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Do you keep children's books for your grandkids..


Hannah
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..that your children might choose not to have?

After clearing out my mother-in-law's house and hearing my sister complain about her recent move, I want to clear out all our unnecessary clutter.  Books are the only items I have a really hard time parting with.  What do you do with beloved picture and children's books?

ETA:  I only have a problem with children's books.  Probably because I took such care in choosing and them finding them second hand.  Adult fiction and other books go easily.

Edited by Hannah
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I am keeping ours. My mom kept ours from when we were kids and gave them to us when we had kids. Some of them were nice, others not so much. But I was glad to have them. Like you, I took time and chose the best. They are the one thing I refuse to declutter. Especially when I think of the cost to replace them. If it appears that I will not have any gc later on, I am sure we can find someone who can use them at that point. My girls want to keep them, btw, if that makes any difference. 

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Being on the other end of this... My mom saved my Dr Seuss books (good call!) and a set of Disney books because "you took such good care of them, you must have loved them" Nope, even as a kid, I hated that all the princesses did was need saving! But, as she took the trouble to save them, I can't bare to part with them! They are now sitting in a waterproof box in the basement. 

From my own daughter's collection, I'll probably save the favorites. Dr Seuss and Piggie & Gerald for sure. Some of daughter's unique favorites. Even though Green Eggs and Ham will probably still be in print, I think it's cool to think that you're reading the same copy your mother/grandmother did.

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I am keeping the German books we and visitors brought over one by one in our suitcases; those would be difficult to replace. Of English children's books, I only keep a handful of picture books *I* love. My kids still have extensive collections in their rooms; they will part with books as they are ready to.

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I am so thankful my mother kept books that I loved as a child.  Many are out of print, and I love sharing them with my kids.  Some came to my house, and some stayed at Grandma’s.

I have a book hoarding problem in general, so I’m sure I’ll keep too many.  I can’t even imagine purging now, but I’m thick in the picture book years and liable to stay there for a long while.  I expect that in years to come I will prune the collection, but my kids will probably know that Mom will have everything BUT books decluttered in my declining years.

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Some.

Many of our little kid books went through 5 kids. 5 kids who have never been particularly gentle with books.  Many have been tossed. The ones that have made it through the best are mostly being saved, some have been sent to my niece.

I still have some books from when I was little but, even with relatively good care, they aren't exactly holding up, physically.  My 1978 Little House set looks like it's been through a war, and I'm the only one who ever really handled them. (My kids got new copies of individual books.)  My mom's (I don't know what year off hand) Brownie handbook is going to turn to dust at any moment.  I wish those were in better shape, but I'm not about to take any special measures to save The Pokey Little Puppy or Goodnight Moon.

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I can't and won't keep tons of them (we have very limited climate-controlled storage space), but I'll definitely keep some favorites. Like others here, I put a lot of time and money into finding great kids books. They're special. :)

My parents and in-laws saved a lot of books and dumped I mean, generously gave them to us when they moved and didn't want to take them. What we found was that the books they considered save-worthy were not what we wanted to keep. Many were dumb, poorly written, pedantic, damaged, falling apart due to poor initial quality, one had pictures that my husband found disturbing as a kid, etc. We culled the vast majority of them. The books that continue to be special to us are from when we were reading independently, and they're easy-to-find classics. I have new copies of LOTR, Boxcar Children, Little House, things like that.

So with that in mind, I'm saving books that are special to me, as a mom, and I won't necessarily expect anyone else to find them as special as I do. My kids will grow and develop their own tastes, and who even knows about the grandkids.

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I will save very few - absolute favorites only.  I’ve already begun giving a lot of kids’ books away to other families.  It makes me happy to share books.

But more than that ... my mother saved some of my childhood books, in plastic totes, but by the time I got them, I was super familiar with mold illness, and paranoid.  Old books are notorious.  So my allergic, asthmatic, highly sensitive child didn’t even get the chance to enjoy those books.  I wasn’t going to take chances.  They went to the landfill’s recycling station.

The few I save won’t be packed up, but will be kept with all the other books.  Or if they can’t - I won’t save them.  No boxes of books here.  

Even if I had room to save all the books, I would not.  I like sharing them now.  Instant gratification, I guess.  ?

