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Is ruined books the price paid for fostering a love of reading for babies and toddlers?

(32 Posts)
Anticyclone Mon 20-Jul-15 17:33:59

Our 11mo is really getting into his books and loves having everything read to him. He will now go to his bookshelf and empty all his books out and often bring one for us to read to him. And he has started pointing at things in the pictures.

We have a good selection of board books which can take a reasonable amount of punishment from him, but we also have a number of normal big paperbacks, which are easy for him to bend and rip.

Most these books will give him pleasure for at least another 5+ years I should think, and so I find it hard to watch when he grabs them and folds and rips the edges. I temporarily take them off him if he does this, but I don't want to hide them away completely as he enjoys looking at them so much and I want to encourage him to love books.

I guess a load of battered dog eared books are better than a pristine shelf-full, as it means he's got something out of them. But I worry I'll have to replace them all before he's 2! Should I just be less precious about them?

Yes, I think you need to be less precious. Or put ones that you most don't want to get battered elsewhere, and let him pull the others around as much as he wants.

BrianButterfield Mon 20-Jul-15 17:38:29

Stick to charity shop and car boots for books to be played with, keep the pristine ones for when he's a bit older. My local charity shop always has a box of 10p children's books and it's not heartbreaking when they get over-loved1

SophieLeGiraffe Mon 20-Jul-15 17:49:01

Encourage that love of books. Sellotape is your friend grin

The only thing I would say is to avoid lift and flap books at that age because the flaps will get pulled off and you will get annoyed.

ifgrandmahadawilly Mon 20-Jul-15 17:53:44

Just leave the board books out for him to play with and read the paperbacks together.

SolasEile Mon 20-Jul-15 17:56:54

My DS went through a phase of ripping up his books too. It used to really annoy me at the time as I am a real book-lover and can't stand seeing books ruined! I used to keep the softer books away from him and give him old magazines for ripping and only board books in his bookshelf. Still had a few casualties along the way though...

griselda101 Mon 20-Jul-15 18:00:01

charity shop, as another poster says! they're only 20p or so round my way. or the library for some sturdy baby books you can return and get more until he / she is older.

you'll also be surprised how quickly they grow out of that phase... and also many books get boring quite quickly (for you as an adult) when you have re-read for the umpteenth time, also child may grow bored too, so second hand or library is the way to go

I think new books are expensive and once the interest has waned or they've been ripped etc it's a lot of wasted money if you've bought them new.

TheseSoles Mon 20-Jul-15 18:01:06

Yup, sellotape is good! Most of the classics are available as boardbooks which last much longer.

My children eat the spines when they are teething hmm so I clear out and restock fairly regularly!

Artandco Mon 20-Jul-15 18:07:53

I would only give him the basic board books for a few more months until he's old enough not to rip. Only get the paper ones out when you are sitting with him

SurlyCue Mon 20-Jul-15 18:11:42

Unless your 11 month old is 5'10" then i'm sure its quite possible to put the books out of his reach. Or even take them off him when he detroys them!

Bunbaker Mon 20-Jul-15 18:18:59

I managed to foster a love of reading in DD without her ruining books. I had loads of second hand books and new ones. She is now 15 and all her baby books are in the same condition that they arrived in.

Notso Mon 20-Jul-15 18:42:53

My older two didn't destroy a single book.

My younger two are a bit rougher unfortunately and although they love to look at books I keep a lot of them out of their reach.

LegoSuperstar Mon 20-Jul-15 19:02:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Littlef00t Mon 20-Jul-15 19:30:34

I read paper books with dd at bedtime or if she looks like she'd like a cuddle and a read where she can turn the pages but not handle them independently. Board books are free game all the time.

NoraRobertsismyguiltypleasure Mon 20-Jul-15 19:33:32

Agree with pp. We had a shelf w with all board books that our dd could pull out and look at and then a high shelf with sharing books that we only looked at together. To be honest though my dd has never damaged a book - think I got a freak of nature!

MrsBojingles Mon 20-Jul-15 19:46:59

Keep precious ones out of reach and give him cheap tough ones to wreck.

JanineMelnitzGlasses Mon 20-Jul-15 19:56:15

My DS did this. Most of the books are now covered in cello tape and the pop-up ones definitely came of worst. I think he's over it now but accidents still happen if he gets a bit carried away with the story. I'll happily take a shelf-full of battered books over a shelf-full of untouched ones any day. Great idea to scour the second hand shops too. If you're really bothered your preferred ones out of reach.

Sgtmajormummy Mon 20-Jul-15 20:25:19

I think until the age of about 2 there is the risk of over-excited page crumpling, the "ooooooooh what a lovely boooooook!" tremble. But that's part of fostering the love of reading.
As long as library books, precious copies and ones they will enjoy reading to themselves are safe and away from pens, I say go ahead. Second hand books are so cheap you can afford to lose a few along the way.

(Secretly a bit jealous of your 1yo bookworm and the years to come. I'm reaching the end of 17 years of reading joy.) sad

ch1134 Mon 20-Jul-15 20:32:29

I only really used board books until recently. Now ds is 18months and treats all books beautifully. I do get the majority from charity shops though, so if they did get ruined it wouldn't matter. I can't imagine any book being used for 5 years though. I'd say a max of 6 months really, before he is ready for something a longer/ more interesting.

Anticyclone Mon 20-Jul-15 22:24:25

Thanks for all the good advice. Most of the books have come from GPs to be honest and I know a good number of them were sourced in charity shops!

Sellotape has already been used today, I'm just going to have to learn to let go!

BlackeyedSusan Mon 20-Jul-15 23:33:19

cloth books and bath books. we have a lot of cloth books and bath books. oh yes.

we also have a lot of books to go in the recycyling as the charity shop would be unable to sell them in the condition they are in.

Scotinoz Tue 21-Jul-15 04:29:01

Sticky tape and board books are your friend! My eldest is 2onths and still a bit of a liability with anything other than a board book. We've got through a couple of copies of favourites too. Honestly, relegate some to the shelf for a while.

Buglife Tue 21-Jul-15 08:39:22

I work on a library and trust me, we expect the books for under 2's to get destroyed smile it's built into the budget and stock turnover, board books and Picture Books get replaced regularly because they are obviously used/loves in a much tougher manner than other areas of stock. To be honest a lot of the adult stock gets destroyed too, you've got to toughen up when you see what goes on behind the scenes smile if you want a library full of nice clean books you'd like to read (or even consider touching sometimes!) a large amount have been taken away and recycled because they are falling apart! I give 11 month DS board books to go through himself so far.

ShelaghTurner Tue 21-Jul-15 08:50:17

DD2 had a favourite book which she tore to bits, and I mean bits, every single time. She'd wreck it and then cry. I'd replace it and the next week she'd wreck it and cry. I must have replaced it 6 or 7 times (it was a very old out of print book, Amazon, 1p + postage!). Finally she stopped but the book is still her favourite 2 years on. Why did she do that??

NinjaLeprechaun Tue 21-Jul-15 13:28:18

I gave my daughter one of those 'indestructible' board books to look at in her cot while not napping, and she ATE it. I do not mean that she chewed it and left bits lying around, there was an entire page and a half completely gone.
Mostly, she only got books under close supervision after that.

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