Reading is always a joy. I cannot help it. I get involved with the characters and the story line to the point that it is hard for me to put it down. If it is an exceptionally good book, then I am likely to skip going to bed at night. I constantly say I’m going to read just a couple more pages and then two hours later; I’m still turning the pages.

The Books I Love

reading joyI tend to read books on a certain theme and change it up every now and then. Meaning I’ll focus one month on romance novels, a month on the classics, a month or so on the horror stories, then sci-fi and fantasy. My favorite authors are also on my list and typically I’ll read them even if I’m not reading that theme at that moment.

Luckily, I have a lot of favorites to choose from. My most favorite stories are those that make me chuckle a little and those that delve really deep into the character’s personality. I love it when the characters are well developed individuals.

My Favorites

classic novelsWhen I was much younger, I’d always have a book in my backpack. I read mostly romance during that time. A favorite was those harlequin romance, but I also loved Judy Bloom, “Forever” to be exact. I read that at least 100 times. Yes, I was kind of pathetic.

Other older books that I love include anything by Janet Evonovich or Sandra Brown. Dean Koontz is another one that is great as is Nicholas Sparks. I personally say, movies are great, but if you are only watching movies instead of reading books by Sparks, you are missing out!

Newer books that I’ve read recently and enjoyed was The Bollywood Bride. The main character is truly something to enjoy. I found myself only wanting the best for her from the start of the story onward.

Happy Reading

I am sure I’m not the only obsessive reader out there. If you have a book that you love, please share it with me. If I haven’t read it yet, I will gladly do so in the near future. I am always looking for exciting things to read.

bookcasesIf you are a book lover, you may have books that you read scattered randomly around the house. You may also have a favorite author and try to collect all the books that you can that are written by them. Instead of displaying your love of books in random areas around your home, why not put them on a display that is as special as they are? Creating the perfect bookcase is easy to do and finding the design that you want can be a lot of fun.

The Perfect Bookcase

When we think of bookcases, usually we picture squared of edges and rectangle spaces for the books to sit. Most of them are deep enough to store paperbacked books two or three deep. They may start off life in our homes as book shelves that are serviceable, but over time they may all end up looking like a disorganized mess. This isn’t what they are supposed to become and you have the option to go creative if you are able to follow instructions and are willing to take on a DIY project. Instead of going to the store and buying a bookshelf kit, you could check out books on how to create unique bookcases. There are a lot of them available that cover basic topics regarding woodworking or books such as “How to Build Bookcases & Bookshelves” which are topic specific.

Free Your Creativity

Kids bookcasesIf you have a child who loves books as much as you do, you can create a space for their books as well. There are a lot of great ideas on creating a kid-friendly bookcase or bookshelf in both books and on the computer. Wouldn’t your child’s Dr. Seuss books look great on a custom-built bookcase that has very few straight lines? If you can imagine it, it can become a reality and chances are good, there is a blueprint of it somewhere that talks about the tools you will need to be able to get it looking perfect.

The Best Tools for Building a Bookcase

read bookshelfThe most obvious stuff you will need when building your bookcase is wood, hammers, saws, and nails, or screws and a drill if you prefer. You will also want to have a measuring tape to help you ensure that everything is the right size. Wood glue to help it stay together, even when it is loaded with books, is also a good idea. You may also want to treat your wood with fiberglass resin and cloth to ensure that it stays strong and looks amazing. Epoxy makes wood virtually impenetrable, so this is especially useful in kid’s rooms where accidents may happen. However, you must remember that it will have to be done before you put the bookcase together. If your idea of the perfect shelf has cut outs or a lot of pretty trim work, a jig saw may be required along with the circular saw. If you have a lot of tools on hand, a stud finder and a level may also be a great idea so that you will end up with a great bookcase for many years to come.

big libraryLibraries are important to a community. What many people do not realize is that they are considered a public service. Many libraries are run by people of the community that are there as volunteers. They may not get paid because most libraries do not have enough financial backing to ensure that everyone is paid for their time. They offer a lot of features that many people may not have access to without it and whether you realize it or not, books and libraries depend on the people to help them continue to exist.

The Libraries You Love

libraryThink about what your local library gives to the community. They allow people to use computers and tablets, they give kids a place to listen to stories with other kids, many provide audio books and quiet areas to listen. Best of all their services, they allow people to check out books without charging them the price of purchasing a book. Considering the price of books, this is a wonderful thing for people who love to read. The only time that you will be charged is if you keep the book longer than the allowed time and often, this fee is just a small one.

The Library Loves You

library volunteerLibraries need people to support them so that they can continue to grow and provide more for the community. They function best with a little help. You can do this with direct donations or through attending book sales as they happen. With money, they can add more books, computers, tablets, and other things when they have a community that supports them. However, most of the time, the easiest way for libraries to get what they need is by using the resources that tax dollars provide them with. The tax dollars given to them with help from the tax collector Citrus County, allows them to provide more.

