I had to pause when I saw this notice over at GalleyCat.
“What bookstore will you visit with the kid in your life? Founded by novelist Jenny Milchman, the new tradition urges parents to pass along the joy of bookstore shopping to the next generation.”
Check it out: “Have a look at our Bookstores page to see a map of the almost 150 bookstores participating in Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day–and add your bookstore to the map! Also see our Books page for the children’s book we loved best this year. And finally, here’s how you can spread the word about Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day.”
The first thing that popped into my head was what I just finished reading in Steve Jobs’s biography. One of Jobs’s biggest ambitions, according to this book, was to reform education with technology. Among many things, he wanted digital books to replace text books we all used to carry around when we were kids. And it will come eventually. I have no doubt about this.
The second thing I thought about when I read there’s a Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day were my own nieces and nephews. At this time, in my family, the kids range from infancy to new adult. With just my sister and one brother alone, we have six that range from six to twelve years old. And these kids don’t go to bookstores and shop for books. They would laugh in my face if I even suggested this to them. They are reading e-readers, tabelts, iPhones, and iTouches. And they do read. I’ve seen it myself. They aren’t just playing games and having fun. They even know more about e-readers and tablets than I do.
The third thing I thought about were the realities of raising kids nowadays. My sister is a teacher; her husband a doctor. My younger brother is a detective; his wife works in corporate sales. The little free time they have is spent rushing around to their kids events, not flitting off to bookstores.
I’ll admit the concept of Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day is nice, in an old fashioned, nostalgic way. I love it from a romantic standpoint. I also like going to old time drive in movies, too. Though I think infants and toddlers are still having fun with kiddie books, once they are over six you can forget about it. They tell you what they want to read and how they want to read it. It’s as if technology is inbred in the kids of today, because they don’t even have to work hard to use these things. And I have this feeling that even if there still are people out there who will take their kids to bookstores tomorrow, they won’t be doing it for long.