My friends know that I have a ridiculously huge children's book collection (as in, it warrants its own room with multiple bookshelves) so it probably seems silly that it's very important to me to start a personal children's book collection for my son. Here's my reasoning: I inherited very few of the cherished books from my childhood because I have three siblings who also loved the same books and on top of that, my mom now has four grandchildren to read to. Now that I'm thinking about it, I don't think we had any copies of my parents' childhood favorites. So many memories are tied to those books, and I would love to have a little library of them. I also would like to use my collection to read to my someday grandchildren and I have this idea that someday, I'd like to leave my own collection of children's books to a women's & children's shelter as part of their library or to be divided up and sent with families to their new homes because every child should have access to great books.
I don't neccessarily want my son to have boxes and boxes of books to lug from home to home as I do, but I do want him to have a few favorites so I did two simple things to start his collection.
- I started a birthday tradition that every year I will give my son either a new book that I know he will love (like the new Mo Willems Pigeon book that comes out right after his first birthday) or his favorite book that we've enjoyed from the library that year (This year it was a tie between Dear Zoo and Where's Spot). He gets the book for his birthday and then we take a picture of him reading the book (this year, courtesy of my photographer sister Candice, it was a picture of him sitting on our laps while we read it to him). I glue a copy of the picture into the book along with a longer list of his favorite books from the year. It will be fun to interview him to create the list when he gets older. I think Kristi of Everything Pink buys her girls each a Christmas book every year and then writes brief synopsis of each child's year in their book so this is sort of a different twist on that.
- I try to attend local book signings and buy copies of books to be signed for my son even if I already own my own copy. Then I take a picture of my son with the author/illustrator and tape it into the book with the signature so my son will know when he met the author/illustrator. I love to see his collection grow and I have visions of him bringing books like his signed copy of Knuffle Bunny Too to show and tell so he can tell everyone about the time he actually met Mo Willems, etc.
Two simple ideas, but hopefully that will get you thinking about your own book collections.