Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day: December 1

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Now in its third year, Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day (TYCBD)is bigger than ever. On Saturday, December 1, bookstores across the country will be welcoming children and parents with author visits, storytimes, and giveaways.

Booksellers who wish to participate are encouraged to display the TYCBD posterin their store windows and to post the image on their websites, blogs, Facebook pages, and newsletters. ABA member stores received a TYCBD flier in the November Red Box mailing.

“We hope the image communicates that bookstores, plus kids, equals magic,” said TYCBD founder Jenny Milchman.

Milchman spent the year preparing for the celebration by taking yet another cross-country trip to bookstores to encourage them to participate. Last year, she made stops at 60 stores, and 350 bookstores participated. Milchman hopes to grow that number by at least 50, and she upped the ante this year by visiting 65 stores.  The most exciting part of her trip, she said, was when booksellers said they had celebrated last December and have plans to celebrate again.

“The ABA has been instrumental in this year’s word-spreading,” she added, “by including a poster and newsletter about TYCBD in Red Box. Word has gone out more widely than ever before.”

In addition to visiting stores in person, Milchman has been spreading the word to parents through family-oriented blogs and publications and has lined up Ladies Home Journal and Family Circle to write about the celebration next year.

“My hope is that these efforts will bring Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day to people who may not necessarily have considered going to a bookstore before,” she said. “New people who can discover the joy and become supporters of this crucial element in a local economy and in life.”

Watchung Booksellersin Montclair, New Jersey, is celebrating Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day by welcoming author Patty Lovell, who will read from her new book, Have Fun, Molly Lou Melon. Longfellow Booksin Portland, Maine, will be allowing children to choose a free book from its shelves (up to a $10 value). Other booksellers have been promoting TYCBD on their store websites, as well as through social media posts and in store newsletters.

With an eye towards the future, Milchman has assembled a TYCBD board — made up of three emerging writers who share her love of bookstores and children — to help on many long-term projects. Among these projects is a goal of becoming a 501(c)3 non-profit, which would allow small grants to support school field trips to bookstores.

“The joy of visiting a bookstore is something we feel every child should get to experience,” said Milchman. “There is something of a cultural wave behind TYCBD. Supporting the local economy and a return to Main Street are getting to be recognized as mainstays of a healthy lifestyle. We would love TYCBD to grow until every day is a day to take your child to a bookstore.”