After a loooooooong wait (clearly he just wanted to build up the suspense…), here is M’s first official post. All thoughts expressed are his own and do not necessarily represent those of his management, a.k.a. me 😉
Over to M:
We have a lot of books. Not compared to a library of course, but by anyone’s standard it’s a lot. Not all are bought I’m hastened to add, a lot for example have come from both mine and Loll’s childhood collections. This said, we’re bordering on becoming best friends with our post lady.
Now, I’m fully aware that the title is somewhat odd or controversial for a blog very much centred on children’s books and fostering a love of reading, so let me explain.
I don’t know (as it’d take me too long to properly count and I don’t know where Loll files her master spreadsheet) how many books we actually have but to aid visualisation for you, let’s just say we have 700. (I’m anticipating you pausing now while you digest that number. I guarantee you’re both wondering whether you have more or less than that and I’m betting on the fact you’ve now formed a first impression on this number).
We have two boys who both love reading. And 700 books. Pretty much, give or take, all on display in places accessible to them. So, there’s a little more context then.
Now let me summarise the two sides of the argument as far as I’m concerned (while fully appreciating I’ll miss a wealth of key points due to the fact this post can’t go on and on and on – therefore feel free to comment accordingly).
How can there be too many books? I’m constantly surprised with the books that are added to our collection. I consider myself a pretty creative person but some of them just amaze me. And no, I’m not overstating. Giving examples seems a little crass as there are so many but a couple I’d pick that I can see right now are ‘Limelight Larry’ by Leigh Hodgkinson, the Hueys series of books by Oliver Jeffers and ‘Press Here’ by Herve Tullet.
So on the basis that I’m constantly amazed, I’m guessing my kids are, too. Continuously. Surely that’s a good thing for their imaginations, their creativity – their brains ultimately?
How can two young boys take in all those books with all that content? When we read books together, I find we discover new things almost every time we read them (and no, this isn’t always true of Thomas the Tank Engine – H’s current favourites!). But to do that, surely one needs to read those books repeatedly (in non-reading related aspects of bringing up kids, repetition is repeatedly (!) heralded as important). And of course, we can’t repeatedly read 700 books and growing.
Are we giving our kids enough opportunity to find the more subtle elements of books? Develop their understanding with each read? Appreciate them, even? Or, do we need to accept the fact that they won’t like them all and ‘fuelling the pile’ means they can find what they like and get excited more often?