Skip to main content

Get Ready to Celebrate 'Take Your Child to a Bookstore' Day!

Well, something that I just learned is that this Saturday, December 6th is the fifth annual 'Take Your Child to a Bookstore' Day! With many thanks to Samantha Lien who let me know all about it, I'd like to introduce you all to the creator of such an exciting day, mystery/thriller author and proud mom, Jenny Milchman

Meet Jenny Milchman

Jenny Milchman is a suspense writer from the Hudson Valley of New York State, who lived for seven months on the road with her family on what Shelf Awareness called "the world's longest book tour."

Jenny's debut novel, Cover of Snow, was published by Ballantine/Random House in January 2013, earned starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist, as well as praise from the New York Times, San Francisco Journal of Books, the AP, and many other publications. It was an Indie Next and Target pick, won the Mary Higgins Clark Award for best suspense novel of 2013, and has also been nominated for the 2013 Macavity and Barry Awards for best first novel.

Ruin Falls, Jenny's second novel, also an Indie Next Pick, was published by Ballantine in April 2014 to starred reviews from Booklist and Library Journal, and is available online and at your local bookstore.

Jenny is Vice President of Author Programming for International Thriller Writers, and the founder of Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day, which was celebrated by over 700 bookstores in all 50 states and four foreign countries in 2013.

Jenny's short story 'The Closet' was published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine in November 2012. Another short story, 'The Very Old Man', was published by Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine in the July 2014 issue, and the short work 'Black Sun on Tupper Lake' appeared in the anthology Adirondack Mysteries II.

On her blog, Jenny hosts the Made It Moments forum, which has featured more than 300 international bestsellers, Edgar winners, and indie authors. She also founded the literary series Writing Matters, which attracted guests coast-to-coast and received national media attention, and teaches writing and publishing for New York Writers Workshop.


You can find Jenny Milchman's books at Amazon, Indiebound or at your local bookstore!  

I would like to welcome Jenny Milchman, author of Cover of Snow and Ruin Falls to Emeraldfire's Bookmark. Ms. Milchman was kind enough to write a guest post for me and here it is below in her own words:

'Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day A.K.A. How to Build Literacy, Support Community, and Make Magic Happen All in One Day'
by Jenny Milchman

In 2010 I had two young children whom I was bringing to story hour at our local bookstore almost every week. After all, what better activity to do with kids? It was enriching, fun, even relaxing. I didn’t have to feel guilty when I drank that 700 calorie butterscotch latte from the coffee bar. I was running back and forth between adult fiction and the flower-flocked children’s section - working off the calories for sure.

My kids probably didn’t realize it was as much of a treat for me as for them. Which started me thinking - were other parents in on this secret? How many children knew the pleasure of spending time in a bookstore?

I frequent the mystery listserv, DorothyL, and a more avid group of readers you couldn’t hope to find. When I floated the idea for Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day, bloggers on the listserv spread the word. My husband designed a poster, a website, and bookmarks, and we designated the first Saturday in December as Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day. This would coincide with holiday gift giving, hopefully giving people the idea that books make great presents. Just two weeks later, 80 bookstores were celebrating.

That summer my husband and I loaded the kids into the car and drove cross-country, visiting more than fifty bookstores. (You can tell he’s a supportive guy). In 2011, the second annual Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day found over 350 bookstores celebrating in all 50 states. Some planned special celebrations - children’s book authors, puppet makers, singers, even a baker who led kids in a gingerbread cookie decorating activity - while others simply hung a poster in the window. When 2013 came around, and the number had risen to over 600 independent bookstores, and one major chain, we knew that word was getting out. Kids + bookstores = magic.

And maybe something even more than that.

There’s a cultural wave behind Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day. The word locavore isn’t just for a Dr. Seuss story anymore. Supporting your local community and the resurgence of Main Street are goals that more and more people recognize as important to build strong citizens as well as strong readers.

You know that old ad campaign, “Orange juice isn’t just for breakfast anymore”? I hear that now as, “Bookstores aren’t just for reading anymore.”
And by that I mean more than the fact that you can also buy toys, cards, gifts, or have your butterscotch latte at a bookstore. Bookstores are places where people come together over ideas and engage in a cultural conversation. That concept is so important I have to say it again. They are places where people come together. And booksellers are a group who know how to zig while others are zagging, so impassioned are they by their life’s pursuit. Their stores are places of physical interaction in an increasingly virtual world.

When you take a child to a bookstore, you stimulate his mind and all five senses. (If taste seems a stretch, just let her have the whipped cream on your latte). There’s a tactile dimension to the experience that seems rare these days. You also make that child a crucial part of the place where he lives, supporting it and helping it grow.

Best of all, these things happen in a guise that to the child is sheer magic. On the shelves of a bookstore sit gateways into whole new worlds. Children go into bookstores - but they come back out having journeyed somewhere else entirely.

This Saturday, December 6, 2014 is the fifth annual Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day. Whether you take your own child, a child you know, or the child inside yourself to a bookstore, together let’s build literacy, support community, and make magic happen.

- Jenny Milchman is a suspense novelist and mom from the Hudson River Valley who once drove past Disney with her children en route to the nearest bookstore.

May you read well and often

Comments