Books, Books and More Books

My children love to read. When Avery gets quiet and disappears, I often find her with her nose in a book. She has discovered one of my favorite reading spots in the house.

The afternoon light is just right to settle down on the couch with a good read.

Aidan prefers to read at night. He takes a stack of books up on his top bunk and is often the last member of the family to fall asleep. I am sometimes awaken by a thud, but I know it's just Aidan dropping a finished book on the floor to make room for the next book. Daddy's old books made their way to our house recently, and the kids were ecstatic to have a new selection to choose from.

I don't remember loving books so much when I was their age. I had a few Read-Along Disney books and tapes I remember listening to in my room, and of course the first two books that made me want to read, Put Me In The Zoo and The Cat In The Hat. My mom read often, and always took my brother and me to the library, but I often read because I had to. When I read by choice, I chose inappropriate books for my age. I remember my mom catching me on a beanbag in the children's section of the library reading Danielle Steele. I was probably 9 or 10. My friend loaned me Flowers In The Attic when I was 13, and I spent the next few years devouring every book written by V.C. Andrews. In hindsight, the books were far from appropriate and certainly not literature.

Fortunately, a few years after my V.C. Andrews phase, I discovered Edith Wharton, Jane Austen, and E.M. Forster. My kids are in The Age Of Innocence, and not quite ready for Sense and Sensibility, so I am slowly collecting and reading classic literature that is both age appropriate and enjoyable for all ages. Our shelves are filling up with Jack London, L.M. Montgomery, Laura Ingalls Wilder, C.S. Lewis, John D. Fitzgerald, and many other authors I should have gotten to know as a child. We have also revisited books I remember my mom reading aloud, specifically books by Beverly Cleary and E.B. White.

What books did you enjoy as a child, and what classics are you revisiting now with your children? Our books shelves and library lists are always open to suggestions.


  1. Ooo.. me and libraries, that's a whole post in itself! When I was a kid, the library was right next to school, so mom made arrangements to have me walk over to the library every day after school where she would wait for me and then drive home. I think I read just about every book in the pre-teen section at that library!! I read all the Bobbsey Twins mystery series, Nancy Drew, even started on the Hardy Boys before I discovered Sweet Valley High. I also got a thrill out of those 'pick-your-own-ending' books, you know, those read a couple pages then go to page 22 to go in the cave or page 36 to go around the cave type books.

    I'm so glad your kids like to read, Oldest loves her books, too and she's 5!

  2. Favorites from our bookshelves -
    Philip Pullman - the Golden Compass

    Cornelia Funk - Inkheart and The Thief Lord and Dragon Rider

    J.C. Mills - The Goodfellow Chronicles

    Brain Jacques - Redwall

    Roald Dahl - all his books

    Pierre Berton - The Secret World of Og - this was my favorite as a child and as a read aloud book - it can be hard to find - i will gladly lend you mine

    Joseph Cornwell - Listening to Nature ( a great companion for being outdoors)

    Bill Peet - all of his stories!

    Eric Carle - fantastic especially as inspiration for a day of collage art with the kids

    I am in love with books and could just go on and on but i will stop.

  3. currently reading "madeline" and "the story of ping", with the kids. 2 of my favorites as a kid.

  4. My dad read Little Women to my sister and I when I was little. I also remember reading The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, which continues to be a favourite of mine. I also loved having books full of detailed illustrations. I would sit and stare at each picture, keeping myself occupied for hours.

    I also loved Roald Dahl, The Secret World of Og, Sweet Valley high and the Baby Sitters club :) And the pick-your own ending books were awesome!

  5. I LOVE that picture of Avery. I wish I could sit like that now. But she just looks so content with her book. Aahhhh...
    You know I love the Little House series (and Farmer Boy is one of my favorites - about Almonzo growing up.)
    And Anne of Green Gables :)

  6. Your reading history sounds like mine. I started with the Boxcar children in the third or fourth grade. In the sixth grade I read Where the Red Fern Grows, and my interest in reading took off like a shot. By the time I was in the seventh grade, I was reading things like V.C. Andrews, Victoria Holt, Jackie Collns and Jacqueline Susann. Then, I discovered Stephen King in the ninth grade and had read all of The Stand by the time I was sixteen - all 1200 pages! With the exception of some assigned novels, I didn't read any of the classics until college, and since then, well, I'm working my way through the 100 Best Books in the English Language ;).

    I've shared some of my early favorite books with my children. We've read several of the Boxcar children series together. But more than sharing my old favs, I really enjoy discovering new books with them - like the Magic Treehouse books.

  7. Oh, I was such a reader as a kid. Still am. Right now we're reading Despereaux, Time Stops For No Mouse, lots of Dr. Seuss for the kindergartener and the Little House on the Prairie series. I'm also a big fan of the Rats of NIMH, Charlotte's Webb (and all E.B. White books), anything by Beverly Cleary, Amelia Bedilia, and I could go on and on and on. We also have the pick your own ending books, which are very fun and a good way to learn about choices and consequences. I have to second the recommendations for Little Women (all of them) and Roald Dahl books. For reference, my kids are 5 and 9. And 16, but our reading together days are over.

  8. Oh....lets see...I loved the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, but now with only boys, we have read Farmer Boy about her husban's life. My boys liked it a lot. There is a new Peter Pan Book out...kind of a sequel and our Daddy read it aloud every evening last winter and it was very entertaining. And I was a huge Beverly Cleary fan too. We finished Ribsy this summer.

  9. That light IS beautiful, Molly. I love that picture of her reading.

    Have I mentioned how much I love the "why I blog" secion you have? Every time I read it...I feel so warm. ;)

  10. I know you posted this ages ago, but the one book that got me reading things that weren't Sweet Valley High and Babysitters Club was Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time. And then I spent the rest of my primary school years tracking down her other books.

  11. Have you read the Swallows and Amazons series? I didn't read when I was a child but each summer for three years I read one of the books to my own kids while we were at the cottage. We all have very fond memories of those books.


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