Our new Library Reading Room is finished today! 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.)

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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. I may make the wire prettier by using ribbon instead of yarn and putting decorative ends up.

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, and might pick up a turquoise one later this week.

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 bonding family time. The viewpoint from her bean bag is great too while we’re reading picture books on the couch. 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 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! I think we’ll be putting up a few more soon…

Purple loveseat

Purple loveseat

The other corner of the room has a comfortable 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!

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Also up on the wall is a laminated timeline, currently only ancient civilizations which we start studying this fall, we’ll be adding more as we cover more history. This are also great reference when we want to understand when a particular book was written. The 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.

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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