My Obsession with Children’s Books

I have always loved reading.  We used to have loads of books in the playroom when we were little.  I even started a library when I was 11!

While I was at (primary (or Elementary, since it was American)) school, the rest of the children would be outside playing ‘Four Square’, ‘Wall Ball’ or on the ‘Big Toy’ and I would be in the library.  Either reading or helping the librarian stack shelves.  I know – I shouldn’t even admit it *embarrassed*.  But it was too hot outside and I was much happier indoors with air conditioning.  Not to mention my immense dislike for actually moving and getting all sweaty!

At secondary school (boarding) I used to hide whatever I was reading under the desk and read during lesson time.  Mostly Sweet Valley High and then later Mills & Boon!

When I started my Teaching Studies degree, we had Children’s Literature modules.  And many other modules focused on children’s books (Mostly Key Stage 1, as it was my chosen age-range).  There were discussions about our favourite books when we were children, compare and contrast essays to write and character profiles to make.  

But something was wrong.

I did not know ANY of the books that they were talking about!  I had never heard of ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’, ‘Farmer Duck’ or ‘Hairy Maclary’.  All the books I knew were by American authors (and I can’t even remember any of them now.  Apart from The Berenstein Bears.)

And I couldn’t even check which books we had at home, because once we all went to the UK, my mum gave all the children’s books away.  The only ones I found were these:

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That was when I decided that I would start building up my own collection of children’s books.  They would help me through university, my classroom years and I would keep them for my own children.

And so it started.  I would go to the local library every few weeks and buy their old books for 20p or 30p.  I spent hours and hours in Waterstones, Dillons, Borders and Foyles (oh, how I love Foyles).  There was also a shop in Covent Garden called The Banana Bookshop – I bought a Big Book of ‘Dogger’ by Shirley Hughes (and many others) there for £2.50.  And I continued doing this during the four years I taught in London.

I was at a small independent school near Regent’s Park and it wasn’t particularly well-resourced.  So when I needed a book for Literacy, or any other subject, I would go out and buy it.  And then keep it!  I did the same for all the books on the Year 2 Sats reading list.

Once I left London, it was getting a little more difficult to buy them.  Only because they were heavy to bring back to Lagos.  I am the queen of excess luggage, so a few books probably won’t have made a difference, actually…

Today, I went through all the books.  Jesus, there are a LOT of them!

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Please ignore pink tiles on floor (don’t ask!).

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There was still another shelf filled with books – but half-way through taking all these down I realised I’d have to put them all back!

I feel sad that I haven’t bought any books in a long time – apart from board books and those taggie things.  Maybe I should start ordering some more on Amazon…

I hope V develops a love for reading as I have.  And I can’t wait to share all these books with him!

 

3 thoughts on “My Obsession with Children’s Books

  1. I spy Pumpkin Soup in there! We’re big Pumpkin Soup fans in this house – have you read the sequel Delicious? Just as good :-)I’m the same with children’s books, I love them and can’t resist buying them. Just ned a bigger house to put them all in now………

  2. How nice to read of a mum who loves books!! No fear, just by having these many books at home and seeing you read your adult books, you children are guaranteed to have an affection for books.

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