Our family loves books. We can't get enough of them. It's a serious addiction. Even when we go on vacation, like we did between Christmas and New Year's, an overwhelming amount of our time is spent with books. This is a picture of my 6 year old, who has just learned to read fairly proficiently, doing what he begged us to do several times each day we were gone ... sitting in Barnes and Noble, reading every book in sight. We must have gone there at least once each day we were on vacation (we are a long 3 hours from the nearest one here), and some days it was 2-3 times. It helps that they have a Starbucks built in, but still, our primary interest was in the books.
I love this picture because it shows me that we are doing something right in homeschool. He did spend a little time at their toy table, playing with the trains, but for the most part, this is what I would find him doing. I have always believed a love of reading was the key to success in life and all my kids love books. Everyone has their own favorites, but we just can't get enough of them. Even our 2-year-old can't get enough of them, and will carry book after book to us and demand "Read it!," then start climbing onto our laps. My 20 year old has a Nook, which is a good thing for someone in the military like he is, who travels a lot and doesn't want to have to move books or store them constantly. But I can't get into the thought of using one. I want my books right there in front of me. I love the feel of a real book in my hands, and I love the feel of being surrounded by them, so I'll stick to my hard copies, thank you very much. The biggest problem I have right now is that I don't have a space where ALL of my books can be together in the same place. So we have books on nightstands, on top of dressers, on shelves in every room, lining the top shelf of a closet, in a built in bookshelf I made last year, flooding the garage, and covering my kitchen table and living room chairs. I usually have to move books for someone to be able to sit down :) I even have a separate shelf for daycare books - mostly board books I pick up at the thrift store so the little people can enjoy them without me stressing over torn pages and broken spines. After all, every child should be taught to love books.
So, I'm dreaming big. When our house gets out here, I have plans of building wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling bookshelves across on very large wall in our living room. (I think it must be about 28 feet wide, but since it's not here yet, I can't measure it.) I thought about putting the books into their own room - a sort of formal home library, but I want them to be a part of our daily life, right there in your face, calling out to you to read them. What better education could I give my kids than a well-stocked library filled with great books. We're (ahem, I'm) always buying and expecting more books in the mail ... nearly on a daily basis, definitely on a weekly basis. We've added some treasures to our shelves (or should I say future shelves) lately and have many waiting to be read, especially books published by Lamplighter Publishing. These are our current read-aloud books for the family.
One of these days I'm going to get brave and count all the books we own. But that probably isn't practical until we can get them all in one place, so maybe as they go on the shelves at the new house, I'll finally get to count them. I also plan to create a computerized card catalog then. I can't wait!