Edited by Spryte
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I keep them all. I have sentimental attachment to books and still have all of my special ones from childhood that I lovingly laminated/library bound the covers as a kid. An aside but some of the work is pretty horrible but they are still intact. My daughter just read my childhood version of "My Friend the Vampire" and had much to say about my poor cover laminating abilities ? . I have my adult sons' childhood books still and I will no doubt keep all of my younger kids' books as well. I keep them in part for potential future grandkids but also for my kids if they request them someday. I keep adding bookshelves but we are quickly running out of wall space. I don't like the prospect of storing them in bins in the garage as the glue tends to degrade and the pages yellow. I know it isn't sustainable at the rate I get books so I will probably move to keeping just the most meaningful ones at some point. 

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I have kept our favorites that are in good condition.  Probably about 20.  In fact, I was decluttering this morning and my dd discovered them in a footstool trunk in our living room. She was so excited and exclaimed, "I didn't know we still had these!"  She was joyful going through them, especially remembering her "Little Bear" readers.  She remembered her favorite story from that collection.  After recently seeing the new Christopher Robin movie, I am tempted to get out the Complete Tales if Winnie the Pooh and read them again to my D.C., even though they have outgrown the stories.  Having read those tales to them a few years ago made the movie so much more special for us all.  

 

As for other special things from their childhood such as baby teeth, 1st strand of hair, 1st pair of shoes, special outfits, etc....I am not sentimental and did not save all that.  My dd demanded her teeth back when she found out there was no tooth fairy and was dismayed that I threw them away.  At least she'll have the most special of books from her pre-K-2nd grade years.  

Edited by TX Native
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We have half of a shelf of picture books and two shelves of other saved books. It’s a carefully curated, highly sentimental selection. Everything else, once outgrown, is donated to a local literacy center. 

Over the past five years we have gone from 12 bookcases to 6. I hope to have 2 bookcases when our kids all leave the nest. We will likely downsize to an apartment at that point as we will be retirement age.

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Yes, I do save our favorites for my girls to have as well as possible future grandchildren.  I only have 2 children, but several favorites were favorites of both so I even have 2 ( or sometimes 3 - I can never remember what I need) copies of probably 20 to 30 picture books. 

I have tried to be more ruthless about passing on those that weren't special though.  My youngest is 17 so we are far past the picture book stage and I can usually part with a few more whenever I go through those shelves.  But it's painful. ? Like pps I enjoy passing them on to other families or the library book sales when possible.

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Keeping!  My boys aren’t the type that will want to take any books with them when they grow up and move out.  They’re not really lovers of books.  But I am and I’m perfectly happy to save my favorites for grandkids.  They will probably be the books that stay at Grandmommy’s house.  I’m keeping a few childrens novels as well as picture books for when the grandkids get older.  If they are book lovers, I’ll pass the novels on to the grandkids.  If not, I may read them out loud to the grandkids, if I see them often enough.  If neither of those options work, I may still keep some of my childhood favorites for myself or pass them on to someone else’s grandkids who love books.

I’m also keeping Playmobil and Thomas the Tank Engine trains and Lego and a few board games.

Edited by Garga
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The classics, so I can share them with the grands, and also the sets each child loved.  The Little Critter series , Skippy Jon Jones, and Busytown.  Also some authors/illustrators I love like Diane Stanley and ...  Who am I kidding.  If I think it's a keeper it's staying. lol  Also-- think dil will homeschool!

 

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I'm saving a lot, but not all. Mostly the books I clear out are homeschool books that served their purpose but aren't sentimental favorites. I cleared out most board books but saved some favorites in a lidded plastic bin up in the closet (board books take up too much room on the shelf). I have most of the picture books we ever bought, but it's not a huge number because we used the library for the most part. I had 18 yo dd look at our bookcase of kid lit ("paradise" she always called it) and she culled out maybe 15 books and then I looked at them and put 10 back on the shelf! Some of them were mine but she said, "you can get rid of these--I've never read them." Yeah, no. I imagine that the books will be available for the girls to take when they have kids and/or I would love to read them to grandkids if that opportunity arises.

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All of them except those horrid Barbie and Rainbow Fairy books that my girls seem to gravitate to ?

