Monday, October 23, 2006

Book Collections/Habits

As part of helping my students think about their own reading identities, I always invite adult readers (parents, grandparents, staff members, etc.) to come to the classroom and talk about themselves as readers. It is quite fun. We spread it over the first months of school and it is a great builder of conversations. Every year I am amazed at collections and traditions people have around books. Over the years, we've heard from readers who buy a book in every city they visit for a collection of their travels. We've heard from readers who collect any version of Little Red Riding Hood that they can find. One mom collects Peter Rabbit books in every language. We've heard from people who buy books with their children's first names in them. This year we heard from a mom who buys a book for each child each year at Christmas. She picks out a special book for each child and writes the child a letter about their year in the front cover. Her thought is that when the children become adults, they'll have 21 books that chronicle their lives as readers, with a letter from mom in each one. What a gift! Last year, I started buying a few of my girlfriends my favorite book of the year as a Christmas present--what a better thing to share. And we all had so much to talk about! I love hearing about these traditions, collections, gift ideas etc. If anyone has others, we'd love to hear them. As a teacher, I love to share them with students--a vision of how readers live outside of the world of school. As a mom, friend, etc. I love the ideas--possibilities for my own life as a reader!

Comment if you have any great ideas. If we get enough, we'll compile them into a post.


  1. Anonymous12:08 AM

    I don't know that I have any great ideas, but I did really enjoy this post. I do have a funny thing where my Mom, my friend, and I have a little book round-robin. It works like this. I'll buy a book, read it, and send it on to my Mom (3000 miles away). She'll read it and send it to my friend (1500 miles away). Then when I see my friend, she'll give the book back. It's kind of a closed loop. We also used to send our nieces books once a month in a mail (but we just couldn't sustain it). Thanks for making me think about books and neat things to with them.

  2. Anonymous9:06 AM

    Your post inspired me--this year for my holiday party I'm going to ask everyone to bring their favorite book of the year, wrapped. Then we'll do some kind of Yankee swap.

    Also--I have a teacher for your list--Miss Edmunds from Bridge to Terabithia.

  3. Anonymous3:32 PM

    A woman on a message board I frequent posted about how she collected 24 different holiday-themed books.

    Every year she wraps the books, and instead of a traditional advent calendar, they unwrap one book a night (she mixes them up and adds new ones so it is always a surprise) up until Christmas Eve, and that book is always 'Twas the Night Before Christmas.


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