The lifespan of a good book

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We often read stories about well-loved teddy bears or dolls and the imagined adventures they have had over their lifespan. It’s somehow comforting to see an old toy loved again – the ones who have been repaired and patched and given new life.

But have you ever thought about well-loved children’s books and the stories they could tell of their lives (and not just the story within their cover) and the marks of a cherished book – repaired spines, taped pages and coloured in illustrations? Some children’s picture books, like well-made teddy bears and gorgeous dolls, live on and on and are borrowed and passed down to new little people to enjoy them.

This blog post from Lana is the story of one such a book and it is accompanied by a list of new books which I predict will could become classics in your own family and have a long life of being loved and repaired (acid-free all the way – take advice from the librarian on this one!). These books are perfect for gift giving to young readers 4-10.

Thanks Lana Hallowes for this guest post.


The Lifespan of a Good Book

The day I was first ‘picked’ was a beautiful one. The sun was streaming through the book shop doors and it happened to shimmer on my spine, just as you walked past. It was as if something was TELLING you to choose me. To slide me out and have a peek inside.

So you did. And that’s when I knew I had you. 

Within a moment you were clutching me lovingly in your arms, like you had found ‘the one’.  Next I was being wrapped up in pretty paper and tied with a ribbon. 

When I was gifted, that paper was teared with such violent enthusiasm there was no chance of it ever being reused. 

I was oohed and aahed at. I do that to people.

This was my first home. The first of many.

I was read in bed, often left next to a sleeping child until someone found me and put me back on the shelf. I was brought to the breakfast table and got porridge spilled on me, more than once. I was carried in a backpack to kindy for show and tell. 

I was loved. Adored. Shared. 

But then I was ignored for a while … I spent a lot of time on that shelf, untouched, until one day, another chubby small hand picked me up! When I was opened it was love at first sight (of course) and I found myself sitting on a new bookshelf in a different house that night. 

For years I was enjoyed by reader after reader in this way. So much so that my pages were repaired with sticky tape and my spine ‘strengthened’.

Until I wasn’t anymore.

The next few years were spent in a dark storage box. Discarded. Forgotten.

Until one glorious day came and I was lifted from that gloomy darkness. The light shinning on my spine again.

“Good morning children. Gosh, do I have a treat for you today! This book looks well-loved because it is. So loved. It’s exquisite! One of my all-time favourites. It was donated in a big box of books this morning to the school library,” said Mrs Daley.

“Now, you read the pictures, and I’ll read the words …”

Lana Hallowes is a writer and mum to two gorgeous and energetic little boys.

Children’s Books destined for a long lifespan

Click on ‘Buy from Booktopia’ when shopping online in Australia to #supportaustralian. Apple, Amazon and Book Depository options for overseas & eBook purchases. Purchase in store from your local independent bookstore where possible #supportlocal.


‘ONE TREE’

‘ALL THE WAYS TO BE SMART’

My full review.

‘Time for Bed, Miyuki’

My list of the Best Books for Toddlers.

‘HUGO’

‘This Small Blue Dot’

My list of the Best Books for Boddlers.

‘Baby Business’

My full review.

‘Girl on Wire’

My full review and Teacher’s Notes.

‘Finding Francois’

‘A New Prayer for the Animals’

‘Hello Jimmy!’

‘Australian Sea Life’

My full review.

‘Australian Birds’

My full review.

‘Tilly’

‘Nop’

‘You Might Find Yourself’

‘Sleep Tight, Platypup’

My list of the Best Books for Babies.

My interview with Renee Treml.


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