I purge as we outgrow ... so since my youngest is only 6 the only ones I've completely purged so far are the board books. I have those down to one basketfull that I can't part with whether grandchildren ever enjoy them or not. Since my boys are older teens I have finally also been able to ger rid of dozens of Star Wars knock off series books and only keep the original 6.

Most of the really good picture books have been winnowed down through the years so only minimal purging will be necessary there.

I imagine someday I will purge the science and history nonfiction shelves and only keep my absolute favorites. Most of my fiction/chapter books are books one of us has loved or classics or Newbury winners so pretty quality stuff that I doubt I'll want to purge much when the time comes.

I have (3) 5 shelf bookcases each about 3' wide and they're full and I plan to keep them that way. The kids can decide what to do with them when I go to the nursing home ?

 

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Not much.  We're downsizing soon, and just won't have a lot of room.  Also, my father kept all of his books for his children/grandchildren -- probably up to 500 books -- and really, a few were enjoyed when we/our children were very little, but otherwise, they just take up room.

I'll maybe pick 25 or so favorites and a few family heirloom books, and that's it.

It is sad though!

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I’m very much a minimalist, but we still have all of my son’s books from birth onwards. I don’t expect any grandchildren, but at this point I’m not ready to get rid of them. Maybe when we finish our remodel and start putting everything out again, I will reconsider. We’ve also saved some of his best toys and will likely start making hard choices about those also. We recently gave several of the outdoor ones away to a grandma in our neighborhood who watches her grandson several days per week.

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I very well may have grandchildren before I am completely done with picture books, or at least it likely won't be very many years (I mean, my almost 10yo still enjoys reading some of his favorite picture books, and we anticipate almost 17 years between oldest and youngest), and yes, I will probably save a lot of them, like the favorites and the ones with hand-written inscriptions in them.  I'll buy grandkids their own copies of LHOTP, as I did for DD, because I'm not parting with my own copies of them, carefully inscribed to me by my own grandmother.  Maybe some of them will be books I keep at my house for the grandkids to read, because I have fond memories of visiting my grandmother and reading the same collection of stories she always had at her house.  My mom and MIL did the same, gave us some of our childhood books, and kept some to be Grandma's house books.

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We are strong book-lovers.  But I did recently cull through our kids books . . . and the easy solution was that our dd took all the culled books to share with our grand-dd. 
It was wonderful.
Our future project is my dad's extensive book collection.  It's going to be hard for him to downsize to a bookcase or two in his retirement apartment.

 

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I am keeping the ones I love or that were special favorites of any/all kids. You could say I’m keeping them for grandkids or you could just say I’m keeping them for love, which is accurate. I love them and I don’t want to release them, not even to my great nieces/nephews. There are other toys and things I did eventually give to my greats and it gave me joy to give them to someone else. (Radio Flyer walker wagon, chalkboard easel, puzzles). 

As Homeschool Mom in AZ said, if I die and someone needs to figure out what to do with them, it’s not really a big problem. 

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I'm keeping the books my kids want me to keep.  We keep only ones that are in great condition and their favorites.  Every few years we go through it and they end up culling some.  My MIL sent us a bunch of my husband's old books and they were in terrible shape, and smelled of mildew.  We had to throw them out, so she'd wasted $$ on postage sending them.  

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We gave our whole lot to a family of five littles in need, struggling just to pay bills. They were very grateful as they weren’t able to even go to the library since Mom was on bed rest.  So I can look back and not regret the decision at all.  They would have just been sitting on my shelf.

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1 hour ago, ikslo said:

We gave our whole lot to a family of five littles in need, struggling just to pay bills. They were very grateful as they weren’t able to even go to the library since Mom was on bed rest.  So I can look back and not regret the decision at all.  They would have just been sitting on my shelf.

I just wanted to say I think this is a beautiful way to honor the things we cherished if a person wants to do this. May you be blessed. 

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Absolutely! I have one shelf of our favorite picture books and another of favorite chapter books. Most of them are in really good condition, but the ones that aren't are really important to our family history. Diggers & Dumpers is so worn it is almost falling apart, but that's part of it's story!

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17 hours ago, prairiewindmomma said:

We have half of a shelf of picture books and two shelves of other saved books. It’s a carefully curated, highly sentimental selection. Everything else, once outgrown, is donated to a local literacy center. 

