I was doing a clean up this morning of our 'coffee table' which clearly should be renamed Book Deposit Table. As I was putting some of the books away to start fresh for the day (it will look like this again by 6pm), I was thinking about our 'system' of books, how they're organized and how we use them. I know, not deeply profound - but still, I'm interested in these things. I was so shy as a little one, and the school library - with it's quiet and gentle librarian - was one of my favorite places. At home, I made pockets and due date slips and had a recipe box as a 'card catalog' and insisted that my sisters 'check out' any and all books in the house through me. My favorite part was sending out late notices (ironic, given my late-fee problem?), which I would slip under their bedroom door very officially. Some of my kids' books that were mine still have their cards in the back, along with the "Property of the Blake Library" bookplates that I made.
I don't think I'm over the top about our book 'system' now (sadly, half of our adult books sit in the musty basement, having their shelves taken over by picture and board books) - but there is just enough order to them so that, hopefully, we'll know where to find something when we look for it. They're loosely organized by theme, and on shelves in whatever room we'd most likely read them: the most frequently read books close by and at the ready; The vintage bird book pile that I'm amassing? Always within reach - and right next to the window; And we always have a basket of seasonal books handy too; A basket of library books (not that keeping them all in one place helps me actually return them); An always-rotating basket of frequently read - usually 'new' to us - books right next to the couch (these are the titles I usually share in the sidebar); and on and on.
The point to all of this (yes, there is one, I'm getting there), is that as I was putting the books away, I realized there was a small pile that had no 'home' at all. Meaning that they are so often read by my little ones right now, that putting them away on a bookshelf even for a few hours, is futile. This pile hasn't changed much in a year or so - these are the books that the boys pick up several times a day, nearly everyday, and just look and look and look. When things are getting a little out of control around here (that happens), the kids will plop down (sometimes on their own, sometimes on my suggestion) with something from this pile to chill out. They're their 'comfort' books, in a way. And I suppose, they're becoming our family classics.
Do you have one of these piles too? Or did you as a child? The go-to, must always know where they are, books in your home? I'd love to hear what's in your pile. (though I'm torn between fear and excitement about ours growing at your suggestions!)