Take a Break, Grab a Catalog, and Keep ’em Reading!

Let me paint a picture for you.

A duffel, a trunk, and several random bags have entered my house this past week, full of clothing, towels, shoes, sheets, a flashlight, magazines, friendship bracelets, clay pots, and piles and piles of memories.catalog1

It’s so much fun to go to camp, and even though the packing lists can be overwhelming, it is always exciting when the “camp towels” and sleeping bag gets pulled from the attic.

Less fun? Putting it all away.

In fact, it is a total drag. So, when the house got abnormally quiet this morning and the daughter wasn’t in her room, I went on the prowl to find that child and encourage (a nice way of putting it) her to get her belongings under control.

And then, I spotted her: curled up on the couch . . . reading. Sigh.

Looking closer, I spy her reading material: catalog2

The uncommongoods catalog.

Not ‘real’ reading, you say? I don’t care. She has read quite a few books and magazines this summer, was, in fairness, due for a break, and, if I’m being totally honest, it is one of my favorite things to read, too.

And for the record – it is real reading. For sure I don’t wish catalogs to be the only print she reads, but they make for a fine side dish. Besides, if you can get past the marketing mumbo-jumbo, catalogs can inform and inspire. There are some interesting products out there, some that require thought and creativity. It is a giant, fascinating world, and what people think to make and sell can actually be rather intriguing.

So, this got me to thinking: what other non-traditional reading material is out there for kiddos? Or, as I just said, if we’re being truthful, for all of us?

If your mailbox is anything like mine, it bulges with all kinds of junk mail, flyers, weekly ads, real estate listings, and the like. Instead of it hitting the recycling upon arrival, sift through it! See if there is anything that might be read over a bowl of after-dinner ice cream. Maybe something interesting? Useful? Funny? A conversation starter?

~What is on sale at the grocery store this week?grocery

~Which political candidate’s message seems the most sincere? Or the most contrived? (Or, do you spot any typos?!)

~Just how old does this retirement home who keeps sending my daughter advertisements think she is?

Cereal boxes! Don’t eat cereal? Well, whatever is out (Box of cookies? Bag of trail mix? The back of the ketchup bottle?) just might have something to be read on it.

The Newspaper! Okay, maybe this isn’t so non-traditional, but if the headlines don’t interest your child, see if there is another section that might! Dear Abby? The comics? Look at the Want Ads or the cars for sale; maybe there is something hilarious or fascinating in there!

Does your house have a chalkboard, message board, or family calendar? Leave thought-provoking quotes or funny missives on them – encourage your family to do the same!

What are your out of the ordinary reading options? Please share! And, of course,

Keep Reading,



Contact me at fplweb (at) frontporchlibrarian dot com

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