official book count in our RV

We have one pink bin for children's books in our RV. I counted today and it has 72 books in it (which is far too few).

official book count in our RV 1 official book count in our RV 2

I'm not sure how many we had prior to our RV life, but I would venture to say that we had at least 1000. Even then, we went to the library once a week.

Now, we have a tiny percentage of those books AND we don't have library cards. Killing. Me.

official book count in our RV 3 official book count in our RV 4

We still read books daily (but we're getting bored with our sparse selection). I have "Madeline" memorized word-for-word. Try me.

I think we went to the local library almost every day that we were in Woodbine, Georgia last week. We would sit in the children's area for 1-2 hours at a time to read stacks of books...even our 2-year-old was captivated & quiet.

How many children's books are in your house? Do you recognize any of the books from our pile?

If you had to pare down your children's book collection, which books would you keep or give away?

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43 comments on “official book count in our RV”

  1. We love books...not sure of how many we have, but our bookshelf is always disheveled and a mess. Whenever I organize the books in any way they are all pulled off of the shelf again. We love to read all kinds of books. Right now, Analise's favorite is The Princess and the Kiss and Jameson has been taking Curious George to bed with him!

  2. Books are something that I have a hard time parting with - we fall right into that catagory of owning hundreds. And we also take our girls to the library at least once a week, sometimes twice. In fact we checked out "Only You" after reading your post mentioning how your youngest enjoys it - it has quickly become my 17 month old's favorite. I have every intention of purchasing a copy to call our own. Thanks for recommending it!

    1. I'm so glad you like "Only You" as much as we do! We kept that one (as you probably noticed from the picture above).

  3. I bet we're right up there with your 1,000 that you had at home. Every time I try to get rid of some, I just can't. Young readers often go back to toddler books when they start reading, so we can't get rid of those. There are some that Michael will eventually be able to read, so we can't get rid of those, either. We'll just keep them all. I'm ok with it :)

  4. We went book crazy when we found out about baby 1. I bought every Little Golden Book I could get my hands on at garage sales. My in-laws knew this was "my thing" too, and they are big time garage salers, so would bring me a box full every time they came to visit. I finally had to tell them to stop. My kids still love to sit and look through their favorites, but they are library junkies now. My oldest is into reading chapter books, and quite frankly, so am I. Picture books just don't do it for me - not enough depth in the bulk of them. But, we have over 50 library books in our home at any given time. The beauty of it now is that I don't have to read those picture books anymore as baby 1 reads them to baby 2! YEAH!!!!! And baby 1 is SUPER into Daisy Meadows' Rainbow Fairy chapter books now. We "catch" her reading past 11p.m. now days and often have to go turn off her light as she falls asleep reading. Yeah, I know it's late, but she's in afternoon Kinder so who cares if she sleeps in. Right now, reading is MUCH MORE IMPORTANT than strict bedtime observance!
    We love chapter books so much around here that they are the "earned bonus" every night before bed. In other words, if getting ready for bed is painless and the girls take care of getting everything ready with good attitudes, they each earn two chapters. If other tasks are done exceptionally well, extra chapters are earned. Yes, I read an average of an hour a night to my kids, but it is so worth it and so much fun to get really into a good chapter book with them. Extra chapters are better than candy around here! It is one on one time with Mom, and they feel my love for them as well as for reading. Can't go wrong. Because I don't want to buy all of the chapter books as I know we'll probably only read them twice, we reserve LOTS at the library and visit weekly, sometimes more. We are reading nuts!

    1. I love this comment so much, Rena...especially the part about your oldest daughter staying up to 11pm to read under the covers! I used to the do that same thing and I hope my girls eventually love reading enough to follow suit.

  5. I don't know if I feel like counting books. Maybe. Then I could decide if some should be given away. Okay. I am now convinced. I'll do it & report back. Mkay?
    p.s. Buying books is a weakness. I keep getting rid of stuff & saying "we don't need anymore STUFF!" Then I go on Amazon and place another order...

  6. I think we probably have in the hundreds. But I love it. For a while there that's all they got as gifts and now that the boys are getting older, we buy them books they can read on their own. So the collection is growing! (Right now we're reading the Hardy boys together.)


  7. I recognize "Only You". (We won it on a blog giveaway you hosted.) I think we have about 100 books in our house and we bring home about 5 books from the library each week.

