3×6 : A Home Library Challenge

We have a lot of books.

Let me repeat that:  We have a LOT of BOOKS.

I don’t feel bad about this, but I do remember growing up and my book collection fit into a little shelf (one of the reasons we have a LOT of BOOKS is that my little shelf + my husbands little shelf + Henry’s little shelf ends up with a lot of books…. and there are still books at my in-laws), so I thought I’d challenge myself to come up with a list of books that you could fit on a “little shelf” during those baby/toddler/preschool years that would still amount to a good home library.

I know not everyone has lots of free money to spend on books (I’m sure you use the library to your best advantage – we’ve been very lucky with a quality consignment store down the roads where we can pick up most of our library for $1 each) and we don’t always have friends or family who gift books (and let’s not shame – toys are fun and clothes are necessary).

If a child only received one book for their birthday, Christmas and Easter (or however you round out your seasonal/religious celebrations)each year from Birth to their 5th year this is what an ideal little shelf would look like to me:

**note:  The actual books shown below are not the only book to fill a category I’ve listed.  I’ve taken some of our family favorites to illustrate a point.  It’s okay if you don’t like Llama, Llama – find your own favorite rhyming book to fill that slot, etc. **

Year 0:
(Birth + Very First Holidays)

An ABC book, a Collection of Mother Goose or other Nursery Rhymes, a Nice Bedtime Book

Year 1:
An “Interactive” Book, A Good Book With Rhyme, A Favorite Classic.

Year 2:
A Book of Bible Stories, A Silly Favorite, A Family Favorite

Year 3:
A Book of Poems, A Collection of Fairy Tales, A Book of Faith

Year 4:
A Collection of Virtues, A Collection of Fables, A Collection of Animal Stories

Year 5:
Stories From Another Culture, A Classic Collection, Some Silly Poetry

And there you have it – a small home library, 18 books in all,  that grows with a child and that feels quite big.

A few extra “good to have” books during the early years.
A Touch/Feel Book, First Words, A Book About the Seasons, A Favorite Holiday Book, a Children’s Encyclopedia


5 thoughts on “3×6 : A Home Library Challenge

  1. What a lovely idea and collection! We have so many books also. I'm always going through them and pulling out the ones that don't measure up to our favorites. There's only so much shelf space and I like to keep them full of the books we really, REALLY love 🙂


  2. This is probably my favorite book post of yours ever! Lucia has a huge four shelf book shelf just stuffed with books. Some were mine and my brother's as a kid, some were gifts, most were obtained by my mom or me at used book sales because we can't say no to books. I'd like to pare it down a bit, but the majority of the books really are classics or gorgeous treasuries of stories or really great modern kids books and I just can't bring myself to do it… but I am going to find a way to sneak that silly Strawberry Shortcake Christmas book out of the house – if I can't stand reading it, it doesn't below on the shelf!


  3. Love this! Time for Bed is one of my favorites for the littles, too. I'm trying to be better about the books we keep, because they're slowly taking over… I just got bored reading the same ones over (mine and the kids') so I bought a bunch (yay used book sales!) to switch it up. It's getting to be a bit much though, and I did recently cull some that just weren't good.


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