Creating a Free-Reading Book Catalog

I had an idea come to me sometime last year which has been really helpful that I thought I’d share. Since the time that Elliot became a reader, I wanted to make sure to keep him well stocked with reading material and I was doing a lot of research on books that he might like. At first, I would just keep a mental note of new ones I came across, thinking that I’d remember the next time we were at the library, but then we’d get there and I’d be trying to remember what that book was that I wanted to find for him. I’m not a big fan of just picking books at random at the library, because you just never know what you’re going to find in there and I’m uncomfortable with that for when my kids are reading on their own. But at the same time, I don’t want to be a complete control-freak-mom who choses each and every book and when they’ll read it. So I’ve been working on creating a massive “catalog” of books that, as far as I can tell by reading reviews, are of good quality with content I approve of. The entire thing is thirteen pages long, separated into three groups: beginning readers (around K-2nd), established readers (3rd-8th), and mature readers (9th and up). I’ve got three copies of our catalog, one for at home, one for our library bag, and one for the car (in case we stop in at a book store and I don’t have our library bag). Now, no matter where we are, Elliot can choose from lots of options for his next book and I can rest assured that it’ll be something I’ve already looked into and approve of. It’s a win for both of us.

Right now I’m up to thirteen pages of books/ series that I would guess add up to around 1,500-2,000 total books. It would appear that we’re pretty much set with ideas for free-reading through all of high school.

This is Elliot’s most recent choice, a book about a dog and cat’s adventures in the time of Noah. He absolutely loved it and flew through all 432 pages in less than a week.

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