    Have you thought about any of those swap services such as or I've never tried them, but if you don't have a library card this might be another option besides

  8. Whittling down books would be tough for me, too...there is so much about our giant book collection that I LOVE. However, since we travel a lot, I've started downloading kids books on our kindle and my girls love it! Some of them even have pictures :) My older daughter loves the easy reader books. It works on my phone, too, with the Kindle App for Droid, or on my computer with the Kindle app for my Mac. (both are free). Some chapter books are free, too, like Dr. Doolittle, Pipi Longstocking, etc... I know it's just not the same as holding the book in your hands, but for the lifestyle you are living right now, it might make sense :)

    1. A Kindle is definitely on our wish list! As soon as our budget allows, we're going to buy one. I'm certain it will be perfect for our on-the-road life. :)

  9. We have tons of books. I couldn't even guess how many, and we too still go to the library often. You should check out some used book stores in your travels. Some of them take trade ins.

  10. We have around a dozen children's books. At 8 months my son would prefer to chew on a book than read it so I haven't bothered to get many. The ones we have were gifts. I am a big reader and will be happy when he gets old enough to enjoy a story.

  11. We have so many books in our library that I have some of them stacked away in our closet... small NYC apartment for ya! Yet still, I find time for book stores and reading events with my son. We love to read over here.

  12. I don't even know that I could count our books. I love books and started buying children's books as soon as I found out I was pregnant. For almost every holiday Jake gets new books. We have books in almost every room in our house.

    Reading your posts about how much stuff you have has had me looking around my house wondering what we needed to get rid of.

    I don't even know that I could think of which books I would keep or give away if we needed to get rid of some. Did you have certain things you were looking for when you went from a 1000 to 72?

  13. Your post really talks to one of my passions! We have lots & lots of books all around the house. As an Usborne Books & More consultant, I'm fortunate that I get to surround my children with wonderful books - and make money sharing them with others too! If you need to refresh your personal library while on your travels - visit my website: or send me an email and I'll help you make some great selections for the girls!

    When it is time to donate some of our books, (we donate them to the local library's used book sale) I let my children decide which ones can be given away and which ones are special enough to hold on too.

  14. I am a mom and a kindergarten teacher. I definitely have an addiction to children'spicture books. I can't even imagine having to pare down my books. At school I have a lot of them by theme and this changes periodically. I would definitely keep the books that won the Caldecott medal and ones by our favorite authors. I would also keep the ones at home that have been loved by my children. I will save a few of those for any future grandchildren.

  15. Our grands spent the weekend with us and we played games books! Our favorites were The Little Prince and A Street Through Time. Oh...and we played RISK and watched Tangled. A very good weekend! I'm a believer that one can never have too many books. We've been trying to figure out where we could put another bookcase. I'd look to have a room where every wall is book shelves. Would love it I tell you!

  16. I am not sure how many book I have. But my daughter has about 180. My husband and I on the other hand have a huge library full of book and I cannot count :D

  17. I have no idea how many we have but we have a TON of books. Over the past few months we have not been reading our book as we have been going to the library about twice a week. I love books and I love reading them many times. My dream is to have a den or a library in my house with bookshelves around the whole room just filled to the brim with books.

    1. That's a lovely dream. I would like the same thing...a home library with comfortable seating and a soft rug on the floor.

      1. Oh that would be my dream too - with a window seat that is super comfy so you can read in natural light and feel like you're outside! :)

  18. Wow! You have a lot of books! I love receiving children's books as gifts and giving them to my kids for special events. But I have to admit we rarely buy books at the store just because. But we do go to the library A LOT, just like you said. And now that my son is in preschool I've started buying from the Scholastic flyers. Do you remember those? There are GREAT titles in there at such low prices. Just last week I purchased an E.B. White set of Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little and The Trumpet of the Swan for only $6. That's $2/book! Where do you typically buy your books?

    1. Scholastic flyers! I had forgotten all about those. I wonder if I can get on a mailing list for that. But then again...we don't have a very stable address right now! :-/

      When we do buy books, we usually order from They have an unbeatable selection and MUCH better prices than brick-and-mortar bookstores.

  19. We have tons and tons of books, I can't even count how many. My friend threw me a book baby shower, where each guest was asked to bring a book. Then, for my present, my sister gave me a beautiful basket filled with all the books we read as children. She had a blast doing it.

    I just got a Kindle yesterday and I am so excited! I wonder how long it will take me to get to the maximum of 3,500 books???

