I just entered a contest to win an autographed children's book thanks to this post about the talented illustrator. And the second I sent my comment in to enter the contest, I remembered that I was just recently thinking of going through the myriads of picture books we have here and weeding them out. Yet I had just entered a contest for another one. My two oldest children are past picture books both in terms of reading ability and interest. My youngest still has an interest but is far beyond most of them in reading ability. So, I asked myself, why still have so many? And sending books along to my niece and nephews (all still small) would free up some much needed bookshelf space here in the land of the overbooked.
But what to pass along? I can't send my childrens' favorites from babyhood. And I can't send the books I acquired as a lowly college intern at Peachtree Publishers long before I ever had kids. I definitely won't be sending my copy of the first book I ever learned to read. Nor will I be sending the books that still tickle my funny bone or make me smile. I can't send the books that have lovely memories attached to them. And I won't send the Caldecott winners from the years of my childrens' births. Those, along with the Newbery (and Printz winner for the youngest who arrived after the debut of that award) and the Pulitzer for that year, were my very special welcome to the world gift from mama to each of my children. So they can't go.
What am I left with to weed out of the overstuffed shelves? Two books. Or maybe one. But wait, I think that one has an inscription to one of the kids from his/her first grade teacher. That can't go can it? I'm not doing very well with this weeding things out thing. And I have no more wall space to line with shelves. Maybe I'll weed through the learn to read books instead. They have far fewer memories attached to them and it's a rare early reader book that has a decent story. I think we have a full shelf of these too. So maybe I'll actually get to reclaim a whole shelf--although if I win the contest for the picture book, it'll probably have to be on that shelf too since the other picture book shelves are crammed full already. Awwwww. What's a book lover to do?!