Libraries are not made, they grow

24 Sep

I agree with this quote wholeheartedly, even if I may not have agreed with all of Augustine Birrell’s political ideals, particularly his opposition to The Suffragettes.

The idea that our public libraries might start vanishing is a terribly sad thing.  I firmly believe that my interest in books is due to the numerous visits I myself made as a child. A love of books and literature is something that, like anything that grows, should be nurtured and encouraged at every opportunity.

As an avid reader and lover of all things ‘booky’ one of the things I looked forward to the most about having a child of my own was getting them their first library card!

I distinctly remember the first time I took Aidan to the library.  He was about 9 months old (I’ve no idea why it took me so long!) and he was completely enthralled with the hamsters living in a cage on the information desk.  So much so in fact that his excited shrieks caused us to cut short our first visit, grab his membership card and run before we were ejected!

Since then we have made several trips to our local library.  Sometimes for Story & Rhyme Time (although this was never a huge hit with Aidan who point blank refused to sit still for any length of time) but mostly just to browse the huge selection of books, read one or two together quietly and choose a select few to take home for bedtime stories.

Don’t get me wrong, I also love to buy books and Aidan already has quite an impressive collection for a 2 year old! However, his attention span is still relatively short and he goes through phases of what he does and doesn’t like.  Where better to try out different authors, different characters and even different styles of book?

I took Aidan to our local library yesterday and he helped me choose a small selection of books to take home with us.  We read two of them just after his dinner, sitting quietly together on the sofa, a really cosy time that I loved.  Another one was taken upstairs for his Daddy to read as a bedtime story.

I’m really pleased with Aidan’s choices; the Little Red Train books are ace with lots to talk about in all the illustrations; I can remember Usborne books from my own childhood, frantically searching for the tiny yellow duck hidden on every page; Paddington is just an absolute classic; Shirley Hughes books are a massive love of mine & my mother’s and Maisy books, although new to me, really appeal to Aidan with their simple stories and bright, colourful pictures.

I hope that Aidan will grow up with a healthy respect for, and interest in, books and stories and that the public libraries will still be around for him to take his own children to.

This post was written after reading Mummy’s Shoes’ post about Saving Our Libraries


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