Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Read Aloud Handbook Winner Is...

Ginger! I'll be contacting you, Ginger, to get your mailing address. Thanks everyone who posted comments.

One person asked for ideas on storing books. Debbie gave some great answers about having shelves in hallways and bedrooms. We've put small bookshelves on a stairway landing and at the end of hallways. I have used crates (plastic or old wooden ones), filing cabinets (for lesser used books or for books all on one theme), even kitchen cabinets are fair game if you happen to have a spare. Metal utility shelves can work in a pinch as well (although I think Rubbermaid utility shelves are a bit stronger if you want to avoid sagging shelves). Even in a storage tub under a bed could be a good place for a child's personal library.

In desperation one weekend, my husband went out and bought 2x6 boards and just pounded some together for a shelf to fit a particular space we had open. First we used it for videos and then I later took it over for books instead.

I was surfing for more ideas and remembered the use of rain gutters for displaying books. Interestingly enough, there's a link at Jim Trelease's website. You can see the concept here. We have very little wall space (and frankly, if I had any, I'd put up more bookshelves). But I was thinking that the walls in a stairwell could be a fun place for the rain gutter system. Creates a fun use of space, adds decoration and could be changed out seasonally to highlight books on various topics.
Some clever person (sorry I can't recall the source) had taken a curbside dresser (drawers missing), repainted it, fit the inside with plywood for a solid surface to slide in baskets (wicker or plastic would work) and you could have books by subject in there (or a very chic workbox set-up!).

One challenge I have dithered about is storing holiday books--especially Christmas (we have dozens). I didn't have enough shelf space to leave them out all year and I really wanted the element of surprise and wonder at seeing them anew each Christmas. I had packed them in a tub and put them in a closet just to get them out of the way. Then as I was putting away picture books one day, a light bulb went on. We have one smallish bookshelf that holds most of our picture books. Since most of our Christmas books are picture books, I decided that come December, I'd put all the Christmas books on that shelf and pack the books that were normally on that shelf in the tub. After the holidays, we'd simply switch them back again.

I'd love to hear how others have solved their book storage issues.

Happy Reading,


Lisa said...

I LOVE our rain gutter bookshelves!!! And you're right, they can be hung anywhere, even where space is limited. Here are some pics of mine. This is just one side of the room. We also hung them in varying sizes on the other side, but have yet to take pics.

Lisa xoxo

Jill Stanish said...

Lisa, Your basement is gorgeous!! Thanks for sharing the awesome pics of the rain gutters in action. It makes the room so inviting. For an author study it would be fun to display all their books like Margaret Wise Brown, Eric Carle, or Dr. Seuss.

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