The month of May began with lots of book mail. As always, my TBR list seems to be never ending. Though temporary, gone are the days of roaming bookstores to soak in that new book smell. Libraries are closed until further notice. Kindle reading is not my jam, and I struggle to make it through audiobooks with great focus and attention. On top of all of that, the kid lit stack I had snuggled away at home was dwindling, Now what? I thought.
A new book brings me joy. Receiving mail brings me joy. Why not send myself some of the latest and greatest book mail while supporting independent bookstores? A Virtual Indie Bookstore Crawl it was! Come along with me:
Stop #1: The Silver Unicorn Bookstore
I started building my Summer stack during February break. A bright sunny day inspired me to roll the windows down and take a drive to The Silver Unicorn Bookstore in Acton, MA. From The Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks smiled at me from the shelf. This title came highly recommended from a teacher friend and my fourth graders’ #KidsNeedMentors author, Jennifer Blecher. Visit their online store or support them in person once they are able to reopen their door!
Stop #2: Doylestown & Lahaska Bookshops
When it came time for me to order Torrey Maldonado’s What Lane? a tweet from author Josh Funk pointed me towards the Doylestown & Lahaska Bookshops, located in Pennsylvania. Check out their story!
Torrey and I met in person at #nErDcampLI (where I first learned of What Lane?) and have maintained a connection on Twitter. I also recently enjoyed listening to the exchange between Torrey and Matthew Winner on The Children’s Book Podcast and getting a taste of the audiobook with one of my students!
Stop #3: Books are Magic
Books Are Magic, located in Brooklyn, New York, was on a weekend getaway itinerary for March. For now, I am content supporting them from afar. The twinkly lights within this store made me want to reach for a new graphic novel adorned with stars and filled with truth: When Stars are Scattered by Omar Mohamed and Victoria Jamieson.
My ticket to a virtual author event supported a Texas bookstore, Book People:
*Omar believes that more information should be shared straight from the source. He shared, “My story serves as a voice for the voiceless. Mine is ONE story. There are millions.”
*Victoria shared that she thinks in pictures. She particularly loves graphic novels because she feels invited into characters’ lives. Being fully immersed in a character’s setting allows readers to get to know them on a more intimate level. Telling Omar’s story in this format felt like the right thing to do.
Stop #4: The Brain Lair
I love everything this Indiana bookstore stands for. It just felt right to snag Varsha Bajaj’s Count Me In (reviewed by TBR blogger Christy Arnold) and Hena Khan’s More to the Story from The Brain Lair. I hope that you will explore their mission and consider supporting the cause!
I was able to get a sneak peek into More to the Story through The Children’s Book podcast– a great way to absorb the process and intentions behind the books you already or will soon love!
I’ll leave you with a few considerations:
- Support independent bookstores!
- Diversify your reading experiences!
- Check out The Children’s Book Podcast!
Have you started building your summer stack yet? I’d love to hear what’s on your list. Comment below!