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Build A Home Library For The Kids

To build a home library for your children is to provide them an entrance into the world of books. Consider the following when you plan a home library.


Your home library should be in a dedicated space. This is more than just a wall of bookshelves inside a playroom or bedroom. Consider a quiet corner of a living area, an unused dining room, or an unfinished basement or loft. There should be enough space for at least a few comfortable reading chairs.

Books do not tolerate much dampness or aridity, so build your home library in a space where you can control temperatures.

A library for toddlers looks much different than a teen library. Board books give way to chapter books, which are replaced by the novels and reference books of high school. Make sure the space can change. Flooring and bookshelves are expensive, so make sensible choices that will work over many years.


Adjustable shelves can fit large picture books and then be reconfigured to accommodate smaller novels later. Consider bracketing single shelves to the wall if floor space is at a premium. Books are heavy and take a toll on shelves. Boards must be strong. Place metal wall brackets at at least 3 points to prevent sagging in middle sections.

Bookcases are another option. Make use of wall space by using tall bookshelves. These tend to attract young climbers, so make sure you attach bookcases to the wall. Drill screws through the bookcase backing into the wall. Purchase a sturdy step stool for access, or consider installing a charming library ladder that slides on a rail and rolls on the floor.

Do not store books in a large bin. While this may seem like a good storage choice, it is a good way to destroy books. Toddlers can get frustrated digging through a mess of books to locate the one they want. Get your kids accustomed to keeping books lined up on a shelf. This promotes organization and library etiquette.


Wall-to-wall carpeting in a home library is the quietest option. If you have hardwood floors, use an area rug to provide comfort and reduce noise. Inexpensive options include affixing carpeting squares to a bare floor.


Home library furniture should be restricted to shelves, chairs and a desk. Armchairs, recliners and stuffed or foam chairs all make good reading chairs. Have an old comfy chair? Throw on washable slipcovers.

As this designated quiet space is perfect for doing homework, older children will need space to write and maybe even a computer. Provide a desk and chair at the correct height for comfortable use. To prevent eye-strain, position the computer monitor so that the user will be looking slightly downward. Incorporate wiring needs into your home library electrical system. Also consider space for materials like pens and paper or a printer.


Overhead lighting is helpful when perusing titles, but install dimmers if possible. Floor lamps are suitable if the light comes from behind, over the reader's shoulder. Task lighting is necessary to adequately illuminate desk work.

A home library for kids can provide hours of stimulation and enjoyment. When the children are grown, restructure the library to fit your own needs.

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