Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Why every home needs bookshelves

We've been visiting a lot of model homes lately. And like most show homes, they are immaculately decorated. As we wander through the rooms, I am usually distracted by two thoughts:
  1. No one's home looks like this.
  2. What books are on the bookshelves?
Let me explain that second thought a little: I have this image of the interior decorator going into a used book shop, buying a bunch of hardcover books, removing the dust jackets and artfully displaying them based on their color and size. Yes, they make the shelves look pretty, but upon closer inspection, they don't make sense. The book topics don't go together and there are reference books mixed in with fiction. Utter chaos.

To me, books are for reading, not display. We are a family that reads and I've always made sure that my son has plenty of books on his bookshelves. And now I have even more reason to make sure that our bookshelves stay full: Shared reading. As this piece in the NY Times points out, it is harder to share a digital book with your child than a physical one. As my son gets older and all our books get incorporated into one big family library, he will be more likely to reach for the books that are "mine" or those that my husband brought into the collection if they are physically present and in his eyesight. If we were to move to digital books, then yes, they could be shared, but it would take a little more effort and the visual reminder wouldn't be there every time he walked passed the family bookshelves. 

I find myself looking forward to what books he will choose to read and which ones I will get to read that he brings into the family.

What was your favorite book as a child? Tell me in the comments.


  1. What now seems like a very old-fashioned book.... The Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton. I loved it. It was one of the first books I borrowed from the public library. I can still remember the shiny book jacket and illustration. Those were the days.

    1. I have never read that one, Mimi, but I want to go look it up now. Thanks for sharing!