5 Reasons to Take Your Child to a Bookstore (From a Former Teacher)

05 Dec 2015

Today is Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day (started originally by one mother and her child). As a lifelong reader, bookstores for me have always been magical places full of mystery and wonder (not unlike the feeling I get whenever I walk into a Trader Joe’s or dog park). I have vivid memories of getting lost for hours as a young girl (*cough – and last year) in a bookstore before I was inevitably found and forced to leave. As a former English teacher, I could talk for hours about why all children should be lost in bookstores at some point in their lives, but I will limit myself to five reasons why you and your child should get lost in a bookstore together today.

5 Reasons to Take Your Child to a Bookstore


1. Books teach character. If you want your child to see examples of people choosing courage, kindness, sacrifice, empathy, and other character traits, give him a book. If you want your child to see how someone responds to failure, give her a book. Children learn by example, and books are chock full of examples of individuals dealing with life events (and one another). Books teach character.

2. Books promote creativity. Nothing sparks imagination like a good book. Your child should be exercising her imagination, and books help her do just that. Books give more responsibility to the reader than movies do, and your child will have more opportunity to be creative when you give him a good book as an invitation. Books promote creativity.

3.Books help people play. Children are meant to play, and in a world where this is encouraged less and less, books remind kids to be kids. Whether it is turning your dining room table into a lookout for pirates or finally breaking the secret code in permanent marker on the living room wall (sorry Mom and Dad), books are an endless wealth of battles to be fought and worlds to be experienced. Your child might even allow you to be a part of this experience. Books help people play.

4.Books expand our perspective. I did not leave the country until I was 19, but my first international experience happened much earlier than that. I had traveled the world (and other worlds) before I hit my awkward tween stage when boy bands became a secret (or so I thought) obsession. Books give a new perspective, invite us into other people’s lives, and remind us that our experience is not the only way to live. It is a gift you can give your child (and for much less than a six month sailing trip around the globe). Books expand our perspective.

5. Habits are formed early. As much as we don’t like to admit it, we form habits at a fairly young age and we imitate the people around us. Ask any parent who has heard his or her child say a word-that-shall-not-be-named-in-this-blog-post. If you want your child to love reading, give her books now. Take him to a bookstore. Read with and to her. Let him see you reading. Your child (and her teachers) will thank you, and you will have created another lifelong reader. Habits are formed early.

So it’s time – to stop reading this post and get going! Find your closest bookstore and share the love of reading with a child you love today!