Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Boys in Bookstores

Posted By on Wed, Apr 17, 2013 at 6:00 AM

There's a beanbag chair. Light pours in from the large windows. And a quiet - not the kind you find in the libraries of old when a computer area was non-existent - but a stillness of low voices and the turning of pages. It's calm, colorful and inviting. It's the bookstore.

In a time where practically anything we want or need is available to us by clicking on "proceed to checkout," the bookstore remains a holy place for me and my children. While I am a cheerleader for our city's incredible public library system where truly anything is at your fingertips and your taxes have already footed the bill, there is something about visiting a bookstore that inspires excitement about your next read. And in an age where Minecraft is king and Instagram replaces hardbacks, for your kids to reach for their next page-turner ... well, that's some good stuff.

One recent rainy afternoon, I picked up my oldest from school along with his two good friends (identical twins, by the way) and we headed into Broad Ripple with windshield wipers on high and the radio volume right up there with them. (Fifth grade boys, remember?) Parking the car next to the Monon Trail, we jumped over puddles all the way to Liz Barden's Big Hat Books bookstore. As the boys barreled through the double dutch door, I thought, "Well, this will be interesting." I had never brought three pre-teen boys into the quiet of a small, independently-owned bookstore and I was beginning to think there was a reason for that. The first couple of minutes, those boys were gnats. Buzzing around me and the store, not knowing where to land. My son whispered to me that there was nothing, NOTHING they were interested in. I pointed to one book on a small table and Liz took them on a brief tour of what looked cool for these young men/old boys.

Shortly thereafter, peace returned to the store. Those three settled into the large bean bag chair with the small pile of books they had selected and became engrossed, engaged. No screens were involved. I didn't want to spoil what I thought may just last a moment and set my own course in the store. I talked with Liz about everything - from schools and our kids to Native American/Western Art - and made my way around. I touched books, turned them over, pulled them off shelves and put most - but not all - back. I was engrossed and engaged too.

We need the chance to "fall in" with books and that really can only happen at our library or local bookstore. Perhaps because the owner carries and displays the book you read about in the New York Times Book Review or maybe it's because you're in a store and just like to buy things, have them put in a brown bag and then take them home for forever, but at the bookstore, I find that my kids relax, get comfortable and always find something they are excited about. And for that, I will happily "proceed to checkout" at the cash register rather than a tap of the return key.

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: ,

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • Well-Endowed Artists

    Jennifer draws Seinfeld-esque parallels to artists' financial challenges with education, but offers easy ways to help.
    • Mar 2, 2016
  • Positive Impressions

    Ben chats with IMA’s artist-in-residence about introducing the process of woodblock printmaking to the masses.
    • Jan 10, 2016

About The Author

Carrie Kirk

Carrie Kirk

Bio:
Growing up, I never could get a word in edgewise. I had three older sisters. Go figure. Thankfully, my vocalization morphed into the written word. Currently in my family of three (me and my two sons), I am able to be the master of my universe and go where no mom has gone before. However, I sense too often that... more

More by Carrie Kirk

  • I Got Schooled

    Carrie learns about the Trade School of Indianapolis, where cultural and creative classes are exchanged for everything from chocolate bars to good reads and flower seeds.
    • Nov 23, 2015
  • Speaker of the House

    David Sedaris spoke to a packed house at Clowes Memorial Hall, and Carrie listened to him -- the exception to her "I read" rule.
    • Nov 3, 2015
  • Stubborn Gladness

    Carrie learns about Day of the Dead or Día de los Muertos and how it celebrates the memory of lost loved ones.
    • Oct 19, 2015
  • More »

Latest in Sky Blue Blog

  • The Nice Things

    Ben has enjoyed his opportunity to give notice to some of Indy’s 'nice things' with Sky Blue Window readers. He hopes you’ll find and share them too.
    • Mar 9, 2016
  • A Gray Sky-onara

    Dan looks back at some of his most memorable blogs at Sky Blue Window.
    • Mar 8, 2016
  • Well-Endowed Artists

    Jennifer draws Seinfeld-esque parallels to artists' financial challenges with education, but offers easy ways to help.
    • Mar 2, 2016
  • More »
© 2017 CICF
Twitter
Facebook
Privacy Policy
Contact Us:
P: 317.634.2423   F: 317.684.0943
info@skybluewindow.org
Central Indiana Community Foundation
615 N. Alabama St. #119
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204-1431
Sky Blue Window is presented by:

Website powered by Foundation