule that the number of books we read should coincide with his age. Four books at age 4, five at 5, etc.

Sure there are nights when we read two books and he's out cold...

and others when we read many, many more. 

But for the most part? We stick to 5.

The only other rule is that Tyler's selection of 5 books cannot include more than one Berenstain Bears book. Because if he could, he'd hand us stacks and stacks of those books and we'd be in his room all.night.long. Stan and Jan sure had a lot to say.

Raising a kid who loves to read is by far one of my proudest parenting "accomplishments." And despite the ridiculous amount of books that we already have, I am always on the lookout for great new additions. Below are some of our favorites; please share yours... I'm sure we're missing out on some great ones!


  1. your family is precious and I hope my kiddos love books like yours- I am sure they will since we make books a big deal around the house