How to Keep Your Child’s Library Books Under Control

Up until the moment I sat down to write this post, I was pretty certain that having a basket for your child’s library books was the most genius thing any mother in the world had ever thought of. And now, I’m suddenly wondering if I am, in fact, the LAST person on the planet to think of this. It is hard to see your brilliance stripped away.

Library Basket

Either way, let me share what’s worked for us in terms of keeping the library books simultaneously under control and easily accessible to a toddler.

I’ve always kept my own library books (and I am one of those people that frequently has my library card maxed out) in a basket stored in our living room bookcase. It’s great because they are out of sight and not cluttering up my kitchen table or bedside stand.

But then, when I started checking out loads of picture books for Ella, I realized that 1) I couldn’t fit them all in with my own library books and 2) she didn’t know they were there and couldn’t get them out from under my much-heavier book on her own. I can’t tell you how many library books we returned unread because I forgot all about them until the moment they were due.


And then I thought, “What if we had a library basket for HER books that she could reach herself and was open on the top so it didn’t matter how enormously tall some of those books were? And also, we could keep our couch quilt in there instead of stuffing it under the couch all the time.”

One quick trip to the store and $14.99 later, we had a large basket with room for all my magazines (which I need to be able to see easily or I forget about them) and 15-20 picture books, PLUS room in the back for the big quilt my aunt made me for my wedding. We keep the basket next to the couch so that we can easily snuggle up with a new stack of books any time we want (and so that I can relax on the couch and make my barely-20-pound toddler lug the books over by herself).

As I have more children and they get older, I’m considering having a basket for each child in their room, so they can read on their own or in bed.

How do you deal with library books?

Janssen blogs about books, food, and other aspects of parenting at Everyday Reading
You can also follow Janssen on Twitter

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