kids books: keep or cull?
Every six months or so I pack up a batch of clothes and toys that the kids have outgrown. I’m pretty tough-hearted about it. I recently put our rocking chair—the one I nursed someone or other in for a total of 6 years—on Freecycle. My heart clenched for a brief moment but mostly I like the feeling of passing on what is no longer needed.
But books! I’m sure we’re over our holding capacity. Dan and I long ago realized that we only had enough space for reference books and a few can’t-part-with others. (We share a dresser, but each have our own bookshelf, which explains why I look the way I do). But the kids! Each book they own represents some precious strata on the geological timeline of their childhood. Like, The Snowy Day, which we read everyday when Rose was 22 months just to hear her say “snow. fall. plop. Peter (pee-tah). head.”
Puppet show, Rose at 22 months and Col in his winged-hair stage.
Somehow the three books we read over and over to Col in the NICU contain the particular weight of a 2-pound baby in my arms and all the attendant emotions.
Make way for ducklings – such a classic! Mr. Brown Can Moo – I remember when Col would recite this book! On the night you were born – so I can cry on every birthday until they’re 70!
There are some books we haven’t read for 3 years but fingering their pages is like time-traveling.
How do you manage your children’s book collection? How do you decide what to keep, what to cull?
Whew – such deep questions for a Monday.
* use your words giveaway open until Wednesday morning. Thanks for your essays, brave Mamas!