Children’s Books: Is Finding Them a Challenge Or a Pleasure?Serge Bielanko
I was reading a pretty interesting article the other day on the website BetaKit about a new business venture called ‘The Little Book Club’.
Basically, what that is is a children’s book club started up by the former CEO of Hipster in which parents pay $24.95 per month to receive in the mail three kid’s “curated from a combination of expert lists from the likes of National Library Association, or The New York Times list of best children’s books”.
Hmph, I thought. Okaaaay.
At first glance 25 bucks a month seems a little steep to me ( if you join for a year, you get 36 books for $300), especially, as the BetaKit piece points out, “kid’s books can easily be purchased at a discount at secondhand stores, gifted from other parents whose kids have outgrown them, or borrowed from the library for free.” But what the hell, I figured, if this is something that a lot of parents dig and it helps get kids to read, then more power to this company.
So I read on a little more and a few lines later the article was stating that the folks behind The Little Book Club were “Hoping to provide a way for parents to save the hassle of continuously going book shopping.”
That stopped me in my tracks.
Are there really parents out there in the world who are having a super difficult time finding the time to seek out books for their own kids to read? Is having to go to the thrift store or to Barnes and Noble or to the library in town or down to your local book trader with your kid on a rainy Saturday afternoon maybe once a month or so, is that really taking the wind out of someone’s busy little sails?
Man, I sure as hell hope not.
Let’s be honest here too while we’re at it: I freaking LOVE shopping around for books for my two kids. I love doing it when they are there to show me stuff that they’re interested in, to run across the aisle and point at a picture and squeal, “Look at that silly polar bear dancing with a penguin, daddy!” And I also dig doing it on my own, when there is no one to rush me along and I can stand in the middle of a musty second-hand store and hunt for books for my two and four year-olds that I loved myself when I was a kid; ‘Bears In The Night’ and stuff like that.
And God, I hate to ever risk sounding like some sanctimonious parent looking down my nose at everyone and anyone who dares to step on the nimble toes of the holier-than-thou father! Believe me when I tell you, that’s not my bag at all; plus as far as The Little Book club ad places like that are totally cool business with nothing but the best intentions, I’m certain. It’s just that they might lose sight of a thing or two sometimes when they’re bobbing along out there on those choppy business seas.
So check it out.
Seeking out a little tiny treasure in this big bad world is a good thing for your heart.
Combing bookstore shelves or flea market bins or book club brochures, or even websites, with your kids, helping them to decide what they want to read next, what book or books they are about to allow into their world, that’s a pretty damn cool thing, I think. It can play an extraordinarily magnificent role in the rest of their lives. For real.
So, don’t ever let anyone tell you/sell you there’s a quicker better way to get your kids books to read.
Because, yeah sure, it might be ‘quicker’, but when it comes to reading and books and kids, quicker has never ever been better. And it never will be either.
Info source: BetaKit