The Nick and Kristen Neubaum Permanent Book Fund

According to the National Institutes of Health, parents’ reading skill is the greatest determinant of their child’s future academic success, and in the case of Kaitlyn (12), Megan (8), and Lauren (3) Neubaum, their success is assured. Their parents, Nick and Kristen Neubaum, have filled their house and their lives with books. They firmly believe that early childhood literacy creates smarter children. To share their love of reading with others, they created a Permanent Book Fund to buy family audiobooks. Many weekends will find the Neubaums heading out on a camping trip, and they always bring along an audiobook to enjoy together. They’ve listened to all of the Magic Tree House, Jigsaw Jones, and Geronimo Stilton series, and on their latest Spring Break trip to Anasazi ruins in Utah, they listened to two Jigsaw Jones Mysteries–The Case of the Mummy Mystery and The Case of the Glow in the Dark Ghost.

The Neubaum’s house is filled with books. In addition to a whole room that serves as a library, with a comfortable couch and chairs, everyone has their own shelves in their bedrooms. Kaitlyn is reading The Hunger Games, which is consistent with her love for adventure books. She also has enjoyed books by J.K. Rowling and Margaret Peterson Haddix. Megan likes the Boxcar Children, the Cabin Creek Mysteries by Kristiana Gregory, and A to Z Mysteries by Ron Roy. Little Lauren likes Clifford the Big Red Dog, and anything having to do with counting and the alphabet.

Every night before they go to bed, the girls read (or are read to), and they take books with them wherever they go. The family regularly visits the Montrose Regional Library, and they’re glad that the Library offers all kinds of formats, such as e-books and audiobooks. As an ophthalmologist at Colorado West Ophthalmology Associates, Nick is glad that the Library offers audiobooks and large print books for his patients. Kristen described how her grandmother relied on audiobooks when her eyesight deteriorated.

Kristen and Nick met at Colorado State University, where Kristen was getting a degree in bilingual elementary education, and Nick was studying medicine. Both are Colorado natives. Kristen grew up in Colorado Springs, and Nick in Pueblo and Cañon City. They spent time in Omaha (where Nick attended medical school at Creighton University) and in Columbia, Missouri and Loveland before moving to Montrose in 2004. Nick is a big fan of Westerns, and his shelves are full of complete collections of Louis L’Amour, Zane Gray, Max Brand, and Elmore Leonard. Kristen likes mysteries, especially Agatha Christie, and she really enjoyed the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. Kristen remembers taking turns reading aloud on family trips, Nick recalls that getting his first library card was a rite of passage.

The Neubaums are excited that their Permanent Book Fund will build the Library’s collection of audiobooks. Last year, their fund purchased several exciting titles, including The Sixty-Eight Rooms by Marianne Malone, an adventure that takes place in a miniature house at the Chicago Art Institute, and The Big Wander by Will Hobbs, about a 14-year old boy who travels to the remote canyons of the Navajo reservation to save his uncle. Check them out for your next road trip!