This file includes Books and Reading and Libraries.

Also see Writing and Poetry.

Books and Reading

Page Toppers

Quotes on Reading

Quotes on Quotes

from A Thread of Blue Denim

(P. Leimbach)

There is a very special sort of young girl who will pass the summer oblivious to heat and household routine, picnics and pool parties, vacation and vexation. She is the asocial creature suspended in the stage between baseball and boys, whose all-consuming passion is books.
She eats corn flakes with a book, washes dishes in the shadow of a book and spends the balance of the day sprawled sideways in an armchair with a book. At night she kicks her jeans across the base of her bedroom door to conceal the fact that she is reading in bed. Hauled off on vacation, she will look up from her book long enough to remark, "Oh, are those the Grand Tetons?" It's an insufferable stage; I'd love to live it over again.

from Books

(Nancy Byrd Turner)

Opening a book is like opening a door,
Turning a leaf's like a bend in the lane--
You never know how far you'll go,
To Kalamazoo or Spain.

What Could Be Better?

(Helen H. Moore)

Oh, what could be better
Than reading in bed,
Or thinking about
All the books that you've read?

With someone who loves you,
A father, a mother,
A doll, or a pet,
Or a sister or brother,

A grandma, a grandpa,
An uncle, an aunt--
(Can you think of anything better?
I can't!)

While outside the sky
Is all twinkling with light,
From stars that shine down
As we sleep through the night.

Oh, what could be better
Than sleeping in bed,
When the books that you love
Fill the dreams in your head?

A Riddle

(Lillian Moore)

What's small,
holds treasure
yet fits in the hand

needs no battery
doesn't chatter
click or clatter

opens with ease
nothing to measure
no locks, no keys?

What takes you to
jungles and castles
and stars?

On day trips to Mars?

Brings you wizards
and witches,
camels and cooks?

Bring on the books!

Would You Like

(Lillian Morrison)

Would you like
stories that surprise you
and/or hypnotize you,
a mystery, a history,

a volume to advise you
how to fix a motor,
build your own computer,
use a tape recorder,

get along with mother?
How about a voyage in outer space,
romance with an Alien
of a future race?

Then dip in, dip in,
grapple in with hooks,
dive in, delve in,

Invitation Accepted

(Katherine Edelman)

She stands by me,
this child of three,
Holding out
a picture book;
Her eyes in upward,
pleading look.

I think of pressing
tasks today,
Of waiting things
of near demand,
Yet swiftly reach
for her small hand,
And go with her
to Fairyland.

Build Some Memories

(Trudy Doll)

I'm all tucked in and ready for sleep
Please read me a story and I won't make a peep.
Just one more page, just one more chapter
I want to know if there's a happy ever after.

A part of yourself you'll give to me
As you turn the pages of a fantasy.
We can be courageous, brave and bold
As we fly to the future or to days of old.

We may cry together, you and I
When we read of injustice and wonder why.
Or we may laugh together in the funny parts
Yes, books are a blending of our hearts.

I pray no matter how old I may be
That someone so dear will read to me.
And when I'm a parent with a child of my own
I'll read to them, a story or poem.

And my children shall treasure our nighttime tale
Not only the story, but our closeness as well.
So now I'm tucked in and ready for sleep
And in my heart your love I'll keep.

Story Hour

(Beulah Fenderson Smith)

Each night, before you sleep, you wait to hear a tale unfold;
Hansel and Gretel, Puss-in-Boots, King Midas and his gold;

I read the old familiar words and watch your shining eyes
The moment that you know the Frog's a fine Prince in disguise;

We hear the Emperor's nightingale; we wander through the night
To find the seven kindly dwarfs who loved the fair Snow White;

My heart grows lighter every time we climb the twilit stair--
Tonight the maiden Rapunzel lets down her golden hair!

I know this story time will pass; that you will soon be grown
To sit, with book in hand, beside a daughter of your own.

Then will your heart remember, then will you understand
How magical can be the gates that lead to Fairyland--

The way they swing, to show, beyond, a lost, enchanted street
Where tired mothers run again--on winged, small-girl feet.

A Book

(Lora Daunt)

A book is pages, pictures and words
A book is animals, people and birds
A book is stories of queens and kings
Poems and songs--so many things!
Curled in a corner where I can hide
With a book I can journey far and wide
Though it's only paper from end to end
A book is a very special friend.

Books to the Ceiling

(Arnold Lobel)

Books to the ceiling,
books to the sky.
My pile of books are a mile high.
How I love them!
How I need them!
I'll have a long beard
by the time I read them.

The Reading Mother

(Strickland Gillilan)

I had a Mother who read to me
Sagas of pirates who scoured the sea,
Cutlasses clenched in their yellow teeth,
"Blackbirds" stowed in the hold beneath

I had a Mother who read me lays
Of ancient and gallant and golden days;
Stories of Marmion and Ivanhoe,
Which every boy has a right to know.

