Friday, 20 July 2012

Keeping children's books tidy

As a regular contributor to the Tidy Books blog, starting my relationship with the company as a customer five or so years ago, you’d think I’d be well placed to advise on the best ways of keeping your kid’s books tidy.

Arming myself with all the tools you need for the task of storing children’s books neatly.  Both physically in terms of bookcases, magazine racks and bunk bed buddies, and in knowledge by researching and writing for Tidy Books.

Think again.

The Tidy Books Bookcase is a thing of great beauty.

Not that my photo really does it justice.

I remember buying a copy of a popular parenting magazine, motivated because I’d got my first written feature in it.  I was eager to see my own work in proper print, but found I was more impressed with the Tidy Books advert amongst the back pages, than with my stuff.

Not only looking good, I thought its design of storing books facing forwards was going to be brilliant for my boy, and for his bedroom.

It proved to be the case (or should that be bookcase?) and - like so many parents find - my child took real ownership of his books and bookcase, I wasn’t allowed anywhere near it without expressed permission.

He took on the responsibility of putting his books in it, and then to the task of returning them their once we were done reading them.

So, I guess, that’s my first tip:

Get your children to help keep their books tidy.

He’s not such a ferocious protector of his bookcase these days, but he still is pretty good at returning his books to their respective shelves without being asked to.

But we have several problems.  Limiting myself to just book related ones for now:

We can’t stop borrowing and buying new books.

We have books that can no longer be read in one sitting.

We keep all the books we’ve ever bought.

We don’t just like to read in one place.

We can get distracted by other books before we’ve finished the one in our hands.

Which is why we have little piles dotted about the place.

Okay, the one by his bed is more of a permanent mess working collage of his, or our, current reading.

But I’m wondering if it is no bad thing that books have their place, but also are freely strewn all over our house.

It's been argued before how important a home library is to a child's education.

I have started to donate some of his books, ones he loved when a little younger, to nurseries and school book fairs, but I need to get better at it.

Having fewer will mean less tidying.

I’d also be delighted if anyone else could share their book tidying genius with me.

As I can’t be on my own, I was actually recently buoyed by reading that the sales of children’s books have increased, bucking the general declining industry trend.

So, where do you keep all yours?