Encouraging the Bookworm Bug - joining the library.

Something I've been meaning to do for ages is to join the library with the little one.

I grew up with such a passion for books. I collected Enid Blyton books and at one point had hundreds of them. Scrumptious, Tally Ho and lashings and lashings of Ginger Beer indeed. Holidays abroad you'd find me sat underneath a towel reading away, hiding from the sun. And on the run up to the holiday I'd get a trip to the bookshops to buy some books which my parents would then hide so I didn't sneak and read them early! I even had books for Easter instead of chocolate Easter Eggs. Such a little bookworm!

See, such a little geek! Thats me, many years ago.
Although I accept that she might not want to be as geeky as me when she's older, I've always been keen for Anya to be surrounded by books too. For her first birthday we bought her a bookcase for her bedroom, which has continued to be so useful for her as she gets older and manages to reach the higher shelves too. (I wrote a post about it which you can read here.) I also want to make sure that despite the fact she's already a whizz on the iPad, that she likes the feel of real books and enjoys turning the pages. It's not all about the swipe and the home button. 

The continuously growing book collection

She also loves reading on the iPad.

I confess, normally by Saturday morning I'm a little bit worn out. I work three days in the office and then I'm 'off' two days at home. Which if you're a mum yourself you'll know that it's not really a case of being 'off' at all. There's no Grazia Magazine or feet up on the sofa moments. Cups of tea quite often get made and then forgotten. It's more accurate to say it's my other 'day job' but with much less of a commute and a few more giggles and cuddles thrown in! So after three days at work and two days 'on' as a stay at home Mum, by Saturday I'm ready to spend time with my other half and the little one together. Or for him to spend time with her so I can sneak a whole 20 minutes to myself to have a long shower and get dressed in peace! Such treats. Easily pleased these days!

Last week though, I was determined to give the library a try, so we were out of the house at 9.45! ON A SATURDAY. 

We were going to register at the library and I'd been told that they also had story time sessions at 10.30 so I was keen to give that a go too. There are so many activities during the week that we miss out on because I'm at work Monday to Wednesday so I wanted to see what it was like. Armed with passports, house bills and her little red book we set off - let the admin battles and form-filling commence!

Although I've lived in Maidenhead for nearly two years, I'd never actually been into the library - how naughty of me! But these days I read everything on the Kindle app so I haven't really had much call for it. I was relieved to find that its a modern building and is easy to get into with a pushchair - always a positive.

I sat down with a lovely librarian ready to sign up and we went through my details. She was really friendly and polite: 
"I'm ever so sorry, but I do need to ask you your date of birth". Aw, asking politely is the nicest way around that one for sure. 
I was also pleased to find I'd bought the right I.D. Phew. (Didn't need the passports or red book, better to be safe than sorry when it comes to admin though!)  

But then she did throw me a little when we were doing the little one's details. She asked for Anya's date of birth first and then said: 
'and Anya is A....' 
To which I hastily replied "A GIRL!" and wondered how much more obvious I had to make it (she was wearing pink, had her hair in a pony tail... )
But the Lady replied, 
'No, I meant how do you spell it : A... N...."
(Sometimes I feel like my life is actually secretly being filmed like a 'Miranda' Sitcom. This would have been a definite 'look to camera' moment!)

Hopefully wearing enough pink to be a girl. 

So trying not to chuckle we carried on. I then spotted my friend walking in with her little one and shouted out across the library to her. Then immediately remembered it's meant to be a quiet place! Whoops! A bit out of touch with this library thing!

The sign-up process took less than ten minutes so we headed over to the kids section which looks really welcoming and is well looked after. There's a big wooden train for the kids to sit in which a bit of star attraction - they were forming an orderly queue at one point. And then at 10.30 the story telling began.

Check out the funky library cards!

It was just like real life Jackanory (showing my age here... should probably say 'CBeebies Bedtime Story'). The storytellers were excellent - you could tell they would be equally at home on a real stage with a grown up audience and they really bought the books to life for the children. Considering the ages of the kids ranged from 14 months to 5 years old, that's a pretty impressive feat. 

A mixed audience, but everyone was engaged.

They were both very passionate and when they started to sing they even got their little audience up on their feet and jumping around. (Best Jumps Ever! Until you've seen first hand you won't know what I'm on about, but just trust me on this one - it will make you smile!) (Or, in my case, make me smile, and then as I shot a sideways glance to my friend I could see that she was starting to giggle too!) There's something about giggling in places where you're meant to be quiet. (I used to get the giggles during prayers at Brownies. Naughty me!) Glad to see this still happens now that I'm a grown-up too.

Because the Stories and Songs session is run by the RBWM (for those not local to Maidenhead thats the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead), there's no admission charge for it. Considering that most organised activities with children cost £5 for 45 minutes, I thought this was great way to while away time on a Saturday morning, especially when its cold and wet outside. It's something I plan to do regularly. It was a hit with the little one too. She could have spent hours in there I think!

Choosing books is serious business

Even book for older kids are interesting
Apparently this was the chosen one? Not what I was expecting!

If you'd like to go along to a Story & Song session at the library, here are the details:

The session runs once a month in Maidenhead and are set for the following dates:
1st March, 29th March. You can find out more here http://www.rbwm.gov.uk/web/libraries_under-5s.htm.
To join the librray you need proof of residence (household bill etc) http://www.rbwm.gov.uk/web/libraries_joining.htm

What about you? Does your library have a local session or do you have any tips for things to do at the weekend? Or would you like to confess to giggling when you shouldn't...?! You're welcome to leave me a comment.

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