Before I had children, I loved everything about smaller bookstores, like Books Inc.in downtown Mountain View. I loved the smell, the small displays of new releases and the employees that got to know you and pointed out books you might want to try. Most of all, I loved how quiet they were – with just the right amount of noise to be entirely different than all those years I spent reading in libraries.
Now, a mother of two, I tried taking my children to quaint and quiet bookstores. But my energetic and loud children seemed to ruin the experience for the other shoppers, most of all me. They weren't quite ready to appreciate it, I decided.
So,one day, driving aimlessly down El Camino, I spotted the large white Borders sign and told my children it was time for a new adventure.
Borders bright and busy atmosphere is perfect for an almost 3 and 4 year old who are just learning to whisper. After we've read a few books, there are plenty of fun toys and stuffed animals to provide a “study” break. And when we experience the occasional tantrum or excited outburst, no one seems to mind, especially because the large children's section is often filled with other families out for a not-so-quaint-and -quiet reading adventure.
This week, my children and I visited the Sunnyvale and Palo Alto Borders for the last time. We stocked up on books and puzzles that were all 50% off, most of which I will save for a rainy day.
As I was about to leave the children's section, I spotted books on phonics and books for early readers - 50% off. I grabbed the whole pile.
Maybe, I thought, as the employee who didn't know or didn't care who I was swiped my credit card, I can teach my children to read – and to love reading the way I did as a child. Then, we can all sit in a quaint, quiet bookstore and read while an employee who knows us brings us new books and new adventures to enjoy.