A Day in the Life 23: Book Seeds

self-portrait of sorts.

If you had seen me between my moments of brainstorming and coding in the last few days this is how I would likely have looked–from the beret and braids down to the books. I have been seeding. Every month or so I like to remove the piles of books around the house to were they belong on the shelves and reseed various piles with books that peak my interest and which might capture the interest of my crazy kids.

When deciding which books get put away and which get put out I consider what each child has shown interest in. Rachel goes for how-to books with lots of experiments and crafts. Highlights magazine (a gift from her grandmother) is a big hit with her as well. I make sure to put out a few experiment or craft books in the bathroom and on various surfaces. Esther takes after her mom and will read anything that has art that appeals to her whether it is inside or just on the cover(which means I have to keep some of my manga and less child friendly books out of her sight) . My husband’s gamer magazines get moved out of her line of sight and are replaced with anthologies and story books with a few brilliant illustrations to peak her interest. My son finds documentary style books about cars, explosions, and volcanoes appealing though he is now also intrigued by easy reader books he can read himself.

As I put piles of books back on shelves I weed out the tripe and old magazines that have seen better days (except for my old Victorias which go back on the shelf). I place new old favorites by my bedside, make sure there is a Bible in each room and a hymn book near each one (we like and learn all kinds of songs but the kids like using old hymn books.) I keep my eye out for whatever book my husband has been looking for (this month it was Cryptonomicon which had gone missing–it was on the shelf where it was supposed to be.) I place the less suitable books on higher shelves and move the ones I want to capture my kids with to shelves where they will notice them. (My parents always had books everywhere and the less suitable were easily accessible and of course I read them all–I don’t want my kids to do that–I want them to encounter books that will help them grow not mess them up for years to come. ) We have books in every room and I like to make sure there is something suitable in each spot.

As I seed I involve the kids, asking them to carry the piles to the shelves while I place new ones. More often than not I will lose a kid or two as they discover old favorites and sit down where they are standing, engrossed.

This time I put a Helen Oxenbury story book, a science experiment book, and a well made Harcourt reader in the bathroom with a few easy readers. I noticed today that both story books have been left out meaning that a kid was perusing them. In the living room the books remain untouched though there are several to tempt them should the take a peek. I am hoping to lure them away from the Calvin and Hobbes books which have become destroyed with overuse but which still get fought over every night.

It’s not likely to happen but I can try.