Kids and the Future of Bookselling

Saturday marked the inaugural Storytime Day and independent booksellers across the country partnered with children’s book authors and illustrators to host events in bookstores across the country.

The stories and photos were precious … children engaged their imaginations as adults read out loud to them so that they could go on the journeys together.

When we conduct our workshops, it’s a common experience that people who want to open a bookstore will be challenged by family members, friends, and colleagues who learn about their dream. Some think the printed book is dead (not) or dying (nope).

The inaugural StoryTime Day promotes the importance of reading together.

The inaugural StoryTime Day promotes the importance of reading together.

As skeptics learn that print is still the vast majority of book sales (about 80%) and that even the IT consultants now are backing off their predictions and see that maybe ebooks will level off at 30% of the book business, some ask, “but what about the children who are being brought up on gadgets?”

Of course time will tell, but when I look at how children still love reading bedtime stories and that reading is a tactile experience, I find it hard to believe that many children won’t grow up to see and appreciate the difference.

There is no doubt that the presence of a bookstore will also be a factor for children and families. When a community has a bookstore with story time and offers the opportunity to come look, hold, and enjoy wonderful books, the appreciation for reading and for the printed book will continue.

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