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Book Rotation and Storage

It is no secret that I love children's books. Some (Morgan) might even say I have a problem with children's books, I love them so much. While, I've tried to keep my books as minimal as possible, I will fully admit, I'm a sucker for them. Now, I do try to keep our books Montessori friendly and as lovely as possible, so it's not EVERY children's book in the world. 

A look at how we store and rotate books in our Montessori home.

Anyway, this means we have a nice little library at home from which we rotate books. I don't keep all the books we have out all the time. That would be too overwhelming to any child and likely lead to less reading and more mess. Instead, I choose a few books to have out at any one time, then rotate  - much like other materials. I wanted to talk a bit about my process for storing and rotating books. 


My storage system is pretty straightforward and uncomplicated. In my office, I have some built in shelving and I keep any children's book that is not available to my children, at this moment, on this shelf. I personally organize them by color in rainbow order. This is only because it makes me happy! There's no Montessori reason to do this, and there are a variety of ways you could organize - by author, alphabetically, by theme, etc. I think whatever works for you. 

These books are organized with the spine out, just in a typical "bookshelf" arrangement. I do separate out my board books, but only because they tend to get pushed back behind the bigger books if left on the shelf with them. 

A look at how we store and rotate books in our Montessori home.

My children typically don't have access to these books. If they ask for something specifically we might go get it together, but this is not an area where I would expect them to access, read, or choose books on their own. 

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I do NOT rotate books based on a schedule or timeline! Ever. I rotate based on interest and need. If I notice that my children aren't choosing books or have specific interests that aren't being addressed by the books we currently have out (and I have something to fill that need), then I rotate. Much like materials, I rarely rotate ALL the books in our home at once. It's usually a book here and there. If a book hasn't been touched for a week or two, that's a pretty good sign that no one is interested in it. If it's read every day then I'm not going to remove it just because of some adult created schedule. 

A look at how we store and rotate books in our Montessori home.

When I see a need for new books, I a few considerations go into deciding what books I might pull out to replace them with. These include: 
  • any interest my children may have 
  • any holiday/seasonal need 
  • any new book that I might want to introduce  
  • any book that we haven't had on the shelves in awhile 
I don't really create "themed" bookshelves outside of holidays and season changes. Otherwise, I try to make it a random collection of books that will appeal to my kids. This means mixing subjects, reading levels, and book types (board book/chapter books/picture books and fiction vs. nonfiction.) Having a good mix keeps everyone happy and engaged. 

I also don't have a set number of books I take out at one time. The kids each have books in their rooms, and we have one main reading area in our living room. I just put out what looks appropriate for the space. 

How do you store and rotate books in your home? 


June Folliard said…
Could you share your suggestion for actual bookshelf that you use for the children's books? Love your blog!
Liz said…
I have the same approach as you and it works for us very well. Love your blog!
Pratirupa said…
Thanks for sharing this Nicole. What storage ideas would you suggest for a fairly small apartment? Currently I keep my books (that are out of rotation ) in a box to keep away from my son's reach. But it is a trouble to sort through them while changing books for the next rotation.

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