Sunday, March 13, 2011

Boxes of Books {Part 1}

A few days ago, me and Mom started a clean-up/organization mission in our loft (a sort of open-attic room where we store a lot of stuff).

It was such a weird, nostalgic feeling to find so many things I had forgotten about. Well, not forgotten about, but that had been pushed to the back of my mind.

My whole childhood is contained in boxes in the loft.

I found lots of things. Three rolls of yarn, a crochet needle, and a long crocheted piece about 2 inches wide, left over from when some ladies were teaching our Wednesday night girls' class how to crochet years ago. A sewing book for kids and a little box of embroidery floss and a half-finished cross stitch pattern. These things are proof that I was crafty as a kid, but my craftiness became repressed until two years ago. :) I also found pictures and dolls and my plastic two-story dollhouse. And my folder of information about the Young Mustang Club.

{The Young Mustang Club was a club I started when I was 11-12 years old and deep in my horse phase. (Does every girl that age go through a horse stage? It seems like it.) The members of this club were myself, my brother, my dad, and three cousins. I made membership cards for everyone and a club handbook. And there was a newsletter. I had to laugh when I some of the issues. I was the editor, of course. There was a fiction section (where I wrote about cowboys who spoke in the most cheesy "Western" speech ever), a trivia section, a news section, etc. I was quite an odd child. :) I think the club fell apart when we realized it was impossible for all of the members to get together for a club meeting.}

But mostly it was boxes of books. There's not much room up there, so I started taking the book boxes downstairs to sort through. There was one box, then two, then three. I just kept finding more boxes full of books.

I'm very thankful that I was always surrounded by books growing up. My parents made sure we had plenty of them! I think that it is so important for children to have books, and my case proves that a childhood exposure to books can turn a person into an obsessive bookworm (that's a good thing! :).

{An awesome Disney alphabet book that I loved when I was little and my old, very worn copy of Little House on the Prairie- yes, the cover is gone}

Since the goal of this was to make more space in the loft, I knew I would have to get rid of some of the books. So I started sorting them. It wasn't as hard as I thought. If there was any doubt in my mind about whether I should keep it or get rid of it (trash or donate it to Goodwill), I kept it. I used to buy books all the time at Goodwill (ours has an amazing bookstore), and I had so many that I never read or could never finish. So there was no need to keep those.

I could not part with my Baby-Sitter's Club books (I think I counted about 46 of them). Or my horse chapter books (Saddle Club, etc.), or my American Girl historical books. Those books were so important to me, and I seriously loved them.

{I read Baby-Sitter's Club and children's historical I'm taking child care classes and I love vintage. Coincidence?}

And those were just the chapter books. We also had tons of picture books. Since I've been in early childhood education, I've rediscovered my love for children's literature, including picture books. I've taken one class about children's literature and two about children's literacy and planned dozens of preschool activities that include a book, so I've read a lot of picture books over the past two years. In some ways, I've become a bit of a picture book snob, because we're taught how to look for good quality.

I found some classic picture books that I had forgotten we had: Dr. Seuss, etc. And there are a few books that aren't exactly the best quality, but I couldn't let go of them. Because I remember reading through them as a child, I remember certain pictures in them. Or they trigger little memories.

Because books are so important to me, I'm already collecting books for my future children. I know this seems really weird to some people. But someday, I want my kids to have lots of amazing books just like I did (and still do). Here's my growing collection of picture books (my other children's "chapter" books- Narnia, Little House, etc. are scattered through my other shelves):

Okay, and a plus is that I actually like reading picture books myself. There are so many incredible, creative, and gorgeous ones out there.

And ever since last summer, when I had to start doing about 40 picture book reviews for class and I came across some great ones, I've been wanting to do this post. A post about picture books and children's literature. I put it off because I have so much to say about it, but this seemed a good time to start. This will be part one of my children's literature series.

I want to talk about a few of my favorite authors and illustrators, and also talk about my favorite children's chapter books. I don't know how many posts will be in the series, or how long it will go on (and this series won't be all I post), but I hope you guys will enjoy it. :) Or at least endure it, because I really do love children's literature and it's something I get really excited about. If you have any kids in your life, maybe my series can introduce you to some books for them or give you some gift ideas. :)

P.S. Now, when I buy a book, I feel the urge to make it mine. I immediately clean off any stickers and put it in its place on my bookshelf (or my "to read" pile). I had the same urge as a child, but I expressed it by writing my name in nearly every book I owned. :)

{I think Katie's post here might have given me the boost I needed to start this series.}

Until next time,


  1. so excited for this series! :)

  2. I love children's books too! It brings back so many memories. :)


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