You and the Library Can Work Together

Without money from taxes, most libraries would not exist. The people of most communities no longer visit them on a regular basis and they do not provide money for them. This means that in many counties the library cannot provide more for the people who do visit. They may not be able to hire someone to come in and do story time with the kids during the summer months unless they can find a kind soul to volunteer for it. They may not be able to bring in live animals from a zoo for an animal show. Without money, they may not be able to stay open throughout the full week. This makes them less accessible to people who may need to use them for studies or job applications and other things.

You and the library can work together to make things better for everyone in Citrus County. With your help and the fact that you put tax dollars to work, the library in your community will not cease to exist. It will continue to be there and open to the people who may depend on the services that it provides. Can you think of anything better to do with a few dollars out of your pocket?

Read aloud timeMost parents understand that reading needs to be an important part of their child’s life, even from a very young age. It is recommended that you start reading to your infant at bedtime and encourage them to look at books as they become toddlers. It teaches them a love of stories and can help them develop not only reading as a skill, but talking and more. Many books also teach children little life’s lessons about sharing or playing together with friends that will help them develop their personality as well. The thing is, most parents never ask themselves whether they are reading the right type of books out loud to their child. You may not think it is important that you find the right ones to read, the right areas to read, the right times, and other things. Now, is a great time for you to do so because it is important to understand what makes a good read aloud book.

Something “Relatable”

Read aloud babyIt is important that a child be able to relate to the book you are reading in some way. If they are reading it aloud to you, it is even more important that it isn’t just words on a page. A story about a little girl for a girl and vice versa or perhaps a child dealing with a situation that your child may be going through are both great ideas. You can also choose stories that appeal to them in other ways, for instance, their favorite cartoon characters, their favorite animals, or even their favorite fictional thing. If your child is able to relate to a story, they will be more inclined to focus on the words rather than just listen. You can further increase the success of it by talking to them about the story you will read or have them read before you open the book. You can tell them or have them look at the cover page and guess what the story may be about. You should also read with excitement. Use hand gestures, different character voices, and more can all be helpful in keeping a child focused.

The Right Time

If you have to pull your child away from a favorite game or from outside playing, they will be less likely to focus on the story; even if it is something that they normally love to read about or listen to. The same is true for bedtime and a child that is really sleepy. Ideally, you will read aloud when the room is quiet and you both are relaxed.

The Best Stories

Read Aloud Stories

Some great stories you may consider include titles such as, “The Day the Crayons Quit”, “The Little Prince”, “There Was a Tree” and “My Name is Maria Isabell”. There are also old favorites which may include “The Little Red Hen” or “The Pokey Puppy” type books. There are many books available for all age ranges. You may also want to check out the first grade read alouds, which lists books that are ideal for beginning readers and parents. They are stories that have a lot of fun characters and a great storyline that will appeal to most all children.

Wheels on the Bus

Wheels on the BusHave you ever noticed how many parents, television shows, and preschool teachers sing or say nursery rhymes to their toddlers? Most often, these rhymes are short, fun poems or stories that most babies quiet down to and toddlers love to hear. What’s not to love about them? Why are they such a great thing for toddlers? To give you an idea of what is so great about them, you need only to look at the top nursery books for babies.

What Is the Point of Nursery Rhymes?

Singing with BabyThe main reason educators enjoy it when toddlers learn rhymes is simply because it helps them to learn. A baby who is exposed to rhymes early in their life will learn to speak our language easier. They will pick up on unique letter sounds and syllables. By learning these things, they will not only talk better, but when it is time for them to learn to read, they will be able to read easier. If you look beyond the potential for learning to read; toddlers can learn to count through nursery rhymes, learn animal sounds, rhyming words, and much more.

What Are Popular Rhymes?

Many parents sing to their infant and their toddler without even realizing that they are singing a nursery rhyme. One very popular rhyme is, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”. It has rhyming words and it is very soothing for most small children. The Wheels on the Bus can be sung along with dance moves to make it more fun for kids and Old McDonald Had a Farm teaches animal sounds and a few vowels. Other nursery rhymes may not rhyme, but they can still teach days of the week or months of the year. There are even counting songs that can help babies learn to count up to five or ten.

Do They Help with Memory?

Bo PeepThese fun little songs are able to help improve a young child’s memory. This is proven by the fact that many toddlers are able to sing them, even without help or having a full ability to say the words, from an early age if they are exposed to them as babies. You can also see proof of it if you look for words that rhyme with week or other challenging words and then have your little one begins to remember what type of words complete a rhyme. For instance, hat and bat or hug and mug. These simple songs and short poems are all designed to delight small children, but do not be surprised if your kindergartner is still happy to sing them. Many elementary schools continue to share nursery rhymes and songs throughout the first year or two of school.

When you delight a child with silly songs, you are giving them a great start on the important things that they need to learn. Therefore, if you, like many other parents and caregivers, are interested in giving your baby a head start, you should search out books with nursery rhymes for babies. What have you or your little one got to lose?

Reading for me is an escape. A way to forget everything and be present with what I am reading. It is mentally stimulating and helps to clear my thoughts after a busy day. Here is my collection of thoughts on the books that I have have experienced so far.