Does your home have an environment that fosters reading? Our oldest sons room recently had a “book face lift” and he has been reading more books in the past few days than ever before! All it took was a few dollars and simply changing the direction our books faced!
In graduate school, my Masters thesis was on the subject of Increasing Reading Motivation in Children. In my research, almost all of the studies on reading motivation centered around the importance of creating an environment that fosters reading. With that in mind, ever since our big move to Texas, I’ve been dying to better organize my boys books to create a better reading environment in our oldest son’s room, with the goal of encouraging their desire to read. During my browsing on Pinterest months ago, I had come across the idea of rain gutter bookshelves and immediately knew that was exactly what we needed. Covers of books (much more than bindings) are so enticing and are created to be so for a reason; to draw a reader into their story. It’s a shame that books are not displayed with their covers showing in more schools, libraries, and homes. Walking into Big Brother’s room the next morning, I realized that the change had worked. My husband was on the top bunk reading to both boys (my husband later told me that it was our son’s idea to go to his room and read). Both boys have spent considerably more amounts of time in the room ‘reading.’ Big Brother has been so excited to show Little Brother his ‘long lost’ favorite books that seem to have reappeared because now he can actually SEE them. This is exactly what I had intended the rain gutter bookshelves to do!
- Vinyl Rain-Gutters (usually come in 10ft sections)
- End cap sets (one set for each shelf)
- Couplers/corner pieces (optional- needed if you decide to have your shelf turn a corner)
- Wood screws
- Tape measure
- Level (2ft level works well or if you have a laser level- that would be ideal)
1. Decide how many shelves and where you will put them. Measure out the length of your shelf before buying materials.
2. Find studs along wall at shelf height. (Optional- If you want, using the level, draw a line down along the center of where the stud is in the wall. This will allow you to have your studs lined out for any shelves that may be below another shelf.)
3. Cut the rain gutters to length and attach end caps. (It is important to attach all end caps and couplers prior to mounting on the wall- it is much easier.)
4. Using your level (and probably someone to help hold the gutter up) place gutter on the wall and screw (using wood screws) the gutter into place. Make sure that your screws are in the stud. (If the screws spin after going all the way to the wall, then you’ve missed the stud. Don’t try to unscrew that screw, simple finish attaching the gutter to the wall and go back and insert another screw into the stud near the one that missed.)
5. Repeat for each additional shelf.
6. Enjoy your books and read!
(My Little Man knew EXACTLY where every book needed to be placed! 😉 )
(Big Brother reading to an anxious listener.)