In a world full of big box chain book stores, I think it’s important for us as readers remember to value and appreciate independent book stores! Indie bookstores are often a gift we don’t take advantage of! Yes, in some cases they aren’t as large as the big box stores, and they don’t always have the large inventory, but they have something the chain stores don’t: a feeling of community!
My local idie store is Hooray for Books! , an independent children’s bookstore in Old Town Alexandria, VA. The store is owned by Ellen Klein and Trish Brown, who started up Hooray for Books after A Likely Story, the bookstore they both loved and worked at, closed. Hooray for Books opened up two years ago in the same location as A Likely Story.
Back to the idea of community: Earlier this year, you may recall that my son’s school was visited by Eric Wight, author of the Frankie Pickle Books. Trish from Hooray for Books! was very instrumental in making that visit happen! She handled all the orders for books and came out to our school (a good 45 minutes from the store!) to participate in that days activities. I’m forever thankful to both Eric and Trish. These children were in awe that day, and I know it’s a day they won’t soon forget! They helped bring the children, from all nationalities, together to celebrate one thing: the love of reading!
Hooray for Books! has a ton of great activities for children of all ages. Here are just a few of the activities coming up in the next several weeks:
- This Saturday, Hooray for Books is turning two! Rachel Renee Russell, author of Dork Diaries: Tales From a Not-So-Fabulous Life and Dork Diaries 2: Tales From a Not-So-Popular Party Girl, will be at the bookstore 1-3 p.m. Her books, great for ages 10 and up, follow the trials and tribulations of eighth grader Nikki Maxwell as she finds her way through life at middle school.
- They’ve recently started “Sundays at One”. They plan an activity for children ages 3 and up every Sunday at 1 p.m. They feature some great crafts, including activities involving the Klutz Books.
- Young Adult Book Club for Adults: This month they are discussing The Red Pyramid, by Rick Riordan, the first in his new Kane Chronicles series. The book discussion will take place on Tuesday, June 29 at 6:30 p.m. New club members welcome–you’ll get 10% off the price of hardcover books the club reads. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 703-548-4092 for more details.
- In July, the activity my oldest son is most looking forward to: local graphic artist Matt Dembicki (editor of “Trickster: Native American Tales, A Graphic Collection”) is giving a workshop for kids 7 and up on drawing and putting together a comic book. Kids will learn the basics—creating a character, developing a story, and laying out a page using various tricks of the trade. Participants will make their own mini-comics to take home. The workshop is Saturday, July 10, at 3 p.m., to make reservations, call (703-548-4092) or e-mail (email@example.com) .
I could literally go on and on with all the great activities Hooray for Books! has planned! My boys and I plan on making several visits to the bookstore this summer…stay tuned for more details! So, for those of you in the NOVA/DC area, be sure to take the time to stop by and visit Hooray for Books! They are located at 1555 King St. in Alexandria, Virginia.
Do you have a local indie bookstore? Do you celebrate it!? If not, you should!