Book Rotation: How To Guide

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We love books in our house. We have a lot because they’re just so good. Reading books means bonding time between parents and kids, quiet entertainment and built in learning. But there is such a thing as too many books. So, what do you do when books take over even though you’ve purged? A book rotation might just help.

Setting up a seasonal book rotation is quick and simple, plus it encourages kids to read!
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As a former teacher, we have a lot of books on a wide variety of topics. They range from heartwarming storybooks you would read every day to books about topics that are really only relevant for a short period of the year.

In my classroom, I would rotate books in and out depending on the season, holidays, and the current curriculum. When I left teaching to stay home with my children (and brought all my books with me), we ended up with A LOT of books. Honestly, it was too many to read or enjoy, so I implemented a book rotation system and it works beautifully.

Are you familiar with toy rotation? Book rotation works similarly!

Why rotate books seasonally?

Rotating books has a lot of benefits.

  • Fewer choices make selecting a book simpler
  • Takes up less display space
  • Helps keep books new and exciting
  • Increases kids’ interest in books
  • Helps kids connect reading to real life

Plus, it aligns perfectly if you’re trying to keep your home minimal, but have a soft spot for books.

"New" books cause a lot of excitement when they're first brought out!
Catch a glimpse of our in-rotation toys here!

Related Post: Why Moms Need Minimalism

Setting Up a Seasonal Book Rotation

So how do you find seasonal books? Well, as with most organizing “how to” you start by gathering all your books. Yes, really. Then you sort, sort, sort.

Gather and Sort Books

Once you’ve gathered the books, start looking through them. Common themes will emerge. Focus on holiday books first, those are usually very easy to spot. I’m betting you have a lot of books about Christmas or Hanukkah if you celebrate one or both. We also have Easter, Valentine’s Day, Halloween, and Thanksgiving.

Other holiday books you might have include Groundhog’s Day, Chinese New Year, President’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Saint Patrick’s Day, Earth Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Ramadan, Cinco de Mayo, Juneteenth, Father’s Day, Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Veteran’s Day, Kwanza, and New Year’s.

Side Note: Books are wonderful ways to explore diversity, cultures, and inclusion. Purchase some books on topics you don’t know about or grab some at the library!

Next, you can take it a step further and look for seasons (winter, spring, summer, and fall) and topics related to those seasons.

Setting up a seasonal book rotation is quick and simple, plus it encourages kids to read!

Winter topics:

  • hibernation
  • snow and ice
  • arctic animals
  • Winter Olympics/winter sports

Spring topics:

  • seeds
  • bugs
  • baby animals
  • baseball
  • spring cleaning
Sort books by topic or season for your book rotation.
Berenstain Bears never disappoints with seasonal topics.

Summer topics:

  • vacations/beach/camping
  • summer camps
  • Summer Olympics/summer sports
  • gardening
  • Back to School
  • 9-11
Display in-rotation books to draw attention!

Fall topics:

  • changing leaves
  • costumes
  • pumpkins
  • apples

Once you lay all your books out and look through the titles with this thought in mind if coming up with themes for the year, it becomes quite easy to identify books that fit the within each category.

Off rotation books can be tucked away in a closet.

Storing out-of-rotation books

We store most of our out-of-rotation seasonal books in a bin, tucked away in a cabinet in our laundry room/home office. I use a Large MultiPurpose Bin from The Container Store, but any bin or any open shelf will work!

Christmas books are the only books not included in this bin because we have so many. They are in their own box with our Christmas decorations. Sometimes I’ll put them all out in a basket during the Christmas season, other times I’ll bring out one book a day, like a Christmas Book Advent Calendar.

When I first started this system, I put all the books in order by topic from January through December. As I pull one topic of books out, I put the old topic away in the back of the bin. Doing this consistently means that the next books I want will always be in the bin’s front.

Seasonal book rotation can be quick and simple!

Displaying In-Rotation Books

New books in the playroom are always an exciting event in our house. I set the in-season books up on a bookshelf standing up open (like a library book display) so they catch kids’ attention, or they’re put in a wire basket in our playroom.

Either way, my kids quickly notice when there are new books and it pretty much guarantees me a half an hour of reading time.

How Much Time Does a Book Rotation Take?

The answer to how long a book rotation takes varies. The initial process of sorting and categorizing your books can take up to an hour, depending on how many books you have.

Once you have the systems set up, it only takes a minute to rotate the old books out and the new books in, especially if you use the rotation system within the bin that was mentioned above.

Seasonal Book Rotation

A seasonal book rotation is a simple and fun way to freshen up a space, keep your kids motivated, and get everyone involved in learning and reading about relevant topics. It’s almost like buying them new books without having to spend money or bring anything new into your home.

Setting up a book rotation system doesn't have to be complicated!

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