Encouraging a love of reading in Bishopston & beyond

central-library-039 (1)I am a huge reader and always have been. I would love my children to grow up to love books as much as I do.

My parents recently gave me many of my old childhood books which had been stored in their attic for many years and I have been enjoying re-discovering them and reading them to my children. I particularly love the simplicity and innocence that children’s books offer.

Roald Dahl’s books have been a hit with my children, especially my well-worn copy of The Magic Finger and they also both enjoy listening to Boy, which contains tales of Roahld Dahl’s school days and the pranks that he and his friends got up to.

My children and I are currently working through The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton, reading a chapter every night before bedtime, and they love hearing the tales of the many magical lands that arrive at the top of the Faraway Tree.

central-library-041I, myself have be re-reading my childhood favourites Charlotte Sometimes by Penelope Farmer and Moondial by Helen Cresswell, both fantastic children’s authors.

My children are a little too young to enjoy these books properly at the moment but these books sit on my bookshelf patiently waiting, along with many books waiting to be read when my children are older, such as The Secret Seven series by Enid Blyton and classic collections of ghost stories by well-known writers.

If you would also like to encourage a love of reading in your children, there are some great places in Bishopston and beyond to help you do this. Most of the charity shops on Gloucester Road stock second-hand children’s books, as well as the Children’s Hospice South West charity shop Little Steps on Zetland Road.

And another place to  find some children’s books (or some books for yourself) at a bargain price is the Books for Amnesty bookshop at 103 Gloucester Road where there is a very good section of children’s books, including board books for very young children, picture books, children’s classics and much more: all shelved at a low level so your children can sit and look through them.

Bishopston Books at 259 Gloucester Road also offers children’s books (plus some vintage books also), as well as a huge selections of adults books also. This shop is open 5 days a week and is great for finding some bargains.

central-library-031Libraries also are a great place to encourage a love of reading. I would highly recommend Henleaze Library which I regularly visit with my children (and also used to visit when I was a child)!

It has a huge children’s section of fiction for children of all ages, as well as non-fiction also, plus it has little seats, cushions and cuddly toys for your children to snuggle up with while you all get lost in the world of books for an hour or so.

There are also regular free drop-in storytime sessions in term-time for young children at most libraries in Bristol and Henleaze Library is no exception, offering Baby Bounce and Rhyme on Thursdays 2 – 2.30pm and Pre-school Children’s Storytime on Thursdays at 10.45 – 11.15am. Henleaze Library is open Monday to Saturday and you can find it on Northumbria Drive, BS9 4HP.

central-library-012Cheltenham Road Library also has a good children’s book section including picture books and factual books. Baby Bounce and Rhyme is held on Wednesdays in from 11 – 11.30am and Pre-school Storytime is held on Mondays from 11 – 11.30am.

Another local library where you can find some great children’s books is Horfield Library which is situated on Filton Avenue.  Horfield Library’s Baby Bounce and Rhyme sessions are held on Fridays from 11 – 11.30am and Pre-school Children’s Storytime is held on Tuesdays 11 – 11.30am.

And, if you fancy venturing a bit further afield, a trip to the Bristol Central Library will leave neither you nor your kids disappointed. There is a huge children’s section of books and also tables with crayons and drawing materials, plus a huge pirate ship to explore, with children’s books on board!

central-library-026Bristol Central Library is open every day of the week (but please note will be temporarily closed on weekdays from next Monday until Thursday 24th March).

Central Library runs Baby Bounce and Rhyme on Tuesday 10 – 10.30am, Pre-school Children’s Storytime on Tuesdays 11.30am – 12 noon and Rhymetime – action songs for children of all ages – on Saturdays 11.30am – 12 noon, plus on Monday and Friday afternoons 2 – 2.30pm.

The above libraries, plus many more libraries around Bristol, also often offer great free weekend and school holiday activities – please keep an eye on the Bishopston Mum What’s On page for upcoming events at local libraries, plus my other website, Bristol Mum lists other upcoming events at libraries a bit further afield.

I hope this post has given you some useful ideas of how to encourage a love of reading in your children. Happy reading everyone!