Making Old Books Seem New

I am not one to sit here and tell anyone how to organize book collections or even worse how to *GASP* de-clutter book collections for one simple reason.  I can not do it myself.  My problem isn’t with my own books as I do not buy a lot of those but rather with children’s books.  I love children’s books.  It took me forever to let go of the boys’ board books and some (I kept a lot) of their preschool books–really, J’s shelf is due for another clean out and I’m dreading it.   However, I do have a reason for keeping many of the books.

I’m sure you’ve probably heard of doing a holiday book basket at Christmas time.  Every year I bring this basket up from the basement and fill it with the Christmas books:  

Our Christmas book basket

I’m sure you’ve heard of this idea before.  Add a book full of holiday themed books as part of your Christmas decor.  You’ve probably even seen the idea to do it Advent style and wrap 24 books to help your children count down the days.  That is a bit too much for me.  I prefer to hide the all the Christmas books each year (pretty much in plain sight as I simply put them all on a shelf in J’s closet) and then bring them out again as we are putting up our Christmas tree.   I am not, however, allowed to hide How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss.  We read that all year-long for some reason–no matter the season!  

Our “hidden” Christmas books on a shelf in J’s closet.

Now before you start getting as irritated with me as I get with the stores because Christmas stuff is out and we haven’t even had Thanksgiving yet, let me share how I did a Halloween book basket (or actually a shelf) and it can be done for other holidays or simply the seasons of the year as well.  I don’t hide books other than the Christmas ones.  They are mixed in the regular bookshelves in the boys’ rooms.  The first thing I do when I’m bringing out holiday books is to get the boys involved!  I’ve done that since G was old enough to read.  They love raiding their bookshelves for holiday themed books.    Earlier in October, I had them go in their rooms and find all the Halloween themed books on their shelves.  We really didn’t have a huge collection of Halloween books so I opted to simply use the bookshelf on the table I had moved back by the door.  Here’s what the collection looked like when they were done:

I place the picture books facing out. I think it makes them easier to find.

The Chapter book selections for the Halloween theme.

Sometime this weekend, we’ll take out all the Halloween themed books and replace them with our Thanksgiving and fall themed books.  We will just use the bookshelf again as we do not have a very large collection of these books although I am always surprised by what my boys find on those shelves!   Of course, the simple reason I love filling a book basket or shelf with seasonal selections is this:


I also love how doing this makes our old favorite books seem new again and encourages the boys to read some of them again.  The boys enjoy picking out books to read from the basket (or shelf) at bedtime each night.  It saves us money because we are able to enjoy the books we already have.  It saves me the anguish of trying to part with beloved favorite children’s books as well.  It would probably also be easy to do this idea at no cost each month by checking out appropriately themed library books (assuming you are the kind of person who has no problem returning library books on time.  I am sadly, not capable of that).  Using books as part of any seasonal decor is a great way to make them seem new again!

Every year the boys get the same gift from us on Christmas Eve:  A Christmas themed book and a pair of pajamas.  This is how I grow our Christmas book basket a little bit each year without breaking our budget.   This gets a bit more challenging each year as my boys get older.  If you have any suggestions for Christmas-themed chapter books that a boy in middle school might enjoy, I’d love to hear them! 


I’m linking this post up to Frugal Friday over at Life As Mom.  Go check it out for lots of great money-saving ideas!


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