21 June 2009

Sunday Salon: Kids and Library Books

Frequent readers of this blog know that 99% of my family's reading material comes from our local library. When you are a regular patron of the library (as I have been all of my life), you learn to respect the fact that the book you are reading is not yours and that you need to take special care of it. At least, I've learned that lesson.

It took the ruination of a brand-new copy of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw to make me realize that I hadn't passed that lesson on to my kids thoroughly enough. One of my kids handed it to a neighbor kid to look at and it got left out on the porch where it got rained on. I was particularly mortified by this turn of events because there was a long waiting list for this book and we were the first to get our hands on it. You better believe that I gave the kids a lecture on how their classmates will now have to wait even longer to read the book because the library has to order another copy.

To stay in the good graces of our librarian and avoid damaging any more books, I've instituted a mini-checkout system for library books that come into our house.

--All the library books stay in my bedroom and each child is only allowed to take one book at a time.

--I write down the date, title, and initials of the child who took the book. I cross it off when the book is returned.

--A child is not allowed to give the book to a sibling to read. The book must come back to me, get crossed off, and checked out in the next child's name.

--Library books are not allowed to leave the house. No reading them in the car or taking them to Grandma's house.

We've been using this system for the past two months, and it is working very well. It has eliminated the mad scrambles through the house on Sunday nights, looking for books that need to be returned during our weekly library trip. The kids are finally starting to understand that they are responsible for the books they check out.

Do any of you have special rules for your kids regarding library books?

READ: I finally got around to listening to the first two books in Mur Lafferty's Heaven series, Heaven and Hell. I've been feeling guilty about not listening to these because I travel some of the same online circles that Lafferty does and I recommend her work to others, but I never made it past the first two chapters of Heaven myself. It's no reflection on her work; I just have to be in the right mood to read or listen to certain genres. Sci-fi and fanstasy, while I like watching these genres on TV, are the toughest books for me to listen to.

CURRENTLY READING: I'm still working on Steering the Craft, the writing book. I'm not doing any of the exercises because I have to return the book to the library soon. However, I am learning a bit from the author's commentary and the literary examples provided.

I also have The Dirt on Clean on the go. I can't wait to share some of these historical bathing tidbits with my husband. Some of them are similar to habits that he has himself!

UP NEXT: The Big Skinny: How I Changed My Fattitude is at the top of my bedside stack now. It is yet another dieting memoir, but it is in the form of a graphic novel. I'm expecting it to be a quick read.

I find myself craving a light novel that will grab my attention right away. I read the first few pages of Vampire Kisses online and I would like to read that next, but my library hasn't finished processing it for checkout yet. I may have to grab one of my kids' books to hold me over.

1 comment:

Vasilly said...

I like your rules. One of the rules my family has about library books is that they stay in the bins that are designated for just library books. That way we don't get them mixed up with our own books. Another rule is that they cannot leave the house or get borrowed by friends.

Have a great week.