The Curious Reader is open and thanks to the ever talented Sally Morgan, their selection is absolutely amazing. Picture books are in (early readers, novels, leveled readers and non-fiction arrive next week) and you wouldn’t believe the amazing choices. There are many classics but also so many new titles that are just incredible. As I stood in the store, I watched Sally steer a customer to some of her favorite new board books when asked for selections and thought of the Once Upon Now piece I wrote last week about the importance of buying books other than Good Night Moon for new babies.
This store is a treasure both in selection and in knowledge of the owners. You simply don’t find either of these things at Barnes and Noble or while cruising around on Amazon. I consider myself pretty well versed in the children’s literature world and when I walked in I gravitated to old favorites, familiar authors but then to so many new titles that I had yet to hear about. Sally knows my taste and immediately brought me books that she thought I and the girls would like. I came home with the stack above and I’m counting down the minutes until the girls get home so I can share.
So now, enough of the touchy feely stuff. This post contains a lecture but please keep reading anyway…
While I was at the Curious Reader, a couple walked in and exclaimed how excited they were to have a book store open in their community. A real book store where they could browse and touch and feel the merchandise. When asked what they might like, they said they weren’t there to buy but they would be back when the children in their family needed gifts. I almost blocked their exit but I decided that Sally might not want an altercation in her store during the first week so I held my tongue.
“We’ll be back.”, they said. And I wanted to shout, “Well, will this amazing place be here when you return!?”
I am as tempted as anyone to get all our picture books at the library and our novels on our Kindle. Why not? It is cheaper and more convenient. There is simply no denying that. There will always be a place in my life for the library and my e-reader but purchased books must have a place too. If they don’t, there will be no more bookstores. Our children will have vague memories of book stores but they will have gone the way of the cassette and the VHS player if we do not buy books when we are in them.
I love having real books in our house but I buy books for a bigger reason than my love for them. I buy them so that bookstores will continue to exist. We financially support organizations we believe in and I consider my bookstore purchases part of our yearly charitable donations.
If we want to have bookstores to come back to, we must buy books when we are in them. Not later but now.
Lecture completed. Now please go buy some books.