    1. A book baby shower is such a good idea! I also think a book-themed birthday party would be fun...hmmm.

      Let me know how you like your Kindle. I hope to buy one within the next year.

  20. "In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines..."
    Yeah, I still have Madeline memorized from when My mom read it to me! I haven't introduced my daughter yet. I think she would love it. I feel your pain about being without a library!
    Have you tried I haven't used it in a couple of years and I never used it for children's books, but it might be an option...if you have a way to get mail!

    1. So I'm not the only one! ;)

      Thanks for the recommendation. I'm going to look into it, but I have a feeling it won't be a viable option for us. We change addresses every 1-2 weeks. It's a crazy pace we keep.

  21. We love books. I wrote about my weakness for buying children's books recently.

    I'm sure you guys are very bored of those books. Part of the reason I buy new books is because I get tired of the same old books all the time.

    We have Madeline and that Berenstain Bears book (along with about 50 others). If you are looking to buy more books, look for a library book sale near where ever you guys happen to be at the time.

  22. I have a set of Trixie Belden books from when I was in 4th and 5th grade up in my attic. I can't bear to part with them. I loved them so much. My girls are older than yours but they would read a book until it fell apart. I carefully taped the spines back together and tucked them away in our attic for when they are grown. We still have hundreds of books but now they line our bookshelves, our nightstands, are tucked away in bookbags and some have even been found under pillows! Books are one thing I don't consider clutter.

    Maybe you could find used bookstores in the towns you visit and trade....keeping your favorites but rotating in some new ones and then rehoming them at your next stop?

    1. I agree. Books are one thing I don't mind having A LOT of. :)

      We hope to seek out a used bookstore soon. I wonder if there is one in Asheville?

  23. i have like amillion books and ayaan has about 20 ! but he is not really that much of a reader ! though i wish he was ! love your RV !!!

  24. I think I see Goodnight Moon in the pile...that's the only one we share! We have a small house (I'm sure I'll get NO sympathy from you on that one!) so we keep the book pile smaller than I would like for Darah. But she still probably has around 200 books. I'm about to sign her up for story time at our nearby library...I'm hoping that will get her more interested in going to the library to read. She loves to read, but for some reason, she doesn't want to do it at the library. So weird! :-)

  25. I don't recognize any of the books as ones we have although I of course recognize Madeline. Could it be because I have your mirror ages in boys??? ;) We have lots of books about cars and planes and things that go. And while I don't know that we have 1,000 I probably would be surprised if I did count them... well into the 100's I'm sure! :) Books are awesome! Although my library is a bit overwhelming. I just hate books that aren't good and don't know how to pick good ones.

  26. You guys are really sacrificing! We have lots of books, most likely right around 1000. My mother in law saved all of my husbands books from his childhood so we have all sorts. What I love the most is that we have well over 50 (I'm guessing more towards 100) Berenstein Bear books. I love them! We have all of the really old ones which have such great values in them. So many books now a days are just not as wholesome! We have had some really bad ones. And come across some at the library that I just cannot stand.

    Our town has a small little library but in less than a year a new HUGE one will open in our town! I cannot wait!

  27. WOW, well I wasn't too far off with my Twitter guess of 57. :) I can't believe you fit that many in that little box. I imagine that I must have nearly 200 baby/toddler books. I have probably several hundred more childrens books, and probably over 100 teen books... It was painful for me to leave teaching b/c I really had to pare down my collection - there was no way I could've fit all those in our house!!!
    If I had to pare down. I would get rid of all "licensed" books like Disney, cartoon ones. I am not a fan of those. Then I would keep anything poetic, anything with great illustrations, anything with good figurative language. Anything character-building. I would limit the "series" books - I enjoy Berenstein Bears but... I would only keep a handful around.... Oh it would be SO hard. I don't know how you do it...

    1. The licensed books aren't my favorite either, but my mother-in-law gave us a huge collection of Disney books before we left (and the girls love we kept them!).

      Other than those, my criteria is similar to your criteria. I like books with beautiful art, strong characters, positive messages, educational components, and/or lyrical language.

  28. There's a reason I do children's book reviews and host Fiction Friday......we love books. I hesitate to count how many books are in the, adults, etc. I still have all my old books from when I was a kid...thank goodness my mom kept all those classics. :-)

    And I do love Madeline! :-) Enjoy the time you can spend in a library - even if it's few and far between.

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