Friday, December 5, 2014

Take a Child to a Bookstore Day - did you know?

Quote of the day:

About the heart of the day:

Jenny Milchman , (mystery/thriller author), established the first "Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day"  in 2010.  It was to take place the first Saturday in December and it is now 5 years strong and growing.  What a wonderful opportunity to buy locally and have your child experience the fun and excitement of browsing in a "real" Bookstore, being allowed to choose a book (or two or ten), and feeling empowered to become a successful, lifelong reader.  Come on everyone, get on board and get your kids reading this season, away from the t.v. and video games...your Bookstore awaits.

Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day
How to Build Literacy, Support Community 

Make Magic Happen 
All in One Day

In 2010 I had two young children whom I was bringing to story hour at our local bookstore almost every week. After all, what better activity to do with kids? It was enriching, fun, even relaxing. I didn’t have to feel guilty when I drank that 700 calorie butterscotch latte from the coffee bar. I was running back and forth between adult fiction and the flower-flocked children’s section—working off the calories for sure.

My kids probably didn’t realize it was as much of a treat for me as for them. Which started me thinking—were other parents in on this secret? How many children knew the pleasure of spending time in a bookstore?

I frequent the mystery listserv, DorothyL, and a more avid group of readers you couldn’t hope to find. When I floated the idea for Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day, bloggers on the listserv spread the word. My husband designed a poster, a website, and bookmarks, and we designated the first Saturday in December as Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day. This would coincide with holiday gift giving, hopefully giving people the idea that books make great presents. Just two weeks later, 80 bookstores were celebrating.

That summer my husband and I loaded the kids into the car and drove cross-country, visiting more than fifty bookstores. (You can tell he’s a supportive guy). In 2011, the second annual Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day found over 350 bookstores celebrating in all 50 states. Some planned special celebrations—children’s book authors, puppet makers, singers, even a baker who led kids in a gingerbread cookie decorating activity—while others simply hung a poster in the window. When 2013 came around, and the number had risen to over 600 independent bookstores, and one major chain, we knew that word was getting out. Kids + bookstores = magic.

And maybe something even more than that. 

There’s a cultural wave behind Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day. The word locavore isn’t just for a Dr. Seuss story anymore. Supporting your local community and the resurgence of Main Street are goals that more and more people recognize as important to build strong citizens as well as strong readers. 

You know that old ad campaign, “Orange juice isn’t just for breakfast anymore”? I hear that now as, “Bookstores aren’t just for reading anymore.”

From Me:  

I totally agree.  Having been involved with a children's bookstore in my prior life I found it so delightful when parents would come in with their kids and instill the value and possibilities that a book could bring to them.  There is something truly enchanting and magical about visiting a Bookstore before Christmas with all the holiday decorations, ambiance and  of course, books, geared to that special holiday season.  

From a very early age kids will know that books and book giving is one of the best gifts that can be shared with both friends and family.  

Please support your local Bookstores on this day and make it a great celebration. Perhaps go in with the mindset of buying two books. Have your child pick their favourite which you will come home and wrap for under the tree and then buy the same book  for a friend of family member.  The nice thing about a "twosie" is that afterwards your child will have someone to discuss the book with and perhaps read aloud to.  Just a thought.

Read on and read always!  ... enjoy your trip to the Bookstore!

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