Books, books everywhere....

....and not a thing to read?

It annoys me when the kids complain that they don't have anything good to read. It reminds me of Ferris Bueller's Day Off, when Ferris asks if they saw anything good that day, and Cameron says "nothing good" and Ferris replies "Nothing - wha - what do mean nothing good? We've seen everything good!"

We have everything good in our bookcases!

Whilst I'm the first to admit we do have a LOT of technology in our house (another post for another day!), our first love is books.

You know when you are pregnant, and you are idealistically thinking about what your little peanut will become and what your family will be like? Well, we don't always get what we want. My husband imagined being the cricket or football coach for our son's team (maybe he can be the chess coach instead?). I imagined watching years of ballet concerts and having wardrobes full of costumes (maybe I can watch a piano recital one day instead?). But we both wanted our kids to be readers.

My hubby is a reader (and I wanted someone who could dance really well, never mind!). He often stays up later than he should, "just to the end of the chapter". He almost exclusively reads fiction and loves now that the kids have good series of books to get his teeth into too.

Hubby's bedside table

I read more non-fiction than him - books to learn about giftedness, homeschooling, running magazines, how to build chicken coops. And fiction books have to get me in, or I find myself snoozing before too long, but I enjoy getting lost in other worlds. Sometimes I long for a really cold, rainy day, as an excuse to make a (well, several) cups of tea and curl up and get lost in a good book for hours.

My bedside table

I've read a couple of blog posts lately that have referred to the relief the parents felt when their reluctant reader finally picked up a book on their own initiative and read it (and enjoyed it!). I feel for them, because in this regard, we are really very lucky.

We read to our kids from when they were very tiny. And their love of reading seemed to naturally flow from that. My boy, who hates to write, loves to read. He loves non-fiction (I don't know how many times he has read Horrible Science and he loves when the Nintendo magazine subscription arrives), but he has also been known to be awake at 1am finishing off a novel (mmm, wonder where he gets that from?).

Not an uncommon occurrence...

Aged 9

Video Boy's bedside table

My girl loves to read. She pretty much taught herself before starting school and one of my fondest "proud mummy moments" was picking her up from preschool, to find her surrounded by a circle of children, reading a story out loud to them. It is such a pleasure now to see her enjoying some of my old favourites such as the Secret Garden, and finding new stories of her own to love.

Wombat Girl at 15 months

Reading to Grandma, aged 4

Some things never change...aged  7
Wombat Girl's bedside table

We still read aloud - it is hands-down one of the best things about homeschooling. We can spends hours (if my voice holds out) reading our current book if we want. We have more time to explore the world of classic novels. So many books, so little time!

We get our books from the local independent bookstore when we can, although Book Depository and Amazon get a workout too (and are all too easily accessible, in my opinion - maybe the need a "self-declared limit" for problem readers??). The local library is tiny, but we frequent it to top up our supply.

You can tell a lot about people from their house. I like people who have lots of books! Our house (which is really little more than a glorified holiday shack) suffers from lack of storage at the best of times, is filled to overflowing with books. I dream of those beautiful wall-to-wall built in bookcases, with space for nic-nacs and colour-coordinated books....

But the reality is more messy than that (and, apparently so are my editing skills in html - cannot get those pics to line up nicely no matter how I try!):

The media is full of stories of the demise of the printed book. And while we have enjoyed stories on our iPad (love the dictionary features - one double tap and new word learnt!) and I've just downloaded Kindle for PC and will use that as well, we also love our books. I have kept all my books from my childhood, and they are still there, being used and read by my kids now (hence the comment about being annoyed when they say they have nothing to read - hmph, we have lots of good books to read!). There is something about the smell of an old book, handed down through the generations or the smell of a shiny new glossy textbook. Or is it just me?

I guess most of all, we love to read. Learn new things. Get lost in new worlds. Find out a bit more about ourselves in the process. That is what is so cool about books.

I feel a bit for those adults and older children who proudly announce "oh, I don't read" (maybe they are a bit defensive after years of listening to people like me rant at them). But in the words of Anne, of Green Gables, "oh, how much you miss!"


  1. Your bookcases look a lot like mine! I also have books in piles. What fun it is to be addicted to books. Happy reading!


  2. Love, love books here too. Everyone is a reader:)

  3. What a sweet tribute to book loving, Ingi! I kept thinking, Me Too—about the hours we spend reading, about the books you're reading (so much scrumptious Septimus Heap!), and those brimming book shelves. And definitely Me Too about needing a spender's limit with those on-line book stores :) I love all the photos of your kids, and how they've lived inside books so long. Beautiful.

    I so like coming here, Ingi, and finding all these Me Too moments and things I instantly want to explore. I love walking through your thoughts with you :)

  4. I have to admit to being a REAL book lover myself. I cannot stand trying to read a book on a computer or the Ipad although I have been known to catch up on a little blog reading via my phone late at night if I can't sleep. I am also guilty of the "nothing to read" whinge. Although a quick trip to the library fixes that problem when it comes to knitting or crochet books....well there is always room for a few new ones on the shelf. :-) My man shakes his head a bit but he never says no. :-)

  5. I have lots of books too. I think the real estates think we are weird when I have to first of all check if there are enough clear walls to put my shelves against. It isn't easy to find a modern home to rent with enough wall space for the essentials like books.

    Best wishes
    Jen in NSW
    PS Tagged you for a homeschool meme. Drop by and see my answers. Would love to see yours.

  6. I see I'm in good company!! When we move, the removalists can't get over how many book boxes we have!!

    Now I have to go find out what a "meme" is...

  7. Hi There Ingi, I have just discovered and been enjoying your blog, especially this post!! We have 3HG daughters (10,8 and 6)and you so could have been writing about our family, our book shelves and our bedside tables. Right down to the photos of preschoolers reading to grandparents and the 7yr old with HP...I do need to take more asleep with book open by face shots though. I am also a member of Book depository anomynous...We have a fantastic (and long suffering ) librarian who sources books from all over (and waits a REALLY long time before she makes us pay for lost books)...only happened twice so far.However (unfortunately) we don't homeschool and SO often we declare school gets in the way of our reading. I have been known to let them stay home occasionally, either to recover from a very late night stint of reading or to finish a book that just "is too exciting to put down"...One day we may take the plunge and unschool, but right now school is going well...but we take each term at a time, and the principal at our very small rural local school knows that if things aren't working for them in a classroom we will educate at home.


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