The library has always been a destination for my family.
When they were little, it was a place we could while away mornings when there wasn’t anything else going on and we needed to get out of the house. The kids would play in the toddler area, and I would look for books. Sometimes we’d just sit on the floor of the library and read.
I loved finding new books we could read together and books that would keep them occupied during quiet time. The best were lift the flap and I Spy books because they held their attention even before they could read. Lilly always wanted Disney princess books and Adam loved anything about Pirates. Jonah wanted books that had pictures of animals or construction equipment, and Maggie was the first to venture into chapter books like the Magic Tree House series.
Once or twice, we went to scheduled story times, but mostly we just did our own thing. We’d make trips to the library every other week and take home more books than we could carry.
Even though the kids are older now, they all still love going to the library. We don’t get there as often with all their activities, but it’s still a place everyone wants to go. Recently, I promised Jonah I would take him to get some books and when the other’s heard we were going to the library, they all wanted to come too despite heavy homework loads. On that trip, I found myself wandering through the children’s section again remembering the days when we would check out 20 or 30 books at a time. I found Lilly there too, trying to find the old I Spy books. Some things never change.
This month we’ve posted a story on infant story times as well as a list of story times at area libraries. It might seem odd to take your infant to a story time, but librarians agree it’s never too soon to start. Even if they end up just chewing on the book, it’s still a good idea to introduce them to the concept of reading, the librarians say. By starting early, there is a better chance your kids will always love books. It sure worked with mine.
Even though they aren’t the most mature readers — Jonah took out a bunch of Captain Underpants books that night — they all love to read. And nothing but good can come of that.
FranklyStein is a blog by Chesapeake Family Magazine editor Betsy Stein who lives in Catonsville with her husband, Chris, and four children, Maggie, 16, Lilly, 14, Adam, 14, and Jonah, 10.