Where the Books Live

Remember back when I wrote about my process of creating a kidlit corner, showed some Before photos, and promised to share After pictures when my bookshelf painting project was done?  No?  Well, perhaps that was because it was a year and a half ago and I never followed up with my promise.  Ahem.  Sorry about that!  But I finally took some pictures of our new and improved kidlit corner and wanted to share.

We love the bookshelves that my husband made, although we have so many books that we could really use another pair of them!   I’d eventually like to add some soft floor seating and artwork for the walls, but I take my time in the decorating department so those aren’t likely to happen for a while.  Anyone else have ideas on how to make this space cozy and pretty?

While I had the camera out, I also snapped a few photos of the other places in our house where children’s books live (when they’re put away, that is, which is certainly not all the time!).  I try to keep our library books more-or-less corralled in our living room, which is where my favorite bookshelf is kept.  Who needs a working fireplace when you’ve got a fantastic forward-facing book display?  Not me!  I wish we had one of them in every room.

The last place to find kidlit in our house is, appropriately, in my children’s room.  We stored quite a lot of books in there until I read Simplicity Parenting, which recommends keeping only a handful of books in children’s rooms.  There’s still way more than a handful in there, but now I try to limit it to what can fit in two cubbies: one for board books for my son and one for picture books for my daughter.  The titles in the bedroom are constantly rotating because books tend to migrate there from other parts of the house and every so often I sneak some of them back to the kidlit corner or living room display shelf.

Finally, we keep a basket next to the rocking chair where we share bedtime stories.  For the longest time there was just a tall, wobbly pile of finished read-alouds in that spot, but I finally wised up and set a basket there.

What about you?  Where do the children’s books live at your house?  If you have any especially creative ideas for book storage or display, I’d love to hear them!

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18 thoughts on “Where the Books Live

    • Yes, we are very blessed, both by being able to own so many and for having such a great library to borrow from. I’ve found several places to get books for dirt cheap, and that is mostly how our home library grows these days!

  1. I can vouch for the quality of the bookshelves. I was impressed when I saw them in person. They’re beautiful!

    In our house, we have one basket for library books (because we typically check out 15 each time, I can’t bear to have them scattered throughout the house). The disadvantage of this is that it doesn’t display them as beautifully as your forward facing book display.

    We have two shelves of kids books in our living room, at kids’ eye level so that they can be used and enjoyed. Since that’s where we read together most, that’s where the bulk of our collection is.

    Does anyone have genius ideas for magazines? Our eldest devours kids magazines, and we don’t contain them well. Typical magazine boxes fit on a shelf, but you have to pull them out every time to pull the magazines up. I’m eager for a solution!

    • Are you wanting a rack for a handful of magazines that are currently being read, or one to store a larger number of back issues? A friend of ours has a great rack that displays probably a dozen magazines and your comment was a good reminder that I’ve been wanting to hunt one down for ourselves. If I find a similar one I’ll post the link here!

      • Good question. Really I want both. I want a good way to keep back issues of 4 or 5 magazines that E reads often. And a display (like your book rack) for current issues (or currently-being-read) issues would be ideal.

    • This isn’t a beautiful solution at all, but I keep a deep basket next to the couch with my New Yorkers that are waiting to be read, and the most recent (3-4) issues of the kids’ magazines. I still haven’t figured out storage for past issues, though: right now, they just go in a fabric bin on A’s already over-stuffed bookshelves. (Clearly, I have NOT read Simplicity Parenting!)

  2. One spot I love to keep books (besides our sons’ bedroom, the living room, and our sunroom) is the car! We listen to a lot of audio books in the car, but I like to have some books for each boy in the side consoles of the van whenever we’ve listened to Seuss just one too many times in a week! 🙂

    Tell Roger that he did a great job on the bookshelves, they are beautiful! (But the baby in the picture is even better!)

      • Will do! I’ll compile a list of our favorites. Also, would you and Sarah ever consider doing a post on some favorite children’s magazines that the two of you enjoy with your kids? I have lots of great resources I turn to for good book/audiobook recommendations, but magazines?…not so much!

  3. I feel guilty admitting this, but I haven’t read Simplicity Parenting. What’s the down and dirty on keeping books out of kids’ rooms? We have so little storage space, and the 5-year-old tends to use her room as the spot to retreat from the chaos of a two-year-old brother. I find her there, frequently, with a basket of books beside her on her bed. And actually, I’ve worried about the quiet a few times only to wander back and find the little guy on her bed paging through her collection of Winnie the Pooh (despite his absolute illiteracy!)…

    • The gist of it is that the author is all about decluttering and making sure that kids’ spaces aren’t chaotic and overstimulating and too full of stuff. I think he actually recommends 6 books in the room at a time! Like I said, we haven’t taken it that far, but it IS true that kids only read a few books at a time and that more books doesn’t necessarily mean kids will read more.

  4. Pingback: Jesus Loves Me | Aslan's Library

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