library cards

i love books. this is not a surprise if you’ve read any of my posts. i read books, i buy them, i borrow them, i work on them at my day job, and yet, i can’t help but be amazed by the stories others tell me about them.

*****

this past weekend, i was at a friend’s baby shower and in lieu of a card, the hostesses had requested we bring a book to start the baby’s library. this idea charmed me, but also rattled me. there are SO MANY GREAT BOOKS out there, how could i ever decide on just one for this baby?

my automatic buy for babies is usually any book by sandra boynton. the board books are sturdy and bright, but most importantly, silly. the words and pictures are crisp and clean and hilarious. how can you not love a book that caters to both babies and parents? however, the countdown to the shower was closer than i realized and i had no time to run to the store. i turned to my own bookshelf.

(why do i have kids’ books on my shelf, you ask? i used to work for a large, corporate, trade publisher in the juvenile division and kept all the best books i (and my coworkers) worked on.)

i settled on THE POLAR EXPRESS.

for me, this book didn’t hold the weight it does for others. christmas books were/are abundant in my parents’ house, but i had zero memories of reading this particular book as a child and as such, my only memories of it were the struggles i incurred while working on the 25th anniversary edition which included the book, a slipcase, a cd, a sticker, and shrinkwrap. it was my first “kit” and there were a lot of moving parts when you were in the production department…

anyways, i realized my experience with this book was in the vast minority, so i tenderly pulled the book off my shelf and prepared it for the shower. when it was time for the mama-to-be to open my gift, she held it high so everyone could see. her mother in law immediately ran over to me with tears in her eyes.

“that’s the first book [my son] picked out when he got his first library card,” she whispered.

*****

until recently, the library in sister J and BILT’s town was a tiny store at the local mall because the main building was under construction, but as soon as the newly renovated library re-opened, a family outing was planned.

it turns out you have to be four years old to get your own library card. baby mac is three. that didn’t stop her.

while sister J was registering for the cards, BILT, baby mac, and bubba mac perused the kids’ section. baby mac was overjoyed with the selection and in fact, would pull a book off the shelf, race over to sister J to show her the new option, and then return to BILT to pick out another one. she ended up selecting four books that day to take home.

first choices

four books may not seem like a lot but it’s a strong enough foundation to support a lifelong love of books.

do YOU have any book stories to add to my collection?

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6 Responses to “library cards”

  1. Cathy Mumford Says:

    My favorite book is Wacky Wednesday by Theordore Lesieg (aka Ted Geisel/Dr. Seuss). When I was on the local school board, the boardies were asked to come in on Feb. 1 and share their favorite books with the elementary students. WW was always a big hit. By the way, we now have the Polar Express in the Christmas Books collection. Xoxo

    • abby mumford Says:

      wacky wednesday — i did actually know this about you. (yay me!) i’m not surprised it was a hit with the elementary school kids because that dr. seuss, he knew what he was doing with the written word.

  2. kmmunsey Says:

    Very cute. Growing up, trips to the library with my mom and siblings was the greatest. I learned to read at our local library branch. I think that was the only time we were ever all together and quiet. Good to know the little ones still enjoy the experience of plucking a book off a shelf instead of scrolling across a glowing screen.

    • abby mumford Says:

      your last sentence is the one i cherish the most because having seen the way baby mac loves watching princess video clips on youtube, it warms my heart she loves books so much. i mean, i’ve seen it in action when she picks the books her mom (sister J) will read to bubba mac before bed, but still, this library story gives me hope she’ll turn out like the rest of us mumfords. :)

      in other news, i love that you remember when and where you learned how to read. i can’t say i do. *searches memory*

  3. Kelly Breakey (@kellybreakey) Says:

    You know how much I love to read. For me, it was my Gram. She introduced me to this most wonderful world. We spent many an hour on Saturday at the main branch of the Enoch Pratt library. After, we always had lunch at the same Chinese restaurant. It was “our” thing. Jane Emily was one book that made a huge difference to me when I was a kid. I loved it. In fact, it was so much a part of my childhood that now I celebrate every Xmas by reading it and until her death in 2008 my Gram would also read it every year. It was our annual holiday tradition that helped us both celebrate our love of reading. And every year since her passing it is now a way for me to feel closer to her and celebrate the great gift she gave me. The gift she gave me was the love of the written word.

    Thanks Abby for reminding me.

    Thanks Gram for everything you did.

    • abby mumford Says:

      Books + a special meal?? I like where your gram’s head was at. She sounds like one smart lady. Well, look at you, it’s obvious she knew what she was doing.

      I am a huge fan of tradition, but reading a book of supernatural persuasion on Christmas?? This I love even more. I wonder what crazy tradition I can make stick in my household???

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