There are two things I do with Reuben that I’m quite proud of. One is make juices with him that have vegetables in them and he drinks them (thus preventing him turning into a piece of toast), and the other is take him to the Library. He is a 20 month old book worm. From the age of 10 months he’s been able to entertain himself with a book, which is just ace for my sanity!

Stories for children - navigating the library

Pile of books = happy baby. Reuben at 10 months

We do own some books but the real revelation in Reuben’s tastes and development has come courtesy of the Library. I think it’s such a great service but it can also be a bit off putting. Memories of the strict library shhing you as child?! Don’t let it put you off, it’s not like that anymore (in fact we have a bounce and rhyme at our libaray on a Friday, which is far from quiet!), so I thought I’d put together some helpful tips for conquering the library!

Start early

I put off joining the Library for ages (as I do most things). Reuben was 11 months by the time I enrolled him. I should have done it sooner. Even if your kid has no interest at 2, 3 or 4 months, a trip to the Library is something nice for you to do in your day and before you know it, they will be interested!

Stories for children - navigating the library

Nearly 8 months enjoying the hungry caterpillar 

Don’t get overwhelmed

There’s a whole lotta books in there staring back at you. What if you pick a naff book? Don’t let them intimidate you! It’s a library, right? You can come back tomorrow if you don’t like what you’ve got. Put aside thoughts of trying to find the BEST book. Take a section, have a peruse and pick a few that you like the cover of or recognise.

Stories for children - navigating the library

That’s a lot of books…

Don’t get too many

You’ll only lose them or forget to take them all back! We’re allowed to take 20 books at a time from our Library but I’m no fool, I know how clumsy and forgetful I am! So I limit it to 10 books at a time (not 9 nor 11 – always 10) so I know how many I’m looking for when it’s library day. We can always go back sooner if we get bored with them!

Stories for children - navigating the library

10 is the magic number

Go for variety

Get loads of different books about different things – animals, babies, tractors, princesses,  etc. Don’t make any assumption about what your baby might like because they will certainly surprise you! Reuben has liked some random things – a horse in a boat, and a collection of the worlds most boring books about transport. He also loved and really responded well to a book about emotions and this week is loving a book about a sandwich?! And keep trying – baby might not like a book this week but next he might think it’s ace.

Stories for children - navigating the library

The tractor book – so DULL! But he loves it, bless him.

You can read part 2 of this Stories for Children posts here about the types of books to get for each age group (up to about 2ish as I don’t have much experience beyond that!).