Baby Bee's Budding Book Collection

Everyone I know grew up reading books before bed. When my brother and I were young, my parents read to us all the time. As we got older my mom would read longer novels to us, a few pages of a chapter each night. I don’t think we ever made it through The Yearling, but I know we were in middle school when I became a voracious reader and read on my own each night, and my brother became more interested in manuals (an engineer from the start!)

I always knew that I’d read to my child someday, but I never gave much thought to what I’d read or when I’d start. I was given a few books at my baby shower before baby M was born: The Circus Ship, Make Way for Ducklings, Blueberries for Sal, and many more. I couldn’t wait to start reading to our baby bee!

When baby M arrived, it quickly became very apparent that there was no way we’d be doing a bedtime book. First of all, there was no such thing as bedtime for the first two weeks; it was just one sleep/wake/eat cycle after another. But even when he started a clear nighttime routine, it was jammed-packed with bath, nursing and a top-me-off bottle and left little room for story time.

So instead of bedtime stories, I started to read to baby M before his morning nap when there were no other distractions; just the two of us rocking and reading in his nursery. He usually falls asleep within the first four pages, so the actual words in the books are for my amusement right now. I love reading baby M’s dozen or so books that we were given as gifts, but I wanted a few more to choose from. So I started to build a little library, on a budget!

baby bee reading with his Mamie
How to Choose Children’s Books
  • The easiest way to find favorite books is to poll your mom and dad friends – what do their children love? More importantly, what do they love to read?
  • Think back to when you were a kid, what was your favorite book?
  • Go online and look for reviews of the most popular children’s books
  • Visit your local library and look at the featured books in the children’s area
Once you have a list of six or seven books, go to your local library and actually read the books. Do you enjoy reading them? Do you think you’ll enjoy reading them 1000 times? If so, then add them to your to-buy list.

Buy Books on a Budget
Many Goodwills and other donation-based organizations list their goods for sale on eBay at really reasonable prices. eBay has a book condition rating system so you’ll know the condition of the book before it shows up at your door. Similarly, Amazon allows individuals to sell used books in their marketplace. When you search for a book you’ll often see a link that says “available new & used.” Oftentimes you'll pay pennies for a book, plus a few dollars for shipping.

Expanding Your Collection
Once you find your favorite books from your to-buy list from your original hunt, start searching for more books by the same author. Many children’s book authors have published several books and if you like one, chances are you’ll like them all!

Also search for themes or places you like. Baby M has a lot of books about Maine :)
Make the Collection Extra Special
Put a special touch on your little library by having customized bookplates made with your child’s name on them. Etsy is a great place to find bookplates to fit any nursery’s theme or child’s interest. Sweet Treats for Baby made our customized bee bookplates for our baby bee!
Over the past months baby M’s little library has grown quite a bit. While I look forward to taking him to the library each week when he gets a little older, I’m loving choosing a book to read from our special little library each morning.
What are your favorite children's books?

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  1. I loved Dr. Seuss growing up. I had almost all of his books and my mom gave them to my aunt to borrow when I was to "old" for children book for my younger cousins. Unfortunately when my cousins grew up my uncle threw them away!!!!

  2. One of my favorite bloggers recommended the "Henry" books so I ordered all 5 for my 4 year old greatniece and her 7 month-old brother. I only read one myself and it was great. My nephew & his wife are also enjoying them. They might be for slightly older children, though.


  3. Anonymous5/20/2012

    Another great location to get books is at kid's consignment sales if you have any in your area. I've had fantastic luck there, and then I just bring them home and wipe the covers down with baby wipes to get off any residual grime. The result is I have an entire bookcase filled with like-new books for less than $100!

  4. When you are in Maine this summer, we can hit the yard sales for books!


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