I guess it helps that I've always been a bookish person, but somehow over the past 25 years we've amassed/collected/invested in (depending on how you look at it) thousands, and thousands of books.
Everywhere you go in our house there are books making a mess of/enriching our home.
Almost 30 years ago when I first visited my husband in his home I noticed the lack of books.
"A bookcase would go nicely there - between those two windows." I suggested tentatively.
"Nah, books are messy." He said.
I'm grateful he is tolerant about the book mess in our house, I'm also grateful that despite HATING reading aloud at school, he has diligently read aloud to each of our seven children, and Daddy's chair has also been called "The Reading Chair" by each child. As I type this I can hear him, through the wall, reading about Poppy and Sam and a dog called Rusty for about the millionth time in his life. xxx
I really REALLY want to encourage families to be friends with books, to own them, to read them, alone and together - to read aloud longer than you would have thought the children would enjoy hearing it - don't stop reading aloud when they start reading by themselves! Enjoy the adventure together. A few years ago when our older boys were still around a lot they would often go and get their drawing equipment and sit in on a reading session. These are precious memories.
The other thing I wanted to share with you in this post was something I'm extremely proud (in a good way) of. My 2nd son, now 22, has just published his first novel, and was greatly influenced by the many books we read aloud during his childhood. The form of the book, and his illustrations were greatly influenced by one of our favourite read-alouds (sadly out of print now) called "The Black Fox of Lorne".