It’s World book day today.

For most parents this is a day of nightmares. The school have requested that you dress your child in a character of their favourite book…Your child has decided it’s Superman or Peter Pan or some other character that you know you’ll have had to either spend lots of money buying an outfit on or lots of time making one, only to either have your child decide they want to be something else or don’t want to wear it after all!

Neither of my children are quite at that age when they really care about what they’re wearing and, thankfully, their nursery have said if a child wants to dress up and you have the costume, great. Otherwise just bring in their favourite book to read. I like their attitude but that’s probably why I send my kids there!

Reading books has always been a big thing in my house. Growing up I used to devour books as if they were food. My parents were keen for me to read and, as money was a little tight at times, we were always taking trips to the library to get a selection of books to borrow. I’d take out five or six at a time and would be back two weeks later having finished them and wanting to read the next set.

On occasion, there were books that mum or dad bought for me that I really loved and they have always had a special place in my heart.

So when I became a mother myself I was keen to continue the love of books and provide my sons with books that they could love.

Two of my favourite books from childhood are ‘Each Peach Pear Plum’ and ‘Peepo’. Both by Janet and Allan Alhberg. They had so much to look at in their pictures and always provided easy to remember rhymes for the words. Sadly I don’t have the ones I grew up with so I bought them new for my own boys to read. They both love them. My eldest is most definitely like his mother – he can sit for hours looking at books (he can’t read just yet) and it’s the first thing he’ll ask anyone to do with him.

The sad thing is I come across lots of people who hold onto books for fear that they’ll lose a memory or they want to read them again, some day, but probably won’t ever get round to it…or they simply can’t bear the thought of letting go of something that still has power in their eyes.

I totally understand where they’re coming from and what they’re saying but it’s important to know when to let go.

If you’re short of space and it’s unlikely you’ll get more, you have to be realistic about books you’re keeping for sentimental reasons verses books that will actually be used.

If you’re just holding onto books in the hope you’ll get round to reading them again, ask yourself these questions: When was the last time you read it? How many other books do you have to read first? Realistically, are they books you can’t easily get hold of at the local library, charity shop or book shop?

These questions will help you to determine whether you should/can/will keep the books and what to do with them moving forward.

I know the Janet and Allan Alhberg books will be kept for years to come and hopefully read to my children’s children (should they go down that route).

What books are you hanging onto and why? I’d love to know.

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