Some of my fondest memories growing up are of my mom reading to me. She always used different voices for different characters. Even if reading Go, dog. Go! She could bring any children’s story to life. I loved grabbing a book from our home library and curling up in bed with my mom as she read to me and my siblings.
Some books I memorized before I knew how to read. I loved holding the books. I loved the way they felt. And I can’t remember not loving the smell of books. Books have always been an integral part of my life. I’m grateful that I’ve always had access to books in my home.
I know it’s shaped who I am, and I want my own little ones to be blessed by the benefits of book ownership. Whether they decide to follow in their mamma’s footsteps and become writers doesn’t matter. Even if they become doctors or scientists or anything else, I know book ownership will benefit them throughout their lives.
As a writer, I own books for entirely different reasons. In many ways, the books I own help me write my own novel. They inspire and motivate me. They educate me on the craft of writing. They provide me with examples of what good writing should look like.
I take great pride in my personal library. I love adding new books to my collection. I don’t think it is possible to own too many books. Book ownership is an intrinsic part of who I am. It defines me. The books I own have inspired me to keep reading and even to become a writer.
6 Reasons Why Book Ownership is Crucial for Kids and Writers
6 Reasons Book Ownership is Crucial for Kids
1. Increases Familiarity
While it’s important to access the library to expose your children to a wide variety of books and to satisfy their need to read (I mean, we can’t buy all the books), owning their favorite stories will help them become more familiar with books. These will be the books they memorize before they can read. The very books they may learn to read from. The books they own will be the most familiar to them as the years go by. They can read these books time and time again, thus becoming more familiar with them. And that familiarity with books is important for every child.
2. Creates Pride in Ownership
I don’t remember the first book I ever owned. But I do remember the feeling I got as a kid when I’d get a new book for Christmas, or from the school book fair, or the Scholastic catalog. I was always so excited. These were my books, nobody else’s. For some reason, they were extra special because they were mine. I loved turning their pages and reading my favorite ones again and again. I had my own bookcase in my room, and I loved adding my new books. I took extra good care of the books I owned. Owning my own books gave me a sense of pride and responsibility.
3. Improves Accessibility
With library books you have to worry about renewals and deadlines. You have to drive to pick the book up. Book ownership makes books more accessible because you need only walk as far as the nearest bookcase or end table. Parents have crazy schedules and it isn’t always feasible to go to the library to get a book. If books are owned in the home, they are always accessible.
4. Improves Literacy
Having books in the home will motivate children to read more, thus improving their literacy. Because they can reread the books they own they will be more familiar with the words and their meanings. Their ability to read will improve each time they read the book. Library books can certainly improve literacy, but book ownership is just one step better.
5. Increases Value
If I want to teach my children that books are important and valuable, I need to spend money on them. If I fill my home with books from the library, my children will still be enriched by the books around them, but they won’t fully understand their worth. If I never buy a book, they will be less motivated to buy books for themselves and for their future families. Book ownership is an important way to teach children that books are worth spending their money on.
6. Creates a More Intimate Experience
Without trying to be redundant, book ownership creates a more intimate experience because the books we own are ours forever. We don’t have to part with them. We can always cherish the stories they contain because we can read them again and again. We are more familiar with the books we own, thus they become more intimate to us. My favorite children’s books and the ones I’m most excited to buy for my babies are the ones that I grew up with in my own home.
I hope all the parents reading this post are inspired to buy more books for their kids. Even if you actively buy books for them, you never can have too many! And all you writers, kids need our books. So let’s keep writing!
6 Reasons Book Ownership is Crucial for Writers
I’m sure a lot of the reasons from above ring true for writers as well, but here are a few more specifically for writers.
1. Identifies Writers
Part of a writer’s identity are the books they own. Every writer I know owns not a few, but many books. It’s something we have to do. We need books in our home, on our shelves, and in our hands (as often as possible). The closer I am to a book the happier I am. I feel comfortable around books. Books connect me to the people, places, and events I read about, but they also connect me to a larger community of readers and writers. The books I own identify me as a writer.
2. Helps with Research
I have so many dictionaries and reference books that I am constantly accessing. It would be too much of a hassle to get these books from the library every time I need to check something. My thesaurus, usage dictionaries, and books on the craft of writing need to be easily and immediately accessible because I never know when I will need to use them.
3. Provides Examples
Often I like to buy a book if it is a good example of a literary technique or element of style that I am trying to improve. If the book has excellent character development, or realistic descriptions of setting, or engaging dialogue, then I like to own the book. Filling my home library with examples of good writing is helpful to me as a writer.
4. Allows Notes
If I own a book, I can write in it. I can’t write in a library book without paying a price. I usually write in my reference books and my books about the craft of writing, but if it’s a really good book I might make a note or two. Or I might dog-ear the page. With most of the books I own, I like having the option of being able to write in them.
Do you ever write in your books?
5. Provides Motivation
Owning books also motivates me as a writer. All these books published by real authors are sitting on my shelf. I’ve purchased them because they have touched me in some way. They inspire me to become a published author as well. I want to touch people through my words. I want to see my name on a book cover and think of all the bookshelves my book could be sitting on. Having books around me reminds me that people do get published. It motivates me to write so that I can be published too.
6. Supports Other Authors
If we only got books from the library, authors would stop making money and stop writing. I want people to purchase my books, so it’s important for me to be willing to buy another author’s books. If I really like a book, I often feel a sense of gratitude and appreciation towards the author. Sometimes I want to buy a book, merely because I want to support an author that I like.
Why is book ownership important to you?