Well it’s a debate that all moms go through and yes I got to admit that when it’s your first child you shop for books like crazy. You believe that it’s all the love you can shower and if you are a working mom then it’s your guilt covering indulgence.
You browse through all the titles and all possible websites that recommend books for children and then login to Flipkart. Well I did the same. I managed to squeeze in more books for the daughter than a mini library could. It was my way of ensuring she loved reading (read how to make your kids love reading) and living upto what all schools and the teachers recommend Read !
While the daughter loves reading and books make part of all our holidays and travels and tantrum moments I soon realized that you can’t buy it all. Yes kids love reading the same books over and over again and that’s why you are tempted to buy them but who says you can’t borrow them over and over again. Sometimes the pressure of returning on time does seem to bother you but that’s way less than buying a book and the child rejecting it or not taking fancy to it.
What I love?
1. The range: You are exposed to a lot more books, titles and authors
2. Habit: Your child gets into a routine of borrowing finishing the books and then returning.
3. Concept of a library with an outing: Going to a library is one of our best times together. We end up sitting and reading 10 books there and then before borrowing them. The child also understands what is a library and its functioning?
4. Its way more economical: So if you have a child who is an avid reader and you end up reading 15 – 20 books a week and that does not include vacation time where this number goes soaring up then you end up paying Rs 200 – 250 as cost of borrowing versus 20 X Rs 200 as average price of a book i.e. Rs 4000 .
5. Space: Well we all have small houses and always wish for that one room extra but trust me even if we had it, it would still be less. With the amount of toys, clothes, accessories and books there is just no way I have space for more books.
6. I can read and borrow books too: There is no denying that I love to catch up on my reading too when I am at the library as well. So if you get a library that has books for adults too then you have a treat.
How to maximize your borrowings?
What I have effectively done and sure most of you can do is form your own Reading Club with a few friends in a similar age group who are also members of the library. Make sure you do the following:
1. Share titles that your kids loved the most
2. Share how the book benefited your child. While some might be just good reads there are some books that you borrow for a reason like: First reading series, first experience books, logical reasoning, general knowledge – Times Life series, behaviour, logic, mythology, etc
3. Make sure you also have members who have kids slightly older and younger so you can guide them and be guided.
The only thing that’s most important is to get a library that obviously stocks great childrens books and is ready to get titles if you do ask them too. We all love to buy books and there is absolutely no denying to that. But borrowing books does work to be a far more lucrative option for us.