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Old 06-06-2006, 11:06 AM
aurora8202's Avatar
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Tons of Kids Books

I need some ideas for how to organize children's books. We have close to 300 children's books all different shapes and sizes. Some are sets (berenstain bears, clifford, dr. suess) but a lot are just odd mixed books. I have a bad habit of buying them at garage sales. I just recently found a beautiful set of about 30 hardcover berenstain bear books in mint condition for 5 cents each at a garage sale.
Anyways, I have a shelf and it is packed full, but my son tends to pull them out and read them and leave them all over the house. Once he pulls them out he has trouble getting them back in nicely. My youngest is just over a year and he likes to pull them out too (everytime my back is turned!)
I am sick of having books all over the house. Any ideas??
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Old 06-06-2006, 12:21 PM
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What an awesome find at the garage sale!

I love sales like that for the same reason. My son is an avid reader so I have been buying books like this for a very long time. When we moved, I probably gave away close to 75 books. There were just too many to even save them for his little sister.

I have a four shelf bookcase in their bedroom right now, with 2 shelves filled with books for both of them--mostly my daughter will be using them. One shelf holds my son's new books and one shelf holds their DVD and VHS tapes.

I would suggest buying a bookcase like this for your kids' room(s) and lining them with books that they can read. Dont pack your little one's too full though. I have shown my 3 yr. old how to put them back on the shelf and even though they arent perfect most of the time, she still makes an effert to put them away.

We have rules in our house that everyone must follow in order to be able to have access to their own books--
1. You must take care of every book. No folding pages, ripping or writing in any books. 2. You must return it to the book shelves. If they arent returned after a few reminders, they will lose another toy until I can see that they will start taking care of the books again. --I havent had to use this rule though. I'm happy to say that my kids are pretty good in this area.

If you want to display the nicer sets or hardbound books, you can hang shelves on the walls --I have seen where they have used shelves all the way around a room as a border--that was really cute! I would take 1/2 of them and put them into plastic tubs and store them away. Use them to rotate their books every couple of months. You can also have a tub for all of the holiday books, pulling out the most recent holidays for them to read and leaving the rest packed away.

Happy Reading!!

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Old 06-06-2006, 12:37 PM
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I keep my younger child's books in a dollar-store basket (stand the books on end) rather than a bookcase. He can get them in easily and select from them without dumping everything. Children older than 5 can learn to use a bookcase nicely.
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Old 06-06-2006, 06:28 PM
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We used to stack the books horizontally on our shelves, beside the bed, etc. Stacks are easier to maintain sometimes. Maybe cubes instead of shelves will help. We have easily that many books. All the children's books are now in boxes in the garage for grandchildren to come. What a rich reading environment you have for your children!

When they begin to borrow you will want your name in the book and perhaps a phone number.
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Old 06-06-2006, 10:01 PM
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DS2 has 3 or 4 books he is reading at a time. I have asked him to treat the bookshelves like a proper library, take 1 or out put one back, it doesn't have to be the same place but take no more than 2 at a time. You take them back and you can have a couple more. If you want to be able to read and keep the books in good condition you have to look after them.
Maybe put a cube/basket in each room the kids visit and make sure the book is in the cube when they leave the room, they can go back to the cube and retrieve it when they come back at least then it is out of the way.
We love going to the "trash and treasure" stall at school fetes as you can usually pick up a plastic bag full of any books for $1, and as you found some of the books are in wonderful condition, to good to pass.

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Old 06-14-2010, 10:46 AM
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I have a book shelf that currently is holding everything from my DH and I's childhood books (from our actual childhoods), to store - yard/garage sale books, Scrapbooks and photo albums on it. My larger than normal books lie flat on the bottom with other books similar to the type of these books. Example: We have a World Atlas book (xt-lg) and on that one is a Disney Cartoon Character book (how Walt Created Mortimer than Mickey mouses, etc) (xt-lg) with these books I have NM, WA, CA, and Disneyland (standard) memorabilia / scenic books, books from a company called "Bottom Line" (year books from late 80's early 90's), Time and Life magazines for things that changed our lives from 1900 - 2000 and the 9-11 memorabilia magazine, our wedding album (friend made it), and 2 of 4 scrapbooks. Next shelf up is (arranged by size first, than sets): Children books, a tape-cassette educational for assisting young children , with learning to read (inclds activities), and books on "How To". Next shelf up: Photo Albums - approximately 10 of our 20 years together (and not thin ones). Next shelf up: collector sets (GWTW, Shell Silverstein, Opus, Calvin and Hobbes, etc), next shelf: Scrapbooks the smaller ones, and the top most shelf: 3 deco pillows, and a holiday decoration.

I put the childrens books closer to the floor for small hands to reach (should any come to visit) and really only the ones that age appropriate... minus the oversize books.

As for how you could adjust your bookshelf
First start out with the age(s) of your child (ren). This will assist you with putting his/her age appropriate books on a shelf / shelves where s/he can reach them. Secondly, put the books s/he reads (could be looking at) the most on that /those shelves - by size, smallest first (for odd shape go by W X H, as you would with the classic 1012 Datamations book).
Thirdly if you have books you enjoy reading with your child / children put them on the shelves higher up and explain that when s/he can read at that level then the book will move down. Also, (staying firm) state that any time a book is not put back on the shelf in which s/he pulled it from, that book gets put away for "X-amount of days," explaining that when we don't take proper care of the the things we have (books, clothes, favorite toys, etc) they can get broken, ruined, destroyed easily and then we wont have them to enjoy later on.
As for the "mint" condition and collectibles - put them on the higher (older readers) shelf /ves so that you can enjoy them together.

When putting the childrens books on the lower shelf /ves use a skewer stick between each book until that shelf is filled, then remove the skewers - do not add any more books to that shelf, move to the next shelf and repeat until the shelf /ves are filled.
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