My daughters love to read. I'm glad they enjoy a good book, because I am an avid reader, too. These days, though, my reading is usually done on my 30 minute lunch break at work.
When my daughters were about a year and a half, I took them to a local library. They enjoyed being surrounded by books, even though the librarian kept trying to steer them toward board books and away from the picture books on the shelves. For the most part, I didn't see the library as a necessity. My mom was an elementary school teacher and we have hundreds of her books. I'm not exaggerating. When my mom died, my dad had me go through all of her books and set aside books for myself and my sister. It's quite nice to curl up with my girls on our "book couch" and read books to them that I remember my mom reading to me.
Then one day, I was taking my daughters somewhere and they asked me about a construction site we had just passed. I told them it was going to be a library. They asked if we could go when it opened and I agreed. It took a loooong time for the library to be built. I received a "back seat update" on the construction every time we passed the site. It's fairly close to our house, but it's not on a route we travel often. So imagine my surprise when we drove by just a few weeks ago and the parking lot was packed with cars. It was time to plan our library trip.
We ended up going on a Tuesday. We returned that same week on Friday and have made Friday our "Library Day." All of the girls have fun looking at the books in the children's section and picking out a book of her own. They also enjoy exploring the library and sitting in every single chair they pass. (You think I'm joking, don't you?) There is a sitting area with a fireplace, so I've already promised when can sit there for awhile when the fire is lit. Their only complaint is that they don't have their very own library card. I'll have to ask how old they will need to be to get one.
The library has been a nice teaching tool. On our visits, my girls are learning to be quiet and respect the grown ups who are there working. They're learning how to share and they're learning that just because you want a certain book that doesn't mean it will be there. (Sue Sue desperately wants to check out Pinkalicious, so I finally put my name on the waiting list. We're second in line, so I'm hoping it becomes available soon!) So if you need to find us on a Friday afternoon, chances are we're at the library.
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