Books Parenting Photography

52 Weeks of Brotherhood: The One with the Back to the Library

We Love the Library, As Always

We’re working to settle into a school year routine.

We’ve got soccer practice on Wednesday and Thursday evenings, and by evening I mean five o’flippin’ clock, so I’m usually making dinner while on a conference call. As we always end up with Thursday evenings, the boys will miss the first few months of Children’s Choir, cheating us out of our one hour Thursday night dates. Homework gets done right after school. Right now it’s the easy stuff: read for 15 minutes, go over the math facts you already know, do this worksheet that is eleven billion times less complicated and less interesting than the workbooks your mom made you do over the summer. We try to get outside to play, to ride bikes, to take a walk, to go on a run, to breathe the fresh air while it’s still warm and inviting and not bitter and depressing.

We haven’t quite gotten used to everything just yet. We’re forgetting to do some things, clinging still to others we’d rather be doing, but we’re getting there… slowly and together.

With that comes the return to our library trips.

With the end of summer came the frenzy of “let’s go do all the things.” And so I just renewed the books we had online or dropped off any that simply had to be returned that millisecond. We didn’t make time for browsing aisles and looking up new series on the computer and sitting at the tables while mommy walked the aisles, running her pointer finger along the spines.

Tuesday will be our new library night. The library stays open until well after our early dinner hour. Chores can be finished up, books rounded up, and everyone piled into the car with the sun still shining… for now.

I made them stop at the new books shelf in the children’s section before setting them loose on their own. I like to help them find new books or series or interests before they go off in predictable directions: Pokemon, Star Wars, Puppy Patrol/Place, Hardy Boys Secret Files, anything super hero, and so on. I grab a book here and there and toss it in their bags; this month the library featured a shelf on the solar system, complete with worksheets, so I grabbed two books and some papers for their bags. I never tell them that a book is too old or too young for them. I let them sort that out at home.

At one point, they both wanted a pair of books in a series. The third and fourth book. While all of the books we borrow from the library sit in the same place in our house while we have them checked out, there’s always a “claim” over the one each boy checks out. I suggested that they each check out one of the books and switch when they finish reading. It was as if the idea never occurred to them. They both snatched a book from my hand and dropped it into their bag, moseying onward.

Reading While Waiting for Me

I grabbed some non-fiction for myself, before heading over to the Newbery winners and grabbing three, two off of Janssen’s list and one I knew I hadn’t read before. I want to get some reading in first to find some really good read aloud books before the winter sets in, pushes us inside where we curl up on the couch under crocheted afghans and read by the light of my favorite lamp. I don’t know what we’ll read together this winter, but I bet I’ll remember it forever.

Eventually, the boys made their way to the librarian’s checkout counter. BigBrother talked the one librarian’s ear off about Pokemon. Bless her, she carried a quality conversation on the subject; she must love a child that loves some Pokemon, that’s all I can figure. The boys carried their bags to the car, never once complaining how heavy their bags felt as that is the price you pay for being able to select as many books as you so choose. By the time I got myself in the car and buckled, they both planted their noses firmly between the pages of their book picks.

Let's Go Home

The ride home was silent.



Library Haul: September 2013

Last month’s library haul resulted in a few renewals (meaning BIG WINS) by the boys, a couple misses for the boys, a couple misses for me, and no real “out of the park” books for me. I’m hoping I have a little more luck this time around, though the boys are definitely already pleased with a few of their picks.

BigBrother’s September Library Picks

Big Brother's September Library Haul

LittleBrother’s September Library Picks

LittleBrother's September Library Haul

  • Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems. This book just got to our library, so it was sitting atop the new books in the kids section. LittleBrother saw this gem and laughed out loud. “DINOSAURS?!” Then he grabbed it and continued on his way.

  • We Are in a Book by Mo Willems. Elephant & Piggie remain a favorite. He usually heads to the Mo Willems section after hitting the new books shelves, and he did this time as well.

  • Garfield Gets in a Pickle by Jim Davis. Even more so than our Calvin & Hobbes anthologies, Garfield makes for some great early reading comic book fun. LittleBrother enjoys reading this one to me right now.

  • Kitty Corner: Callie and Puppy Place: Muttley and Flash. LittleBrother adores this series. Callie is the first Kitty Corner he picked up, which he grabbed solely because our dog’s name is Callie. One of the puppy books is a renewal from last month as he didn’t finish all of the ones he borrowed.

My September Library Picks

My September Library Haul

Oops! I had one of those months in which all of my requests and holds came through at once, resulting in an impossibility to read everything. I’m trying to read through the newer books that have 14 day borrowing times first, and then reading the older books later in the month with possibility of a heavy renewal ratio.

All the Books

  • Running with the Mind of Meditation: Lessons for Training Body and Mind by Sakyong Mipham. I’m obviously in the panic part of half marathon training where I resort to doing what I do when I don’t know if I can do something: reading books about doing what I don’t know if I can do.

  • Creative Lettering by Jenny Doh. I requested this one because Denise piqued my interest.

  • The Returned by Jason Mott. I reserve the right to stop reading this one if it gives me nightmares.

  • The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty. My goal for the weekend is to finish this book, mainly because if I don’t figure out what happens, I may explode. I love Moriarty’s writing. I recommended it on Instagram shortly after I started reading it, and I’m recommending it here before I finish it.

  • Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis by Lauren F Winner. From the blurb:

    Dr. Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, says “it is a relief to find a book on the life of faith that is honest about the pain of emptiness and the fear of losing all that orients your life. Nothing glib here and nothing superhuman: just putting one foot in front of the other with whatever trust you can manage, because there is no other way to go.”

  • A Grace Revealed: How God Redeems the Story of Your Life by Jerry Sittser. Someone recommended this book to me, though it makes me raise my eyebrow.

More Books!

I also had grand dreams of using extra time while the boys are away at school all day of sitting and reading calmly and quietly during my lunchbreak. I have yet to do so, as I mostly wolf down my lunch or run on my lunchbreak. Someday I’ll find the balance between reading and everyday life again. For now, I get reading time in whenever I can, wherever I can — just like those boys of mine.

What are you reading this month? What are your kids reading?