Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Passing on the Joy of Reading and Libraries

I Love to Read! Pictures, Images and Photos

I have always enjoyed reading since I was very little and now my 8yr old has been enjoying reading as much as I do for the last 3 yrs since he began reading. He is in the 3rd grade, but can read at a 7th grade level or above! 

The joy of reading really does get passed down from generation to generation and I am very glad! My mom is an avid reader, her mom was an avid reader, my mom's grandfather was an avid reader. I have quite a few aunts and cousins on my dad's side who are avid readers.  

One of my favorite memories as a child was meeting Peggy Parish, author of Amelia Bedelia books. I loved Peggy Parish as an author.I won a contest at our local library and was attended a "Meet the Author" event at the Chicago Cultural Center. My other favorite authors as a child were Beverly Clearly, Judy Blume. I had a couple of favorite series books that I liked. Girls of Canby Hall by Emily Chase was my very favorite series. I also liked Sweet Valley High by Francine Pascal. I also enjoyed Nancy Drew and Hardy Boy mystery books. 

My love for books hasn't changed over the years, but the genres and topics I like to read has. 
My Favorite Genres of books are:
Frugal Living, Christian Fiction, Christian Non-Fiction, Homeschooling, Family Living, Cookbooks, Auto Biographies

My Favorite Authors are:
Elizabeth George, Tracie Peterson, Jonni McCoy, Kim Vogel Sawyer, Tamera Alexendar, Devin Alexendar,(Biggest Loser Chef) Ellie Kay, Chip Ingram, Colleen Coble, Joy Bauer,(nutritionist author), Catherine Palmer, Hannah Keeley,(homeschooling mom of 10 with great tips on organizing a home), Sandra Lee(Food Network). 

There are course many more, but those are just few of my favorite. 

Reading books has really evolved over the last 5-6 years due to technology. Audio books on MP3 players, the surge of e-readers, e-reader apps for smartphones and computers or tablets. These are all "nice' but I myself continue to enjoy "old fashioned" hard or paperback books. Although, my boys just did get MP3 players for Christmas and my 7yr old son has vision issues that has prevented from learning how to read yet. I am going to be downloading some audio books for him in the near future. 

Weekly trips to the Berwyn Public Library are a family favorite activity for us! My boys all have a backpack that is their designated "library bag". I signed them each up for their first library card as soon as they turned 4yrs old. They are allowed to take 6 DVD's and 15 books out at a time on their cards, per the rules I set for them. They keep their backpacks in the coat closet when they are not reading books for there. I just purchased a Cubby Hole Bookcase that we will use for our library books, as soon as my hubby puts it together. Our local library is part of the Metropolitan Library System, which gives us access to over 80 libraries. We can use the SWAN Online Catalog to look for and reserve books from all over the system. I have taught my boys how to use the system to check for books of interest and how reserve them so they can be transferred to our local library. My 8yr old, Joshua, does this very often. I of course can go into his record and delete ones that I feel are not appropriate  or ones we don't want them reading. I have only had to do this to about 3 books of my sons. He is very good about adhering about selecting books that we approve of. I have also taught my boys the The Dewey Decimal System. Even though gone are the days of "card catalogs", I think it is still important for my boys to know how to use a library correctly. Our family really enjoys visiting libraries that are part of the Metropolitan Library System. We have about 20 or so within a 10 mile radius of our apartment. Our favorite branch outside of our local branch is the Oak Lawn Library. They have many, many books from my favorite genres of books. We usually visit the Oak Lawn Library about every 6 weeks. This is where I check out the majority of my books. I start working on my list a few days before hand by searching the online library to see if they carry the books I am interested in and then creating a list via the online "list maker" the SWAN system has. Once I create a list, I can print it our or email it to myself. The Oak Lawn library has a very nice Children's library section. They have about 4 computers with kids games on them. The boys and my hubby stay in that section while I take my list and go select the books that I am wanting to check out. We are usually there about an hour! The boys and I will visit many of the libraries in the system and just spend time at the library on days when it is gloomy or cold outside or nothing much else to do! The City of Chicago has an awesome main branch: Harold Washington Library. I spent a lot of time there when I was in college. It has 9 floors, with one entire floor dedicated to being a Children's Library. I have taken the boys there, but when they were really young. We are going to take a "field trip" there soon! Living in the Chicagoland area, libraries are all over the place. I love the fact that even though we live in a suburb of Chicago, we can have a Chicago Public Library card. Likewise, those who live in the city can have a suburban library card. 

My son Joshua reading: 


Joshua's Reading "area" when not on floor:


My "Reading Chair" in our front room:


The "board" on the chair is my DIY LapDesk. I still use this desk daily when reading because even with the surgery, my gripping motion isn't fully there and holding a book for too long becomes painful on the right wrist.  I have Sterlite tote on the far left with the books that are going to be read in the near future. Those are always rotating as I finish books. I have my phone charging next to me most of the time. I have a enlarged wooden "pencil holder" that I use a "cup holder" so I don't accidently bump my cup down and cause a spill. I am going to be getting a different but similar chair in a couple of months. My dad found me this chair and ottoman on Craigslist for FREE, but it is getting dirty and not so comfy. I will be going to Fort Pitt Furniture as soon as I save up about $75 and get me a new set there!

I like to end my days with a cup of tea or hot cocoa and reading a book. I can usually read a book within 2 days. My son Joshua has started doing the same by reading about 30 minutes before bed or just when he gets in bed.

I am so glad that the love of reading and libraries has been passed down through the generations from my family and I am very glad to be passing it down to my boys!!

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