Encouraging a Love of Reading in Your Home: “Mini” Libraries for Kids

One thing I hope to do as a mom is encourage a love of reading in my home. It is for sure a hobby of mine, and obviously an important and necessary skill for everyone. So many lessons can be learned and experiences can be had just by picking up a book. One way I hope to encourage reading in my home is by providing a library of sorts for my kids. Actually, a more accurate term would be libraries.

My most successful tip for creating a culture of reading in your home is by providing “mini” libraries throughout your house. Rather than keeping all the books in one place, I’ve found that putting different amounts of books in multiple spaces helps to foster reading as a natural and accessible activity.

Here are a few spots in our house with“mini” libraries:

First, I’ll start with my very favorite way to display books. I love using the IKEA picture ledges for book storage and display. You can use the longest ledges to fill an empty wall or smaller ledges to make a fun reading corner, like in this picture. I love this little corner and I try to put seasonal/themed books there (just like in the library, right?)!

In the Playroom

The biggest collection of books is found in our playroom on the shelves amongst the toys. I love the idea of putting books with toys. It makes it as easy to grab a book as it is to grab a puzzle or Legos. It’s similar to the children’s section of a public library that also usually has play spaces amongst the books. Another little tip is to keep these books slightly higher than a baby or toddler could grab (to avoid putting ALL the books back on the shelves every day).

In the Bedrooms

Each of my kids has shelves in their rooms to keep books for reading before bed, quiet time, or any time, of course. This is also where you can emphasize and encourage interests by pulling books from other shelves and displaying them within arm’s reach. Almost all my kids have the IKEA picture ledges near their beds to keep their favorites. For babies and toddlers, a basket of books on the floor is perfect.

In the Main Living Space

We visit the actual library often to add new books to our “home” library. We keep these in our family room so the books there are always new and unique. We also keep them there so we don’t lose them in other rooms in the house (learned this lesson after multiple experience trying to find books number 59 and 60…)! If we want to encourage reading but not force it, we just open the door to our cabinet and then they are right in the kids’ line of sight.

Cozy Spots

We are very into cozy spots. A comfy and inviting space with books nearby is perfect for associating reading and positive feelings. Here’s a peek at one spot in our house. Of course, the day I need a picture of it, the blankets are all in the wash, so just imagine some blankets there, too!

Tips For Building a Library

  • Use holidays and birthdays as a way to build your library. We have started gifting our kids books at Christmas, in their Easter baskets, and on their birthdays.
  • Keep a running list of new books or an album of screenshots on your phone. Then you are ready to go when you are at the library or the bookstore or Amazon.
  • Follow people on social media who share new book ideas. Two of my favorites are @everydayreading and @hereweeread.
  • Swap books with friends, visit a thrift store, or grab some books that were saved from your childhood. My 10-year-old’s shelves are full of my old Babysitters Club books and it’s so fun and nostalgic.

How else do you encourage a love of reading and create book spaces in your home?

Amanda Stewart
Amanda moved to the Dallas area as a child, moved away for college, but then returned “home” with her husband and new daughter. Now five years later, she and her family are putting down roots in Collin County. Her educational background is an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education and a graduate degree in Early Childhood Studies. Most days you can find her doing her best to put her knowledge to work with 3 of the sweetest students around- born in 2010, 2014 and 2015. Once bedtime hits, you can find her doing some instructional design work, blogging, or finding the next great series on Netflix, usually with a cookie in hand. You can read more about her collection of thoughts on everything from motherhood and parenting to DIY and fitness, and whatever else is on her mind at her new blog <a href "http://www.thiscollectivelife.com/" This Collective Life .