Read a Book Day

“Read a book!” It’s a constant refrain in our household. My three-year olds’ clamor for books to be read to them all day long. They can sit through a stack of books the way other kids can sit through entire movies. My youngest, now a year and a half, surprised us all at 10 months with his first word: “book” (or, as he said it, “boo-KAH”). No matter the hour, I can’t go to sleep at night before reading a few pages from the latest memoir or novel sitting on my nightstand. I was the kid who devoured books in a single day, staying up all night to absorb the latest Harry Potter release, which as far as I was concerned, should have been national holidays.

Read a Book Day | Twin Cities Moms Blog{Photo credit: Prall Photography}

Maybe Harry Potter releases didn’t quite achieve holiday status, but today, National Read a Book Day, there are plenty of ways to celebrate. My own little ones and I will have no problem today, but if you need some inspiration, here are a few ideas to get you started to celebrate the magic of books today…or any day!

Visit your local library. We’ve been attending our local library’s storytimes since my twins were just babies. (And thankfully their attention spans have grown over time!) But storytime isn’t the only draw. We are fortunate to have amazing libraries around the Twin Cities that offer so much more for kids than just story hour. One of our favorites is the Brooklyn Park Library, which has a children’s area designed by the Children’s Museum. We can spend hours there reading books and exploring the giant lite-brite, pushing gigantic puff balls through the vaccuum tubes, and building towers with the magnetic blocks. A couple other favorites are the Maplewood Library (which has the added bonus of a coffee shop inside!) and the Minneapolis Central Library, which is gorgeous inside and out.

Read a Book Day | Twin Cities Moms Blog

Visit the bookstore. Make a trip to the bookstore and let your kids pick out a book to bring home. What are they interested in? Dinosaurs? Technology? History? Let them peruse the shelves and see what they discover. Many local bookstores also offer their own storytimes and events. The Red Balloon Bookshop on Grand Avenue is a fun stop whether you visit for an event or just because.

Read a Book Day | Twin Cities Moms Blog

Host a book swap. If your house is anything like mine, it is overrun with children’s books. With well over 200 titles alone, we could just about start our own library! Grab some books that your kids have outgrown or have never made it to your nightly reading repertoire and host some other moms to clean out their own bookshelves. Swap books to gather some new and interesting titles. If there are leftovers, consider donating them to a local school, church, or daycare. Or even better: host your own mom’s book swap! It’s a perfect Mom’s Night In: everyone brings a favorite novel and draws numbers to pick a book from the pile.

Read out loud. And not just to your kids! There is something powerful in hearing a book read aloud. It might sound strange, but my husband and I often read books together this way. I read fast, he reads slow, so reading out loud together is a great compromise. I read, he listens, and we get a great discussion out of things we otherwise would have never read together. We’ve gone through everything from books on politics to The Hunger Games series this way.

Have a theme day. Take a favorite kid’s book and make an event out of it. The Very Hungry Caterpillar could easily be adapted in so many ways: read the book and then go for a nature walk to look for caterpillars and butterflies, create your own caterpillars out of construction paper cut into circles, googly eyes, and some glue, and top it all off with a feast of the same treats the caterpillar eats in the book.

Read a Book Day | Twin Cities Moms Blog

Most important of all, read a book. This should seem like the most obvious one, but even for someone who loves to read like myself, it can be hard to make the time to actually relax, slow down, and truly lose myself in a story. Carve out time for yourself to curl up in a quiet spot, a favorite beverage, and read a new release or an old favorite. Need some recommendations? Here are a few of my favorites, below:

Where’d You Go, Bernadette? A fun, easy, and funny read.

Traveling Mercies A memoir about her faith journey, Anne Lamott is funny, honest, real, and slightly irreverent.

Miller’s Valley One of the most engaging novels I have read in awhile, about a family and their secrets.

Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good Part memoir, part cookbook, the stories of Kathleen Flinn’s family are humorous and touching, and will make you wonder about the food memories your own children are making.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn A favorite of mine from childhood, and one that I love to come back to.

And for the kids:

In My Heart A wonderful and beautifully written book about feelings.

Llama Llama Red Pajama We love all the Llama Llama books…they have such wonderful rhymes!

Madeline Cute pictures, wonderful poetry…it’s a classic for a reason.

Anne of Green Gables School-age boys and girls alike will fall in love with quirky Anne and her adventures.

The Penderwicks The subtitle is “a summer tale of four sisters, two rabbits, and a very interesting boy”. It’s a cute, modern classic.

Any other favorites out there? We’d love to hear about more good reads for kids and adults! And tag your own photos with #ReadABookDay to show us how you’re celebrating!

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