Have any of you managed to do this with little kids in the house? I would love to donate our bookshelf of books and just use the libraries here- however it seems like far too often we accidentally damage a book and end up paying for it. They will charge for the whole book even if its like.. you dropped water on a page. I find it very hard to keep young kids (2.5 yrs old for example) from bending pages, etc. Of course we try to teach them to be careful. Is using the library something better for older kids or are my kids just more destructive than average? Do you keep library books guarded and kept up high? Seems to defeat the purpose. So yeah, if you've found out how to make it work for you I'd love to hear how :)
Owning no books, just getting library books
Hmmmm, I haven't accomplished this but my DS is almost 2, loves books, and tends to destroy them (he took a bite out of the spine of one this morning as a matter of fact). For DS, as a toddler, I don't think this would work well for the reasons that you've stated and because toddlers are all about repitition. He likes to read the same books over, and over, and over. I bet that I could have 4 books for DS and he'd be happy. I could sell/donate those 4 after a couple months and buy 4 different ones (used books are great!), and so on.
I used to have a TON of books and have now purged myself down to 2 shelves, each 3 feet long for ALL my books. The criteria is that I have to know I'll read them again. So only my favorite authors have stayed (Tolstoy, Timothy Findley and Margaret Atwood) along with 2 books by an author who's books are now out of print (that I will read again) and a few "parenting" and "crafty" type reference books that I use (and my text books from law school that I keep at work as a mini reference library).
I think you could REALLY pare it down, but for the reasons you stated it might not make sense to get rid of all books...
I would keep some and get rid of the rest. I really pared down what the kids have available downstairs and keep the rest in the attic. Then I rotate them out. I try and keep no more than 10 total downstairs, but that gets to be rather challenging. I could not rely solely on the library for two reasons: we do not go often enough and my kids LOVE to look at books and will sit for a long time by themselves, ahhhhhh!
Esp for babies and young toddlers, having their own books is best b/c of the potential destruction.
Our library is not that concerned with kid books. They expect them to be well used.
I've brought ripped books back and been ready to pay for it and they've smiled and said not to worry about it.
I do keep our kid books right now because my two year old has said she does not want to give them away. I have also done paperback swap for kid books. That's nice because you can swap it again if it's in good condition.
We currently have two shelves of our bookcase that holds all our media, scrapbooks, and my journals I'm not yet ready to part with.
My 3 year old is the destruction master. He has about 6 books that he will read over and over again. We do check out books from the library but only 3 at a time and we read those at bedtime. My 9 year old has a small collection, things like dictionary, encyclopedia, etc. He devours books so it makes no sense to me to buy him any. He walks to the library everyday to get new books and he picks out some for his brother while he is there. I have some college books, my favorite book of all time and a few reference books. For the most part, all our books come from the library.
We used to have a HUGE collection....like 3 tall bookshelves and 5 small bookshelves full. I have managed to par them down to 2 small shelf.