If I had the guts and the resources, I would open a children’s-only book store in Grosse Pointe.
Even though it’s been its doors, I still feel the absence of that conveniently located place to take my son so he can look at the newest Michigan Chillers or Goosebumps offerings. Better yet, he would peruse the shelves and find new authors that were sure to expand his vocabulary and his imagination.
But alas, Borders is only a memory, and , a fine book store in its own right with a great Kids’ Club free membership program, is not located in an area where we shop often. Even Barnes and Noble is feeling the loss of Borders. The two stores often worked in concert, recommending the other if they could not help a customer.
“We’ve increased sales across the board since Borders closed,” said Barnes and Noble book seller James Robertson. “But it also hurts us because the closest store we can recommend now is in Royal Oak.”
It was just so convenient to pop in at Borders after buying a few things at Trader Joe’s or grabbing a coffee at . My husband and son and I would spend hours looking over the new offerings. Sometimes my son would even read an entire book on the carpeted stairs, only to ask to buy the novel anyway. Kids do that. They want to own books so they can read them again and again. J.K. Rowling has proven that with her Harry Potter series. They are books to own, not just read. It’s a thrill to buy a book you really want, read it and then be able to pull it out of your bookcase for another good read months (or years) later. Kids like to do this, too.
Borders was a destination on chilly winter nights or hot summer days. And more often than not, we walked out with a bag containing a book or two that we hadn’t planned on buying.
My point is, while adults feel the absence of Borders for their leisure reading, our children are missing out on a regular opportunity to touch books, smell them (or is it just me who likes the smell of books?), to see the vast array of authors, read the different writing styles and spark their sponge-like minds. Books are the perfect gift for children's birthday parties, and for your own child . . . just because.
But now, walking through the Village, there is no opportunity to see what is out there in terms of children’s books. Adults are different. We can drive over to Barnes and Noble and surely find a book we like. We can go online to Amazon.com and order one with our debit card.
But we’ve had our shot at developing our love of books. And we likely got it by going to book stores, to the public library or to a school library. Now one of those avenues is missing in the Pointes.
Of course, we need to continue taking our kids to the library–the Pointes have three gems, with librarians that can help recommend reading for your child. But those books wind up back on the library shelves, not your own. I want a children's book store in Grosse Pointe. I would support it by buying books from it. And I believe others would as well.
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