Building my secret library

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I have a confession to make.

In a spot far from prying eyes, I’ve been quietly building a library. It grows novel by novel, paperback by paperback — books stacks atop each other where I can reach them, but don’t see them every day. It’s enough to know they’re there: these stories I plan to share someday. With my future kids.

Yes, friends, I have a kids’ library — for the kids that are nothing but a sparkle in my 27-year-old eye.

I guess it’s weird to be collecting books for children that don’t yet exist. But as I’ve gotten older and started planning my life with Spence, I’ve had things like this on the brain.

Not too on the brain, now. Don’t get scared. Just, you know . . . floating around in the periphery. For years from now.

And babies? Babies are everywhere. If I thought everyone was getting hitched before, the rings have been tossed aside for baby blankets. The pregnancy announcement is the new engagement announcement on Facebook, and my own friends and family are no exception. My lovely cousin Karen is expecting her first baby with husband Ben this spring, and we’ve been asked to bring a favorite book from childhood to start building my new cousin-to-be’s library at the baby shower.

Being an insanely crazed and eager reader, I was all over this request. My mom and I set out to our local bookstore to comb the shelves for just the right story yesterday, and I picked up several hardcovers before getting serious about choosing just one: my absolute favorite childhood book. That sounds scary, doesn’t it? And intimidating? I won’t share my final pick in case Karen sees this, but suffice it to say it’s awesome and not one I expect other guests to bring. Um, hopefully.

Not that you can have too many books.


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But back to my quirky kid library. I’ve added new titles to my pile: the BabyLit books, a series by Jennifer Adams and Alison Oliver. A collection designed to introduce young readers to classics like Moby Dick, Sense & Sensibility and Romeo & Juliet, BabyLit books sent the reader in me — and someday-but-not-too-soon aspiring parent, too — into a tizzy.

Of the three I own, courtesy of the publisher, my absolute favorite is Jane Eyre. This counting primer features gorgeous illustrations and enough bookish acknowledgements to make the classics lover in me giggle. Perfect for sharing with little ones, Jane Eyre even features a sketch of that complicated, dreamy Mr. Rochester. You know, if you’re into that sort of thing.


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For literature buffs, the BabyLit series is a great way to introduce children to great works . . . in an easy-to-digest, cute package. Though the Bronte sisters might be a wee bit intense for your 2-year-old, this Jane Eyre will be right up their alley. The colorful artwork is a treat for the senses, and I’m sure you’ll be the hit of your book lover pal’s baby shower with one of these tucked in their gift bag.

I’d share them with friends, but I’m way too greedy to give them up. Books about books: they get me every time.


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31 Comments

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31 responses to “Building my secret library

  1. Those look awesome. Want! :-)

  2. Those books look amazing! I love the idea of building a secret library for your future kiddies. I guess I might be that weird as well…

  3. Reblogged this on I'll Tell You My Secret and commented:
    I also want to have this kind of thingy, but I still don’t have enough budget to put this up. Maybe someday, somehow,I’ll also be able to have this. But for now, I just have to collect as many books as I can in order to have this dream of mine in the future. So help me God ;)

  4. petasvintageblog

    Oh thank goodness I’m not the only one! I was starting to worry as I have also been collecting baby and children books…yet there won’t be a baby for years to come!

  5. I love the idea of a secret libarary, and the baby shower for your cousin when you bring along your favourite children’s book. What a great idea that is. Hopefully you’ll share the title with us after the party

  6. I love that idea also – it makes perfect sense to me! :–)

  7. I’ve been collecting children’s books since my early 20′s, LOL, so I totally understand!

  8. I’ve found big life moments go in spurts around here too. One year, we’ll get a lot of graduation announcements, the next year it’s wedding invitations, and then baby announcements. It’s so much fun to share in other people’s joy! I love the Baby Lit board books!

  9. We’re doing that, too! Or have, for the last few years — it helps my wife is a nanny, so we have good reason to have toys and books at our house. I love the KidLit books — I hadn’t seen the Jane Eyre or Moby Dick ones! Covet!

  10. I love this idea, I think it’s quite brilliant :) There is nothing better than introducing children to books and you’ve got a head start.

  11. If the price is reasonable, I’d give 2 copies of the same book. One for the child to “cherish” when they are younger and one for a keepsake to give to the child when they learn how to take care of books. I have books on my shelf that I don’t want distroyed by my kids, but I also want them to be read.

  12. AHH! I love these Baby Lit board books. They are too cute! I need to get my hands on a few of them and share them with my little guy!

  13. When my best friend was expecting her son, we asked everyone to bring their favorite childhood stories as well, and it was a huge hit. I actually think we were able to avoid any duplicates, which was something of a miracle. And I was able to get my all-time favorite book as a kid, Katy-No-Pocket by Emily Payne and H. A. Rey, for him as well. (I made my grandmother read me that story every Friday morning when I stayed over with her, and to this day I still have and love that book).

    Also, I haven’t actually started building a library for my maybe-someday kids, but I think that’s a huge part of the reason I hang on to books. I want to be able to someday share the stories I’ve loved with my kids someday.

  14. Lu

    I love this. I know exactly what you mean, about weddings and babies everywhere and also wanting to buy things for babies that aren’t even anywhere close to being real babies yet. I also love the idea of getting books for the babies to start their library. That’s wonderful!

  15. Oh my goodness! I tink this is a lovely idea! Enjoy!

  16. We’re big fans of the Babylit books in our house- and I LOVE the idea of a secretly compiled library!

  17. The books look amazing!
    I wonder how scared my boyfriend will be, if I get children books into the house… I still have a lot of those from my own childhood though.

  18. OMG, I’ve never heard of the Babylit books before. How cool are those? Slowly over the years, I’ve been collecting some of my childhood favorites to share with my future little ones. I just got the complete set of the Chronicles of Narnia for Christmas for that very purpose.

  19. Heidi'sbooks

    What a crazy good idea for a baby shower. I have never seen these Babylit books before, and I have lots of children’s books in my house.

  20. I love this series. So far we only have Alice and Jane. I adore them.

    I had a book shower. I LOVED it.

  21. OMG. Why did I not know about the BabyLit books???? These NEED to be on my shelves!

  22. Books are really our best friends . They guide our right pathway . In near future i’ll also make one library for kids .

    Depression…. needforhealth.wordpress.com

  23. I’ve thought about getting the Baby Lit books for my niece. They look too cute!

    And it does seem like there are going to be baby’s everywhere this spring. Both of my sister-in-laws are due in March.

  24. Those books look so adorable and perfect!
    At only 21 i already have a stack of childrens books from my childhood that i couldn’t bring myself to part with, partially through wanting to one day read them to my children.

  25. Oh my gosh, I’m in love! I also have a big library of kids books and I have no kids. My niece and nephews come over all the time and head straight for the bookcase with children’s books. These are absolutely getting added to it!

  26. ildest

    Reblogged this on Ponder beyonder and commented: :-)

  27. Incredible idea considering the paper backs are slowly fading away and replaced by ebooks

  28. I thought I was the only one who did this. Seriously.

    I’ve been hoarding classics and books that I loved as a kid myself, but just last week I purchased Just Being Audrey in hope that I’ll have a daughter who will love Audrey Hepburn as much as I do.

    I’m crazy. I know.

  29. A Modern Girl

    Love it. Thanks for sharing!