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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