Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day continues to grow

Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day will be celebrated on Dec. 7 this year and founder Jenny Milchman says she hopes to expand the message of the holiday to year-round initiatives, including field trips to bookstores in at-risk areas.

Ann Hermes
Tammy Heupels (l.) sits with her son Johann (center) and Annie Philbrick (r.), owner of Bank Square Books, in the reading area of the bookstore in Mystic, Conn.

More and more bookstores are jumping on board for Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day, which is taking place on Dec. 7 this year.

The celebration was founded in 2010 by author Jenny Milchman, who writes on the event’s website that she “wanted to begin a holiday that would expose as many kids as possible to this joy” of being in a bookstore.

According to Publishers Weekly, 80 stores participated in the year of the holiday’s founding. This year, more than 600 bookstores have signed on, and Milchman told PW she plans to expand the movement in years ahead, hoping to start a nonprofit organization that will use the holiday as a jumping-off point for getting children to stores year-round.

“First, I would like to structure field trips to bookstores in at-risk areas of the country,” Milchman said. “Though many great authors are doing phenomenal work with childhood literacy, a lesser-known component is the particular joy of being in a bookstore. Such an experience not only bolsters literacy and a love of reading, it also allows the child to see how booksellers make books and reading their life’s work, and connects the child to community and the value of face time in a virtual world.”

A second holiday promoting going to a bookstore could also be added if December’s celebration continues to be successful, said Milchman. 

Check out the map on the celebration’s website to see if a store near you is planning special activities for Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day.

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