When I was a kid in the 70s and 80s, the library was tucked into an old brick storefront with a big display window, worn wooden floor and books crammed in everywhere. My favorite section became the young adult section as a teen and I read as many novels as I could get my hands on. The school library was a great resource too. And the middle school library is where I found Nancy Drew and fell in love with voracious reading.
When my daughter was born, my sister gave her books for her first Christmas, when she was three months old. I found it kind of funny, but actually started reading those Dr. Seuss books to our baby.
My husband turned into a big reader as an adult as well and our trips to the library could be legendary. We probably brought up their borrowing statistics all by ourselves. They did actually up his borrowing limit.
We attended the kid programs when our daughter was little and although she outright refused to dance when it was dance time, she loved the books.
When she was three she asked us to point to each word as we read. By three-and-a-half years of age, she cracked the code and was reading all on her own. It was amazing.I credit a lot of it to the libraries and the endless books there. Plus the Dr. Seuss rhythm of the ABC book really intrigued her. I still have some of it memorized.
The public library and a local family sponsor a teen writing contest each year and my daughter won it and $3,000 in her 8th grade year. She also won her very first ipod by joining in their summer reading club and got her first job shelving there.
Our son (5 years younger) attended the kids' programs as well and actually did participate as a toddler. He later received Honorable Mention in that same library contest, joined the Teen Advisory Board in 6th grade and continues to be part of that board. He gets his video games and graphic novels from the library and though he says he's not really into books, he will be once he finds something he loves besides Harry Potter novels and Walking Dead comics.
And now, our little girl is 21, graduating college with two degrees and summa cum laude in both in just four years. She is planning to teach elementary school where I have no doubt in my mind that books will take center stage.
We continue to use the library for books, magazines, newspapers, classes, movies, tv series dvds, CDs, teen programming, and the summer reading clubs. We have cards to three different local libraries and use them all frequently. One of our favorite family activities is loading up the wagon with books from the library book sale and increasing our stash at $1 a book.
So, yeah, we're library lovers. How about you?
If you're a book lover, you can see how to use old books in crafts here, keeping in mind you're rescuing books destined for the landfill, not tearing up a good friend. And if you really can't stand destroying a book for art, you could always make copies and then turn that into coasters like these.