November 18, 2010

Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day, Part II

Filed under: Kids and Life,The Writing Life — jenny @ 9:27 am

Last night I went to sleep on an email from someone offering to to get her relatives involved in Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day.

Her relatives live in Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Idaho, and Washington.

One of my favorite bloggers, Peg Brantley, is going to write something, and get the word out in Colorado.

A bookstore owner in Tennessee just wrote.

Plans for the Day are growing. People seem to really like the idea.

And why not? Back in 1993 when Take Your Daughter to Work Day became established, there was a real need to show girls what kind of jobs they could hold in the future–who they might become.

Today, most women work, and my daughter would look at me cross-eyed if I suggested that once upon a time, it would have been difficult for her to become a doctor.

Right now it’s once upon a time that’s threatened.

And reading is as much about teaching a child who they might become as any future career is.

Oh, don’t get me wrong–children today are reading. Anecdotal accounts have them reading more than ever; this is certainly what I see with my friends’ kids. But it is undeniably hard to keep a bookstore afloat, and as the Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day website indicates, bookstores–the actual physical places–can be key to developing a lifelong love of reading.

So get on board, go to the website, print out a poster and ask your bookstore if you can hang it. Put one in your child’s school.

Most 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 Liz, but you’re still part of the Day in my heart).

Bring the child in your life along.

Go to a bookstore and tell the staff why you’re there!

Together we can make Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day a yearly event.


  1. Jenny – it’s a lovely idea!
    I’ve posted your banner at Meanderings and Muses and intend to take a poster to a local bookstore.
    I can’t imagine not having bookstores in our lives. I don’t think they take the place of our libraries, I just love the idea of having both. I certainly use both and would like to think that it’s a privilege our younger generations can have also.
    You are amazing!

    Comment by Kaye Barley — November 18, 2010 @ 1:53 pm

  2. Hi Jenny,

    I’m writing up a blog post on Women of Mystery for tomorrow to announce your idea of “Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day.” It’s a fabulous idea, and I would be happy to spread the word. I’ll write up a post for my personal blog, From Cop to Mom and the Words in Between, and I’ll tweet about it, and post it on Facebook, too.

    Best wishes, and congratulations on such a great idea!

    Kathleen A. Ryan

    Comment by Kathleen A. Ryan — November 19, 2010 @ 10:10 am

  3. Hello Jenny!

    Word of your movement has already reached Colorado thanks to the free-epublication of ‘Shelf Awareness’! They commented on this push today and I’ll be sure to print out fliers to hand in my store today.

    My own shop hasn’t been only long–just 3.5months now, but we’re doing our best to become a real community center. We really appreciate any effort like this to help encourage people to come to brick and mortar stores and especially to bring their children.

    Thank you VERY much for this and I look forward to having good news about the turn out! :D

    Becky Hancock of Calico Books
    300 Nickel Street
    Broomfield, CO 80020

    Comment by Becky H. — November 19, 2010 @ 10:35 am

  4. You’re making great progress here! I just Tweeted and FB shared. Be sure and give us prods so we can keep promoting.

    Comment by Hart — November 19, 2010 @ 12:21 pm

  5. The idea is wonderful, but the timing is terrible. December Saturdays are the busiest times of the year at bookstores. It would be much better to organize something like this at a time of year when bookstores are slow (February, or over the summer), so that kids are more likely to have a positive experience and so that clerks will be available if kids or parents want help finding books or getting recommendations.

    Comment by Rosemary Davis — November 19, 2010 @ 2:53 pm

  6. Thank you to everyone who has stopped by, left comments, and is spreading the word! Thank you, Kaye, for allowing this Day to share space at your wonderful blog, Meanderings & Muses, and same to Kathleen at From Cop to Mom. Thanks, Hart, for your Facebook efforts. And thank you, Becky of Calico Books. Thanks, Rosemary, for sharing your take. Maybe in future years we’ll change the timing for the reason you suggest. However, for this inaugural year, we thought it’d be best to capitalize on people’s need to shop at that time of year for holiday gifts. Maybe once the Day really takes, off we can shift it to spread around a wealth of children!

    Comment by jenny — November 19, 2010 @ 3:11 pm

  7. Your idea is spreading on Facebook now. It came to me through friends at the American Booksellers Association. That means many, many independent bookstores are probably getting on board right now. Great idea! Thanks for starting it.

    Comment by Jay G — November 19, 2010 @ 5:40 pm

  8. Thanks very much for letting me know, Jay! I’d like to do a Google map with push pins of all the bookstores who celebrate the Day in 2010. In future years, that list can be circulated to call attention to those stores, for a “Find a bookstore near you that celebrates TYCBD” resource, or the like…

    I would also like to pinpoint bookstores relatively near disadvantaged areas that don’t have any. How wonderful would it be if schoolkids who have never set foot inside–nor eyes upon–a bookstore could take a field trip to one? What if we could get donations–the Gates Foundation, say, or Geraldine Dodge–so that each child could purchase a book of his or her own?

    It makes me tear up just to put that idea into words.

    Comment by jenny — November 19, 2010 @ 11:06 pm

  9. Jenny — I love the idea of Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day! Here’s hoping it spreads like wildfire.

    Comment by Jael McHenry — November 21, 2010 @ 3:25 pm

  10. um…Why do it annually? For that matter, why wait until the 4th?

    Why not take a child to a bookstore–any bookstore–*EVERY* weekend?

    Comment by Ace — November 22, 2010 @ 11:51 am

  11. It’s a fantastic idea. To me the sheer joy of walking into a bookstore, taking a good sniff of all that paper and ink, and simply knowing there were fanastic tales for the reading lying in wait around every corner is an experience every child should grow up loving. Way to go, Jenny getting this message out there.

    Comment by Karyne — November 25, 2010 @ 2:14 pm

  12. Hi Jenny!

    Count us in! We are thrilled to participate and are grateful to you for coming up with such a wonderful idea!

    Litte Shop of Stories
    2010 Pannell Award winner
    Decatur GA

    Comment by Diane Capriola — November 29, 2010 @ 12:53 pm

  13. Thanks so much for taking the time and effort to get this off the ground. We opened our bookstore not quite 2 years ago and things are going well, but we like all small bookstores need all the recognition we can get.

    I am printing up flyers and handing them out to our customers this week. Will tweet and promote on FB. We will also figure out something to give to any parents and children who come to the store on Saturday and mention they are aware of the Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day.

    Paragraphs On Padre Boulevard
    South Padre Island, TX

    Comment by Joni Montover — November 29, 2010 @ 1:30 pm

  14. Welcome on board, Diane & Joni! Please visit, where your stores will soon be displayed on our site map!

    One of the hopes I have for Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day is that we will gain support from foundations on childhood literacy, so that children who may never have gone to a bookstore, or gotten to buy a book, will be able to do so. The organization I’ve been in touch with so far will base their decisions in part on how far reaching the movement is–so your participation really counts for a lot.

    After December 4th, I’ll be asking people to post comments on how the Day went for them. I can’t wait to hear how it turns out, and hope that we can see Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day grow for years to come!

    Comment by jenny — November 29, 2010 @ 7:01 pm

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