I dedicate this library to Jim Trelease, as his book The Read-Aloud Handbook has inspired me. Within a week of reading his book, I set out to convert an unused room to this family reading room treat.

Here is the view when you first enter the room. We’ve got windows looking into the National Forest, tantalizing mountain breezes permeate the room… Colorful walls motivate and energize hours of reading! (To view any photo larger, just click on it.)

0907-opg-029

The main feature which inspired the room was the “rain gutter bookshelves“, which I learned from Trelease of course. These shelves are made of inexpensive rain gutters and allow the books to be faced outwards, which is more appealing to the child, thus more likely to encourage reading the books. The stool below gives her access to the top shelf. Above the shelves is an “inspiration wire” (idea from Amanda Soule’s book The Creative Family: How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections), which will rotate Satori’s drawings of the books we read.

Rain Gutter Bookshelves

Rain Gutter Bookshelves

With an irresistibly comfy bean bag, Satori can easily grab a book and sit down to read it. I found this at Target for just $19.99. Kids love it, I should get two.

Satori reading on her bean bag

Satori reading on her bean bag

For snuggling with Mom and/or Dad, we’ve got a purple loveseat for some family bonding time. We’ve got a more traditional bookshelf with colorful fabric bins which we’ll use to hold the heavier books, novels/chapter books, and our Five in a Row manuals. Bottom shelf is easy access to a children’s dictionary, heavy poetry anthology books, and other fun reference books. On top is her current readers, this summer 2009, it is easy Bob Book types.

You’ll also notice some shorter rain gutter bookshelves. You can put these in so many places where you can’t put a traditional bookshelf!

Purple loveseat

Purple loveseat

The other corner of the room has a glider and footrest. Here’s the view sitting in the glider. You’ll notice we put colorful, laminated maps of the world and the United States on the walls. They put out nice color contrast to the room and are handy references to view where the stories take us!

0907-opg-026

A few blank spaces on the walls are magnetic! A unique little feature we added just for fun. 🙂 Perhaps we can spell out new words that we cover in our books.

0907-opg-035

You may notice the pink baskets on the ground by our long face-out shelves. These are our “Traveling Book Baskets”. Another idea inspired by Trelease’s book, we can put a few books in here that we’re interested in reading, and haul it to our bedrooms for night-time reading, the bathroom for captive reading, outdoors… you name it.

Thank you Jim Trelease, your ideas are enriching our family in innumerable ways!!!

Traveling Book Baskets

Traveling Book Baskets