What We're Reading: Library Edition

What We're Reading: Library Edition May 26, 2015

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A few weeks ago I got to experience one of my favorite pleasures, going to a new library for the very first time. Since we just moved to a new town, with its very own library just a couples miles from our house, I was thrilled to check it out.

Libraries are my happy place. I have fond memories from the very small library in my sleepy town growing up, and of exhausting most of the children’s section by the time I was 12. I worked for my college library for a few years, and worked for the public library in Indianapolis for a short while before Maggie was born. I have a pipe dream (one of a few!) of going back to school for the MLS (masters of library science) degree and becoming a real, live librarian.

There’s something about a library. It cuts across racial and socio-economic lines. Rich and poor alike use libraries. They are community centers and in many places function as gathering spaces for students of all ages, people seeking quiet work space, and those lacking resources such as in-home internet access. Everyone in this house is a big fan of the library.

Our new one is wonderful! They have an excellent children’s section, and offer many programs for children, including story times, crafts and activities, and there is even a mother-daughter book club for 4th and 5th grade students. Something else I loved was that the parenting section was in the children’s section, something I have not seen at other libraries. Brilliant!

We’ve made a few trips now, and on the last one Maggie and I discovered the “grab and go” bags. They are pure genius!

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They are tote bags for kids aged 0-5 and filled by theme with picture books. So you just grab one, and there is even a barcode on the outside of the bag so you do not have to take each one out to scan. I’ve seen pre-made bags at other libraries, but none arranged by theme and so easy to check out. I love them.

Maggie chose bugs and princesses. Of course. Maggie still likes princesses, but we are starting to get away from the obsession of her toddlerhood. Enough so that instead of having her fourth princess party in a row, this year’s birthday theme is Doc McStuffins. I really liked the books in the princess themed bag though. I like The Very Fairy Princess series (written by Julie Andrews) a lot, and both Maggie and I loved Princess Grace, which is a very sweet alternative take on all things princess.

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Since the parenting section is in the children’s section, I even had time to browse for a few books of my own. I know, I know. Living the dream.

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The top two books are mine, but since I am reading them right now, they are on the pile.

I haven’t started The Museum of Extraordinary Things yet, but I am enjoying the other library books. French Kids Eat Everything is so interesting and challenging as it highlights the differences in French and American attitudes to food and parenting.

The top two books, Cravings and Weightless are both written by Catholic authors and deal with body-image, food issues, and spirituality. If any of that sounds familiar to you, I can’t recommend both of these books highly enough. I have been slowly reading them the last two months, because there is a lot there in terms of spiritual work and material for reflection.

So there you have it friends. What we’ve found exploring our new library and some titles we’ve been enjoying during this late spring sort of early summer lull. What are you reading now?


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  • Sounds like you have some smart people working in your library! Those bags are fantastic! And to have the parenting books with the kids books…so simple. Why don’t all libraries and book stores do that?

  • eysaint

    I read Weightless and Cravings a couple years ago. I enjoyed them very much.

    I do not use our library because of my anxiety, but I want to use it. I plan to make it happen this year. 🙂

    Currently, I am reading Cinder (Teen Fiction) and Clout (Christian Living/Personal Growth). I like both of them, so far.

  • Pat

    Libraries are happy places. I would love to live next door to one. Thank you for writing.

  • Sarah

    Oh, a fellow book-loving mom! I am jealous of your awesome library and child who is well-behaved enough to enter one (my 2.75 year old boy suddenly gets the sillies in quiet, sacred spaces, what can I say?). I am reading (slowly), “What We Can’t Not Know” by J… B (okay, I can’t spell his name without looking at it, but it’s a book about Natural Law); Supposed to be reading “Orphan Train” (need to order it); and just finished a pile of books a few months ago (“Boundaries with Kids” by Cloud and Townsend – great parenting advice; “Death Comes for the Archbishop” – Willa Cather; and some others).

    With DS, we’ve started getting into classic fairy tales and rotate through several collections, traditional nursery rhymes and lullabies (he has started reciting and singing them on his own?!), the poetry of Robert Louis Stevenson, and some Colonial-America themed books after our visit to some historical sites. The baby is enjoying a book of prayers to Mary and a goofy book about ABCs.