Blogger: Rachel Kent
Last weekend, I took my kids to a release party for a new book at our local Barnes & Noble. I had seen the advertisement for the release party in the e-newsletter I am subscribed to. My daughter got some of the Wings of Fire series, by Tui T. Sutherland, for Christmas and has really gotten into it. It’s a book series about dragons and it is a little advanced for her, but she’s reading them and is excited about them and that makes me very proud. She is in 1st grade and these books are 5th grade level. She can read them with very little help from me! (<–Please excuse the mom brag.)
For the launch, the publisher (Scholastic) had provided a craft, tattoos, buttons, items for a scavenger hunt, a game, and a trivia sheet. They also sent a hat as a prize for the scavenger hunt winner. An older boy was able to win that hat and I was glad he got it because it was obvious he had read the whole series and was excited about this new book. 🙂 A young lady there–I’d guess she is 14–had read all of the books too, and she was so excited and was talking to my daughter about how she started the books when she was 7-years-old. This was inspiring to my 7-year-old daughter because this older girl was pretty cool! It warmed my heart to see them talking about the books together.
This type of party is something that can only happen at a brick & mortar bookstore. You can’t have a release like this through Amazon.com or any other online retailer. We ended up buying four books while we were at the store, so the party did its job in our case, anyway. We went and had fun, but also spent some money to support the store, publisher, and author. There were only about 10 kids in attendance, and this made me sad. It was a fun event and I know there are a lot of fans of these books out there. It did make me wonder if the current health scare kept people away.
So all this to say, a “real” bookstore is a magical place!
It’s a place you can enjoy celebrating books you love.
It’s a place you can find others who enjoy the same books you do.
It’s a place you can be inspired to continually grow in your love of reading.
It’s a place where you can browse and leave with books you have never heard of before.
We love our local bookstores and are so thankful that there is a new push to do events like this. I appreciate that the publisher and Barnes & Noble put this together for the author’s release.
What is your favorite bookstore memory?
Do you still have a local bookstore nearby? When was the last time you were there?
I do miss going out to eat,
and excursions to the mall.
I miss the friends that we would meet,
but I miss bookstores most of all,
for they were happy gracious spaces
where I could fain be lost
in far-distant magic places,
a rock that God had tossed
to follow aisles and serried rows
of book-spines calling out to me
with desert heats and alpine snows
and a promise of lucidity
that might help me understand;
books change the heart to change the man.
One of my favorite things from the past year has been partnering with a local independent bookstore for my own speaking engagements. Instead of buying large quantities of my book to sell at events, I have her sell my book – I don’t then see proceeds from it, but it ultimately counts toward paying off my advance and earning royalties, plus it establishes a long-lasting relationship. All you author types out there, I encourage you to do this as well!
Our family loves books. During every vacation, depending on our finances, we’d take an afternoon and visit a bookstore or library. Each family member would walk to the stack that interested them pull volumes from the shelf and either sit in the aisle or a nearby chair to read. Our kids have grown up knowing this is part of a vacation. Their rooms are stuffed with books…so is mine. Hubby has the motherload in the family room bookshelf collection. 😉
Kristen Joy Wilks
That sounds so so fun! My 14-year-old has been reading these for years and really loves them. Our tiny local bookstore also has events, which is so fabulous!
Love this Rachel! So glad to hear your daughter is finding enjoyment with books. Many kids find it a struggle, and on top of it, texting & social media has kind of ‘elbowed out’ reading beautiful hand-held books. My mother started reading to me as soon as I could speak a few words; “Twas the Night Before Christmas”–and soon she’d leave out words that I needed to fill in. From there, I read them myself. Loved school libraries…and have hung out in our B&N with crit group for yrs. Still a blessing in our family’s lives.