November 10, 2010

Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day

Filed under: The Writing Life — jenny @ 7:18 pm

If I ever get famous, I am going to establish this Day.

I think it will be on December, um, 8th. It’s my childhood best friend’s birthday. Also, it will honor John Lennon, who was a friend of artists everywhere. Just as bookstores are.

Maybe that’s a reach, but who cares? It’s MY holiday :)

We need to show our children the pleasure, not just of a story, or even of a book, but of a bookSTORE.

A place of half-hidden treasures just waiting to be discovered. Where you pluck things off  shelves that are richer than jewels. Scheherazade’s lair.

Heck, who knows how long it’ll be before the words “Jenny Milchman says to take your kid to a bookstore” hold the slightest modicum of power?

Do it this December 8th anyway. Let your child pick whatever book she or he wants from the shelf. Let him or her feel it. Smell it. Pore over it.

Then read it to your child.

And as the peace sinks into you, as you see the light on your child’s face, reflect a little yourself.

The book? $14 at Amazon. That comfy chair you’re sitting on, the remnant of carpet, as seen at my favorite independent? Free at a garage sale.

The bookstore? Priceless.


  1. Personally, I *love* the children’s section at my local independent bookstore; they (of course!) have a Thomas the Tank Engine railway, but also a sweet atmosphere, and ladders that ascend (perhaps dangerously) into the stacks and stacks and shelves and shelves of treasures and wonders. Brothers Grimm? Spot? Where the Sidewalk Ends? JP Morgan Had a Horse? Charlotte’s Web? Yes–they have them all, no matter what level of reading your child is it, no matter what subject your child loves. Some are displayed eye-catchingly outward-facing; some laze in baskets upon the floor, the better for tiny hands to grasp and love. I know where I am doing much of my shopping this Christmas.

    Comment by Savvy — November 11, 2010 @ 10:04 am

  2. I love bookstores!

    Comment by Judy — November 11, 2010 @ 10:47 am

  3. My favorite children’s bookstore, Square Books, Jr.:

    Comment by Stephen — November 11, 2010 @ 10:56 am

  4. I love bookstores. I love them MORE when I have a little money to spend, which at the moment i don’t, but they are my favorite kind of store.

    Ann Arbor’s last remaining independent book store even has a Fairy Door (there are about a dozen in town, but I love the reading fairies)

    Definitely love the idea for a Bookstore day.

    Comment by Hart — November 11, 2010 @ 12:03 pm

  5. One of my favorite memories was the time spent reading to (and with) my daughters. She’d climb up on my lap, book in hand, and I would read aloud, often pausing so she could fill in the gap with the next word.

    The voice would change my voice to match the character, gruff and slow for one, smooth and sly for the villain, higher pitched and fast paced for the protagonist. Every night before bedtime it was our ritual, our personal time together, just her, me and the story we shared.

    I’m not so young, now, and the daughters are grown and on their own. But the memories remain, warm embers in the evening fires.

    Comment by Tom — November 11, 2010 @ 12:43 pm

  6. It is lovely to hear all these anecdotes–WHAT are fairy doors exactly, Hart?–Savvy, I love the way you put it–and Tom, your last line made me tear up.

    When my daughter was two, my dad took care of her on Mondays. That year all she wanted to do was be read to. For as much as eight hours a day, my dad would read story after story after story after…He said it was more tiring than going to the playground! Oh how we both loved this stage, though.

    Take Your Child to a Bookstore starts this December 8th, I guess :)

    I’ll be there for sure.

    Comment by jenny — November 11, 2010 @ 7:20 pm

  7. Stephen, I will put that on my List. You and me both, Judy :)

    Comment by jenny — November 11, 2010 @ 7:20 pm

  8. Great idea, Jenny!

    Comment by Brenda — November 11, 2010 @ 7:54 pm

  9. One the advice of a child I met while hunting through the children’s section of my local indie bookstore, I bought several volumes of Captain Underpants for my nephews. They were a big hit. Advice out of the mouths of babes.

    Comment by Carolyn J. Rose — November 11, 2010 @ 7:55 pm

  10. Now that my kids are grown, maybe I can hope for grandkids to introduce to the wonders of books!

    Comment by Shelley Stout — November 13, 2010 @ 4:24 pm

  11. [...] of all, come on out on December 4th (since my first post we’ve changed the date so that it is always the first Saturday in December; sorry, John, and [...]

    Pingback by Suspense Your Disbelief » Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day, Part II — November 18, 2010 @ 9:27 am

  12. [...] I almost forgot, if you’re not following Jenny Milchman (soon-to-be-known author and Friend to Subourbon Wife {FSW}, and you have kids – and like books -you’re missing out. Poor [...]

    Pingback by Summer, So Far | Subourbon Wife — July 11, 2011 @ 7:01 pm

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