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It sounds like a really great program. Unfortunately, when I tried to sign up it wasn't available in my area. It wasn't really clear why until I read this article which says, "available in communities where a local partner has teamed up with the Imagination Library." I wished they had at least offered some sort of suggestion or mailing list for those who they can't service. I could likely afford to buy a book each month, but don't have the time to spend researching which ones are worth buying.

Similarly, my pediatrician hands out an age-appropriate book at each visit.

Our local (rural) community foundation signed up, in case there is one near you under which you'd like to light a spark.

My kids got those books for years and it was fun and nice to come home to such a generous and quality gift. But the library, library book sales, and other local sources like garage sales or credit-swapping consignment shops are also enough alone around here to pile the books quite high. In addition, screen time is absolutely wicked these days compared to when I was a kid. Hoopla is amazing, as are the various sandbox games in which you can mine, farm, build, design, and just explore. I grew up glued to the computer so I take a pretty "whatev" approach as long as I know the screen-activity characteristics are broadly "good" or better yet "fitting for my kid's psychological needs".

Yeah, the library is a great resource. Another parent and I were talking the other week about handing-down books, but young kids are absolutely brutal with books. There are books I've already bought 2-3 times. I do look forward to donating the books that have survived to my local library or to another family when he outgrows them.

The thing I really like about this program, that I have a difficult time doing in my own, is a regular age-appropriate book. It's hard to remind yourself every few weeks to try something new. When you think of books you liked as a kid, like "there's a monster at the end of this book," isn't always at the right level for your child and I always err on what he liked yesterday not really knowing what he'll grow into next.

True, they could include a link to how to be come a local agent in their 'rejection' letter. Municipal stuff like that tends to be easy to figure out, ie knowing someone who works at a library.

Successful charities always require community involvement. As the sibling comment says, the real criticism is that they don't encourage you to get involved.

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