I had a Mother who read me tales
Of Gelert the hound of the hills of Wales,
True to his trust till his tragic death,
Faithfulness blent with his final breath.

I had a Mother who read me the things
That wholesome life to the boy heart brings--
Stories that stir with an upward touch,
Oh, that each mother of boys were such

You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be
I had a Mother who read to me.

The Miracle of the Beginning Reader

I wiggle and jiggle
And rock upon my chair.
I wiggle my loose tooth,
And I twirl a strand of hair.

I chew on several fingers
And I sometimes suck my thumb.
I tap the reading table
Like I'd play upon a drum.

I kick my foot with rhythm
Lose the place where I should look.
I rub my nose and clear my throat,
And sometimes drop my book.

I look outside the window
And I look down at the floor,
I pay very close attention
When someone's at the door.

I close my eyes and rest my head;
My teacher's heart must bleed.
But in spite of all of this
I'm learning how to read!


(Anatole Broyard)

A good book is never exhausted. It goes on whispering to you from the wall. Books perfume and give weight to a room. A bookcase is as good as a view, as the sight of a city or a river. There are dawns and sunsets in books--storms, fogs, zephyrs.
I read about a family whose apartment consists of a series of spaces so strictly planned that they are obliged to give away their books as soon as they've read them. I think they have misunderstood the way books work.
Reading a book is only the first step in the relationship. After you've finished it, the book enters on its real career. It stands there like a badge, a blackmailer, a monument, a scar. It's both a flaw in the look, like a crack in the plaster, and a decoration. The contents of someone's bookcase are part of his history, like an ancestral portrait.

The World's Thinnest Books

songs about books, reading, stories, tales, and legends are at the end of the file.

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Page Toppers



(Richard Armour)

Here is where people,
One frequently finds,
Lower their voices
And raise their minds.

Silence, Please

A library is a place you are told
to keep quiet in,
And you can make a sail plane but you'd
better not fly it in;

Where people whisper out loud but nobody speaks
And everyone's shoes suddenly get squeaks;

Where you're not supposed to notice
if something should fall,
And they answer the phone as if it had
bad manner to ring at all.

The best thing about a library, though, is
thoughts that go walking
By themselves, and that's why there's no talking.

The Library

(Barbara A. Huff)

It looks like any building
When you pass it on the street,
Made of stone and glass and marble,
Made of iron and concrete.

But once inside you can ride
A camel or a train,
Visit Rome, Siam, or Nome,
Feel a hurricane,
Meet a king, learn to sing,
How to bake a pie,
Go to sea, plant a tree,
Find how airplanes fly,
Train a horse, and of course
Have all the dogs you'd like,
See the moon, a sandy dune,
Or catch a whopping pike.
Everything that books can bring
You'll find inside these walls.
A world is there for you to share
When adventure calls.

You cannot tell its magic
By the way the building looks,
But there's wonderment within it,
The wonderment of books.

Book Return Game

(Walter Chase)

Think of fitting ways the following books might come back if you loaned them to a friend.
Example: I loaned my book on SWIMMING and it came back WET.

  1. Formal wear
  2. Cooking
  3. Canine care
  4. Monty Python humor
  5. Rabbits
  6. Cowards
  7. Grocery pricing
  8. Math


  1. Without its jacket
  2. Burned
  3. Dog-eared
  4. Bent
  5. With several additional copies
  6. Without its spine
  7. Marked up
  8. Divided in two (but getting it back at all was a problem)

(if you have other suggestions please let me know)

Counter Force

(Eritha Yardley - from Reader's Digest)

Shortly after our family moved to Ibadan, Nigeria, I acquired public library cards for our three children and myself. We selected one or two books apiece and took them to the checkout counter. "I'm sorry," the librarian told us, "but you may not take these." I showed her our cards. "No, I'm sorry," she said. "You must take out eight."
"But these are what we want," I insisted.
"This is not permitted," she stated firmly. "You must take out eight apiece." She lowered her eyes and turned away. Fuming, we selected eight books apiece and shuffled away under a mountain of books.
At home, however, we read and loved every one of them. We later returned for 32 more. I think that librarian knew something I didn't.

The New Librarian

The new librarian decided that, instead of checking out children's books by writing their names on the cards herself, she would have them sign their own names. She would then tell them they were signing a 'contract' for returning the books on time.
Her first customer was a second-grader. He brought four books to the desk and pushed them across to her.
She pushed the books back and told him to sign the cards himself. The boy laboriously printed his name on each book card and then handed them to her. Before she could even start her speech, he said scornfully, "That other librarian we had could write."

Songs about Libraries

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Songs about Books

Songs about Reading

Songs about Stories

Songs about Tales and Legends

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