Can a Child Have Too Many Books?

online reading curriculum

When my daughter, Rachel, was little we took countless books out of the library. We attended library reading programs from the time she was two. But we also bought books frequently so Rachel had her own personal library. We’d donate the one’s that weren’t favourites as we ran out of shelf room. I still have her favourites. I’m saving them for my grandchildren. Books, with care, will last for generations. They are money well spent.

Sadly, when I do signings, parents and grandparents often say, “My child/grandchild has so many books. They don’t need any more.” That kind of attitude is counter-productive. Children will read their favourite books again and again and that’s wonderful. But new books are essential to maintaining a love of reading. New books encourage excitement and anticipation (especially one personalized and signed by the author). New books introduce new vocabulary and experiences into the child’s life. I have a huge library of books, and I’ve read some of my favourites ten times or more. That doesn’t mean I don’t love buying a new book (whether from the bookstore, second hand book store, library sale or garage sale). It’s intriguing. It’s exciting. And most important, it’s fun!

Children feel the thrill of buying that “special” book. There is nothing so frustrating for a child as finding a book that  delights and enthrals them, and being told, “Sorry, we’re aren’t getting anything today.” My heart breaks when a child gets excited about one of my books and the parent refuses to buy it. You are not spoiling your child by purchasing a book. You are encouraging him/her to read. Reading is critical to your child’s intellectual growth.

I can not emphasize enough the importance of book ownership. A love of reading is a gift you give your child for life. It will enhance your child’s life. Children will remember their favourite books for a lifetime and will continue reading into adulthood. You can never be bored if you have a love of reading and a good book in your hand.  Books can be a child’s friend. Books can be a child’s escape from the stresses of daily life. Books take a child into the world of imagination and  are educational. They promote language development, comprehension and creativity.  Need to give a child a gift? Buy them a book. Taking your child shopping? Go to the bookstore.


Here is a list of some of the books my daughter (now 25) and/or I (never mind) loved as children:

Picture Books:

The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper

Something From Nothing by Pheobe Gilman

What Do You Do With A Kangaroo? by Mercer Mayer

There’s a Nightmare in My Closet by Mercer Mayer

The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch

My Mother is Weird by Rachna Gilmore

Who Wants Arthur? by Amanda Graham

The Prince Who Wrote A Letter by Ann Love

The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs by A. Wolf

Charlie Needs A New Cloak by Tomie De Paola

Chapter Books:

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

The Secret World of OG by Pierre Burton

All these books are sitting in this room, on my bookshelves. Most are 20+years old. Some are more than double that age. Books are an investment in your children, your grandchildren and even your great-grandchildren.