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to think there's no such thing as too many books for a child?

(109 Posts)
jumpjockey Thu 15-Oct-09 15:31:28

DD is 10.5 months and has about 40 books - mostly board books, lift the flap, touch and feel, crinkly cloth books etc. She loves turning the pages (book right way up or not... wink) and looking at the pictures. Most of them are from charity shops as there's one we pass every day that has a 5p shelf. MIL recently commented that she thought this was far too many and wasn't she too young to appreciate more than one or two?

Given that I'm a librarian this is particularly hmm, but surely babies can enjoy books and have great fun sitting on someone's lap looking at the pictures? How can there be such a thing as too many, given that we're not wasting swathes of money on them, they're easy to tidy up, and she's learning all sorts of things when we 'read' them together?

claricebeansmum Thu 15-Oct-09 15:34:54

It is one of life's unwritten rules:


(unless you are our dog and savage the cookery books - one is one too many!)

Your MIL is barmy.

CowWatcher Thu 15-Oct-09 15:36:38

MIL is BU. But surely you can shrug this off & ignore her? Maybe when your DD graduates with a 1st in Literature from (insert prestigious learning establishment of your choice) you can remind her what a great start in life your DD had with all her lovely books.

I too am an avid book buyer & have just spent a very enjoyable half-hour reading Charlie & the Chocolate Factory to my sick, 5yr old DD. Well worth all the ground work we did with board books and the like. Don't stop.

leolantern Thu 15-Oct-09 15:37:31

no you can never have too many books what ever age. I have just ordered a package of a about 40 books for my 2 dcs and I don't think thats too much they will speand a good few months reading them smile

Firawla Thu 15-Oct-09 15:38:10

YANBU just ignore her
even for your own sake its better to have more than 1 or 2, you wil get bored reading her the same one again and again and again, bit of variety will not do anyone any harm
MIL just doesnt know what she is talking about

CristinaTheAstonishing Thu 15-Oct-09 15:38:10

Of course she's wrong. Just don't clutter the place with them so she can "concentrate" on one book at a time. Roughly. I had to learn not to get too uptight about reading books the grown-up way and allowing the DCs to start in the middle and only read a couple of pages if that's all that interests them. Rules and convention take time to become established.

Morloth Thu 15-Oct-09 15:38:48

No such thing as too many books of any description. Every flat surface in our house has at least a couple. Mine, DH's and DS's.

Carrotfly Thu 15-Oct-09 15:39:15

From a different generation.


TheDevilEatsBabies Thu 15-Oct-09 15:40:51

gotta say, i've heard of unreasonable MILs, but yours takes the biscuit!



Fayrazzled Thu 15-Oct-09 15:41:18

I beg to differ I'm afraid. I am an avid reader and love books but I think it IS possible to have too many books: if you can't store them properly, if they end up damaged, if you can't find the book you want when you want it, then you have too many- it wuld be far preferable to pass them on to others who could enjoy them.

OP- I think your MIL is wrong in this instance. Assuming your child's books fit in a bookcase or somesuch then 40 books is not too many for a young child.

jumpjockey Thu 15-Oct-09 15:41:37

Good. I was pretty certain but was a bit miffed when she suggested we should be getting dd far more electronic sparkly plastic crap toys and far fewer books. Will gaily disregard along with most of the rest of her 'advice' grin

TheDevilEatsBabies Thu 15-Oct-09 15:42:23

(as a post script I would like to add that I'm going round my OH's house looking for all the nooks and crannies we can put more bookcases and bookshelves! it's great fun!)

Madascheese Thu 15-Oct-09 15:43:16

Nope definately not BU

lovely DS aged 3 loves reading and is already wanting 'proper books' 'not baby picture books Mummy' at bedtime.

he likes activity type books during the day but enjoys a real story at night.

We've always read loads and loads, whole family does...

Mind you my dad tells him the greek tragedies and DS recites Icarus and Dicarus on the way round possibly everything in moderation.

TheDevilEatsBabies Thu 15-Oct-09 15:43:41

I agree that if you store them incorrectly it can be a problem, but there's no such thing as too many books: you just have to be imaginative abotu where you put your book cases

never ever ever store them in the garage or loft!

ThingOneofYourNightmares Thu 15-Oct-09 15:44:36

I think my children have too many books! But then it's a lot more than forty. Once I have found a bookcase (have been waiting years for DH to make a couple of front facing ones and now given up) I might change my mind.

marenmj Thu 15-Oct-09 15:45:33

MIL is a bit U and so are you.

DD is also 10 months and has about 3 books she usually reads, 5-6 on rotation from the library, and many many more that are a tad too old for her.

Telling that when I found out I was pregnant I promptly bought copies of Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the Attic? Maybe. I even brought my treasured copy of Alice in Wonderland over from my storage unit in the US (where my thousands of books live atm), ruining it in the process

Your DD won't actually appreciate the piles of books as at this age she will pick out her favorites and read them over and over. (my DD is also obsessed with the mechanics of books atm - we will start buying more ~18 months when she's passed the stage of dissasembling books)


You can never have too many books and she WILL appreciate them at some point. Better to have a stack going for when she actually does grin

insertwittynicknameHERE Thu 15-Oct-09 15:47:31

Your MIL is BU, you can never have too many books for the DC.

My DD1 literally has a couple of hundred books, mostly from charity shops and the library sales. She has some on the shelves in her room and some on the shelves in the living room and, some on the shelves in the nursery room and the rest dotted about the house. (no room on the shelves in our room as DH and I are avid readers lol.)

insertwittynicknameHERE Thu 15-Oct-09 15:48:44

Oh and dd1 is nearly 2 btw.

ThingumyandBob Thu 15-Oct-09 15:48:53

No way, you cannot have too many books, especially not children’s books! My DD is 2, by the time you have a few books in each room, a couple in my handbag, 1 attached to the buggy and a couple left at the grandparents 40 wouldn’t be that many...keep on buying! (lucky you for having a 5p shelf at the charity shop too!)

alwayslookingforanswers Thu 15-Oct-09 15:52:26

yes you can have too many books.

I used to have close to 1000 books when I was a child. Many were got rid of when I was younger - but I still have boxes of the things left over now. I've been sorting through them and realised I've NEVER read some of them.

My parents had close to 10,000 books before they were forced to get rid of most of them to downsize to a bungalow. Complete waste of books as 99% of them were never looked at.

TheDevilEatsBabies Thu 15-Oct-09 15:52:30

bookshelves can go anywhere: on the bit next to the bannister on the stairs (probably an adults' shelf just in case of falling...., above the window, above the door, on the landing between doorways, the hall is always a good one because it's a corridor with loads of unused above-head space.
all along the skirting board, why not?
a shelf in the toilet's good too.

TheDevilEatsBabies Thu 15-Oct-09 15:53:16

always... do you want to send a few boxes to me?
i need more books.
[greedy devil face]

MusterMix Thu 15-Oct-09 15:53:41

but you can be a book snob

TerryWogansCock Thu 15-Oct-09 15:59:12

Of course there is such a thing as too many books

My ds is mad on books, he must have about 200, i am running out of space to store them so will have to give some away to make room for yet more books come christmas

He has too many, i have nowhere to put them!

Bubbaluv Thu 15-Oct-09 16:00:02

Well if you're going to spoil a child with something, books seems like a pretty good way to go.
And by "spoil" I mean indulge not ruin.

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