I love books. I was a book worm from the beginning. I think I started reading by the age of four and reading books fills most of my earliest memories. I have absolute favorites- If you are a book worm I’m sure you have favorites as well. I used to have bookshelves lining whole walls of my room.
Slowly I started to let them go. I stopped collecting them. I went through my kids’ bookshelf and took out a solid stack to get rid of. I stopped buying them. I stopped letting children’s book parties persuade me to buy some awesome ones. The clutter and amount of them all was getting to me. It was just one more thing to move, to dust, to clean, taking up space in our house. How did I replace them? With an ereader device? No, nothing replaces the real feel and smell of a book.
I replaced them with the library. In Rhode Island, our library system is a true gem. Libraries can be so easily overlooked and forgotten about, but one library card can get you books from practically any library in this little state. The library has a great website to use that allows you to search for a book and place a hold on it to bring it to your neighborhood library so you do not have to travel so far to get it. On the rare occasion I cannot find the particular book I am looking for there is a chance I might buy it or may resort to the libraries offering of loaning it out to view on an ereader device.
For you virtual book worms, a lot of the libraries offer ebooks through a few different programs or apps with different limits available. Definitely ask your local library to see what is available as each branch can vary greatly.
For those concerned about the kids ruining the books it does take a little bit more diligence to make sure that doesn’t happen. It’s a great way to teach kids to respect another person’s things and to be considerate. So far it seems like we have to replace a book for every 100 that we check out, so it’s not nearly as finacially burdensome as buying new books all the time!
But how do you keep track of all the books that belong to the library? We have a designated bin for the library books. The books return to their bin when not in use and stay in that specific room. Find a system and make it work for your family.
For those concerned about COVID-19, please know that libraries keep returned books in quarantine for 3-4 days before checking them back in. Books on hold once arriving to the designated library also get placed in quarantine for 3 days before coming available to be checked out. Some libraries are offering curbside pickup as well for their patrons.
I have found that the library has brought us so much joy and saves us so much money as well. My kids and I look forward to our weekly library day where we go to switch out our books and get new ones. It always keeps things interesting as well and we don’t get bored of having the same old books lying around.
What’s your favorite RI library? Check out our favorite kid-friendly libraries!