Over the past five years we have gone from 12 bookcases to 6. I hope to have 2 bookcases when our kids all leave the nest. We will likely downsize to an apartment at that point as we will be retirement age.

We downsized on that scale too.  I have 2 bookshelves and a kindle now.  If there's an electronic book option, I take it. When I'm done homeschooling the last kid, it will be one bookshelf.

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9 hours ago, Patty Joanna said:

Man idea-I kept a list of all the books my son read through high school. If you want/need to clear out space, make a book of the names and dates.  Just a thought.  This isn’t fun stuff.  

Or make a bookshelf quilt.  You can either embroider or use fabric paint/pens to put in titles on the spines: https://www.google.com/search?q=bookshelf+quilts&client=firefox-b-1&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjtgdbq-vbcAhXvRt8KHbwkCrwQsAR6BAgFEAE&biw=1280&bih=625&dpr=1.5

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I am keeping clean books that are in good repair, stored very neatly in bookshelves, in our home library/office. I hate the idea of boxes and totes full of tattered, raggedy and possibly mildew books; that is too hoarder-like for me. But that's not what I have. I have useful, clean, organized books in a fresh, bright space.

I have replaced some of our best-beloved children's books that had been loved to a raggedy and tattered state. There are brand new copies on the shelves, waiting for the grandchildren.

If I had any confidence in our local public libraries, I would donate 95% of my books to people who need them right now. But I bought all of these in the first place, because our library never had anything classical. Why would I think our community should have better funding and interest during my grandchildren's childhood? So I have the books, and they are insured.

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Definitely.  I was quite glad that my mother saved some of mine.   Probably two boxes worth.   DD loves the ones that were mine.   We divided the books, and half stayed at her house, including the ones that had originally been moms.   I will likely save those and my favorites.  

DH has some kids books that he bought in high school at a library sale, e.g. Ferdinand.   They make me a little sad.   They had been his favorites, and since he was the last kid, she threw them away when she decided he was too old for them.   

 

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Some of them, I'm saving for me.

I just went through & culled out a box-full of ones I don't think my kids will read again. I think I could do another box-full. I'm just not sure what to do with them. If I lived closer to a bunch of 'little libraries', I'd spend a few hours dropping off 3-5 at a time in each one of the boxes. The "Friends of the Library" might be where I end up donating them.

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I am saving a very few children's books(less than 2 dozen I would say), but not specifically for possible future grandchildren. As an elementary level teacher, I love children's literature and have collected and given away lots of books several times. The good books will be around, and I will be able to get "new" copies when I want or need them. The actual specific, physical book does not hold and sentimental value to me. but my mother is a hoarder. I sometimes go too far the other direction in not attaching value to physical things.

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The only ones I'm saving are 2 that were signed to my children by the author. I also have 1 book signed to my Grandmother as a child; the nickname in the inscription is Boots - that makes me smile. My kids are all out of the picture book range but we still have a few floating around the bookshelves because youngest hasn't been able to let them go yet.

Edited by beckyjo
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9 minutes ago, OKBud said:

Oh, yes. I've been incredibly blessed by all the stuff my mil saved from DH and dsil for our children. It's not excessive *stuff,* it's great things that we're free to take or leave. I very much want to be the kind of Gramma my mil is to my kids!! 


We'd been very poor when pregnant with DD.   I very much appreciated the supply of basics from my childhood.  I knew that we had the basics covered.   Clothes and books were from mom.   Aunt gave me a ton of prefold diapers.  A Snappi for the diapers and some baby socks and we were set.   Whereas my mom had flipped out when she was 8.5 months pregnant with me when she realized they had no clothes to bring me home from the hospital.   

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9 hours ago, Tibbie Dunbar said:

I am keeping clean books that are in good repair, stored very neatly in bookshelves, in our home library/office. I hate the idea of boxes and totes full of tattered, raggedy and possibly mildew books; that is too hoarder-like for me. But that's not what I have. I have useful, clean, organized books in a fresh, bright space.

 

Yes! I wouldn't keep all my bookshelves full of books if they were in tubs and I couldn't look at them and enjoy them!

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I only saved a few because my kids said they didn't want them any more and we were moving. Big mistake. Four years later, and they say they miss going back and reading some of their favorites. So, I'm slowly repurchasing some of the favorites as I find them in good condition. 

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