Hey everyone, it’s Finance Fridays again. Today we’re going to talk about the pretty simple concept of “Books are Unlimited“.
Books are Unlimited?
So remember how I talked about Non-Monetary Returns on Investment? This kind of follows along those lines.
Like I’ve talked about before, I think loving to read and a thirst for knowledge is very important. I didn’t realize how important it was until I was much, much older of course. The question is, how to cultivate the love of reading and the thirst for knowledge early on? The answer is not clear.
As a boy, my mom took me to the library every weekend, like clockwork. If you were done with your books, you got new ones. If you weren’t finished yet, you just renewed them. That’s pretty much how I grew up. I read a lot of books, but mostly about what interested me, which at the time, was baseball. I read just about every book that Matt Christopher ever wrote. However, more so than that, I actually learned a lot about the game of baseball in terms of the rules. After that, I moved on to baseball biographies, where I read about famous baseball players like Ty Cobb and Honus Wagner, as well as lesser known (but still great) players like Harmon Killebrew and Jimmy Foxx.
I think that one of the things that reading teaches us is just how vast the world is and the rich history that came before us. From this, you learn the importance of experiences over things and the want to make your mark on the world. However, this takes a long time to develop.
So how do we help our children along?
We make it easy for them.
For my mom, she made it easy for me to find some books to read. Our local library was just down the street from me and it was open every Saturday, but closed on Sunday. So every Saturday was a day to go to the library. That was normal for me.
However, for my daughter, we tend to have more things to do on Saturday. The kids both have swimming in the morning and while the library here is open in the early afternoon, we usually have other things to do in the afternoon. Additionally, since I work every other Saturday, it’s not that easy for me to take the kids.
That said, we are lucky enough to be pretty stable financially. We don’t waste money on expensive things and we’re good about evaluating things with our Value Cost Ratio. So, for that reason, I’ve adopted the “Books are Unlimited” policy. This idea came from a friend of my colleague. The idea is that whenever they go out somewhere, like the mall or something, kids are always going to be asking for toys. It’s normal for kids to want toys. So his policy was:
“You can only get one toy, but books are unlimited.”
Now, I don’t think he technically means “unlimited”. However, kids in general aren’t going to go into a book store and sweep books off the shelves and try to buy them. Maybe they’ll pick a few a that will be it for the trip. However, the idea is still the same, the ease of access to books is important. While it makes me cringe a little to spend $15 on a lunch plate dinner when I’m at work, I have no problem spending $20 on a few books for my kids. Costco is also great for this as well as they tend to have book collections for kids for reasonable prices.
Interesting… but doesn’t that get expensive?
Well. I’ve just started this policy, so I don’t know yet. However, I really don’t think so, overall.
Early on where most of their books are hardcover or softcover, it can get a little expensive. For example, my son just recently decided he likes books. He wasn’t quite as enthusiastic about them as his sister was at his age. However, because of this new enthusiasm, I quickly set to work to find books he likes. So I sat him in my lap at my computer and browsed Amazon. He decided on a bunch of Blaze and the Monster Machine and Spiderman books.
My wife and I prefer the “level 1” or “level 2” books because they are short with lots of pictures. Also, my daughter can practice reading them to her brother, which is a bonus. Interestingly, he really loves Spiderman out of all the super heroes. He’s not a huge fan of Superman, and prefers Batman over Superman. However, overall, he prefers Spiderman over Superman. In terms of Transformers, he prefers Bumblebee over Optimus Prime. I’m not sure how this happened… except that I realize Bumblebee is kind of the better “friend” in all the new Transformers movies. I guess he doesn’t really understand the leadership and self-sacrifice that Optimus Prime embodies because he didn’t grow up with the cartoons like me. However, I’ll eventually convince him that he is wrong… because objectively Optimus Prime is the best. 😀
Each book is about $5, so it can get expensive. However, once they are both old enough, I plan to get them their own Kindles. There are a ton of free books on Kindle and then if you get Kindle Unlimited ($10) then there is a ton of books available to you. This may or may not be worth it, depending on which books you like and which books are available on Kindle unlimited. Currently, I don’t think it’s worth it since most of the major publishing houses (Penguin Random House, Hachette, Macmillan, HarperCollins, or Simon & Schuster) are not part of it. This may change over time, but I imagine these major publishers will be resistant to allowing their books be on Kindle Unlimited. We’ll see whether it’ll end up being worth it or not once Kylie can read well enough.
Is this really a Finance Fridays kind of post?
You caught me… it’s not really. However, since it links in with Non-Monetary Returns on Investments I am including it here. I think love of reading helps develop a thirst for knowledge. So in a way, this thirst for knowledge will enable your children to want to learn about their finances and lead to a stable financial future.
I’m reaching I know… but I think it works. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Ease of access to books is important.
Unfortunately, getting to the library on a regular basis is kind of hard for me.
“You can only get one toy, but books are unlimited.”
I see Kindles in my future.
Kindle unlimited, however, I’m unsure about.
Agree? Disagree? Questions, Comments and Suggestions are welcome.
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