Setting up a Kiddie Library

We have recently set up our third home in 4 years. And my book collection always ranks high in making my home, well, home-y.

One of the many difficult parts about moving cities/ countries is leaving my books behind. New books then inevitably start piling up around the new home which need a place of their own. But this time around, I am setting up a different kind of book collection. The magical world of children’s books.

At almost every trip to the book store in the past, I found find myself  browsing through the children’s section, a bit wistful that there was no one to buy them for. I did buy my niece and nephews a lot of my favorites over the years, although I wasn’t sure if books  were appreciated as presents or even likely to be read. But now, I can indulge myself in the children’s section to my heart’s content and introduce this exciting world to Nael.

I haven’t been able to pick up much for him yet, what with our big move and all. Here’s our little one’s teensy library which is fast becoming a focal point of our living room.

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My first book buying trip was mainly for my sister’s son who’s 3 months older than Nael. At Liberty Books in Karachi, I spotted Faces which is aimed at the 0-6 months age group. I knew cloth books exist but didn’t expect to find them in Pakistan. Given that babies are attracted to black and white and high contrast images, I immediately picked it up for Nael. Initially at 2 months, he would only look at the book for a little while when I placed it in front of him, but he wasn’t really into it. Then it was stuck in a box after we moved. But when I took it out when Nael was around 4 months old, it was an instant hit. He spends a good few minutes with it every time he spots it. Ummm chomping on it. But what else can you expect at this age.

My Fun Learning Numbers, My Fun Learning Colours, the Animals board book and Vroom were found at Paramount Books in Karachi, each for only Rs 150 (less than a quid each). They were quite a bargain at that price and had bright, lovely illustrations so I brought them all the way here. And of course Goodnight Moon, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Peek-a-Who? are children’s favorites found on every list for first readers.

I found some Urdu stories for young readers with colourful illustrations as well in Karachi. When I asked for children’s Urdu books at Liberty Books, I was directed towards this little stack of books collecting dust on the lowest shelf in a corner. Spent an hour kneeling on the floor sifting through them because although the illustrations were really good, the content left much to be desired. More on these in another post. These can be found at Liberty Books as well as a comparatively wider (but still small) range at Paramount books.

And if you didn’t notice the bookworm up there (see what I did there ha), go back and look. I found the cutest little colorful wooden worm at this store on Trinity Street called When I Was A Kid. It’s a really neat toy shop which sells only wooden toys and they have a really great collection. If you are ever wandering aimlessly around town like me, you must stop by and I guarantee that it may just be the funnest part of your day.

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Although they say their toys “stimulate minds from 0 – 99 years”, I didn’t find anything suitable for Nael. The worm doesn’t count because Nael’s dad is paranoid that the wooden segments on it are a choking hazard, so it will be resting well out of his reach for a while. Their staff is amazing as well and I had a fun little chat with them about Nael’s socks (!). I’m definitely going back there when Nael is a bit older.

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The much talked about socks

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Munazzah

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4 Comments

  • Very cute! Love reading your blog!
    I have two kids and both of them have an entire wall dedicated to their books in my study. I myself saved all my old books and now they sit in my Kids “Wall-Library” .. Its a funny feeling when I see my 10 and 6 year old sitting reading Enid Blyton, C.S. Lewis, Roald Dahl, Beverly Cleary. It takes me back to the pleasant but humid evenings I would spend reading my books, sitting in the balcony of my parents’ tiny apartment in Sharjah, overlooking the Sharjah Corniche and never knowing where time flew. The anticipation of weekend because that meant a trip to the library. You will never know when time flies and soon little Nael, will be reading your collection;-)

    • Thanks so much for the love and for that glimpse into your childhood! Sounds so familiar, I could just replace Sharjah with Karachi, minus libraries 😉
      And oh man, just the thought of Nael growing up so fast makes me teary..

      • You will never know where time flies, trust me. I look at my kids and wonder where did time fly away? Its bitter sweet tinged with a little bit of sadness =)

        We were raised in a good time, now I cringe every time i see a kid with an electronic device and do a mental karate chop aimed to the parents who have kids under 13 on Facebook (I have many of my friends 6 to 14 year old kids with their own Facebook Ids), some supervised, some unsupervised (it doesn’t matter). But I am grateful to my parents for limiting our tv and no Bollywood/Hollywood movies times. Being a full time single mother, I find it hard at times to meet the expectations but at the end of the day, I know I will do what is best for my kids.

        p.s. sorry for my mini-rant =)

        • Heh we are all just trying our best in our own ways. It’s hard not to fall into the trap of letting technology babysit our kids, but it’s really sad seeing kids addicted to their iPads instead of playing with each other and running around. I really wonder what kind of people these kids will grow up to be.

          All kinds of rants are welcome here, I love reading them =D