A whole bunch of book suggestions: And three short videos

Earlier this year, I came to an uncomfortable realization.

I owed too many books. Let me clarify that unexpected statement a bit. My HEART did not own too many books, but my HOUSE did. And, while my heart wanted to keep all those books, it also knew — deep down — that getting those books off my shelves and into the hands and minds of kids would be the better choice.

So, I sorted through all my bookshelves and came up with stacks of books that I shared with The Madison Reading Project, local Little Free Libraries and a few other spots.

As I was sorting, I realized that a lot of my books could be grouped into categories. And, those categories might be of interest to folks who love picture books as much as I do.

So … I made stacks of the remaining books by topic all over the floor of my book room. (Yes, I have a book room. Don’t judge. It makes me happy.) Then, I had to figure out how to share my book stacks.

I thought of book reels right away, like the ones I’ve seen on Instagram and TikTok — quick videos that show a pile of books that someone rapidly flips through — usually to cool background music. The only problem? I had absolutely no idea how to create these. And doing so seemed … scary.

But, I learned — with the assistance and patience of Brenda Eckhardt. It turns out that making mini-videos is fun rather than scary. I’ve made several reels so far, and have been sharing them on Instagram at @patzmill. I’ve also made some just plain funny bookish videos, and think I now have a new hobby. My oldest daughter saw my ring light set-up and said, “Mom! You’re creating content!” And, I guess I am.

Anyway … Here are the first three reels I made. One showcases books for library lovers. The next is books for folks who love cats, and the third highlights my favorite board books for baby gifts.

More will be forthcoming. After all, I still have stacks of books on my book room floor. If you’d like to see more of my book stack videos when I share them going forward, follow me on Instagram.





  1. What a challenge to narrow down which books to keep, but I love the act of sharing your surplus, Pat! 😊
    I’ve been seeing your videos. Well done!

  2. Michael Henriksen

    A book room?
    No judgement – just respect! And envy…

  3. Angie Quantrell

    I LOVE it! And I love that you have a book room! That is awesome! Fun stuff!

  4. Fun book reels πŸ™‚ When we moved from WA to SC I gave away half of our home library (the biggest room in the house). It was really hard. But I’m surprised how quickly we’ve accumulated just as many books as we gave away… When my son went to college, his bedroom became a library for adult nonfiction πŸ™‚ But we still have too many books. And I need to not be so attached and practicing detachment by giving away even the books I might want to re-read. It helps that we have a library within walking distance.

  5. Great job on creating videos! You’ve encouraged me to try!

  6. Love this!

  7. It is so hard to part with books. I think of them as dear friends!
    I love your videos. Do you care if I cpy your idea?

  8. Good for you on learning how to make videos! I, too, am teaching myself using You Tube as my teacher. I love the one of you doing the “book walk.” πŸ™‚

  9. I’m jealous you have a book room. How cool is that!

  10. Love the little videos! My office is quickly becoming a book room. I need to sort and give some away, too! Thanks for the inspiration!

  11. I haven’t made a reel yet. You are inspiring!

  12. Pat, I love your creative content and enjoy your Instagram posts.

    I also love that you have a bookroom!

    Thank you for writing books that kids like to read.

  13. Loreli Stochaj

    A whole book room… I am jealous.

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