I love books. I love buying books. I have loved watching my home library of beautiful children's books grow over the years. From classics to new publications every year, I love presenting a bountiful feast for their minds and eyes. Don't get me wrong, I make good use of my public library as well. But there is always that trusty stack of favorites used year after year right here at home.
I recently moved around and rearranged bookcases. I finally (finally!) put them in order. Its my own unique system, but it works for me and I love knowing exactly where to find just the right title.
Here comes the problem. When you have carefully arranged the shelves and encouraged your children to makes use of this treasure, they will. In fact, it seems the new found order has enticed them even more. This makes me happy and presented the dilemma. How do I keep my wonderful system in place?
I simply placed a white basket on the a shelf of a small side table and explained to the little ones that it is the "book return basket". They are free to pull whatever they want off the shelf. (We have of course also reviewed rules for carefully handling and reading books.) When they are done reading they simply place the book carefully in the basket so that "the librarian" (a.k.a Mama) can put it back on the shelf. Every evening, in just a few minutes, I return the books to their proper place instead of despairing about the disorder and spending hours reorganizing everything. There is the added benefit of getting to see what captured their interest that day and asking them about it.