October 23, 2012

Save [Books of Wonder] and Save Your Soul

Written by Deborah B. Ford

“We’re going to seduce them with our square footage, and our discounts, and our deep armchairs, and our cappuccino…They’re going to hate us in the beginning, but we’ll get ‘em in the end… Because we’re going to sell them cheap books and legal addictive stimulants. In the meantime, we’ll just put up a big sign: “Coming soon: a FoxBooks superstore and the end of civilization as you know it.’” (From You’ve Got Mail, 2009)

One of my favorite Meg Ryan movies is You’ve Got Mail. It kills me, of course, that the big bad chain store puts the job of my dreams out of business, but the charm of the whole thing steals my heart. In reality, the big bad chain store often takes out the little guy. Property is expensive. Buying cheap books fast in our we-want-it-now society is easier than remembering to frequent our local independent bookseller.

This morning I read an article about a wonderful store that is struggling― Books of Wonder in NYC. For those who love books, this store should be on your Bucket List. Due to economic struggles (and a tenant who left them with a $300,000 bill), BOW is launching a 30-day funding campaign. Authors and artists are joining forces to offer some incentives for participation. For $25 you will receive an exclusive Robert Sabuda pop-up notecard. A $350 contribution receives “a specially inscribed book by the author of your choice.”

I first came to know Books of Wonder during my obsessed-with-Wizard-of-Oz phase. Whether you’re looking for classics, the new and rare or the greatest of the new, you’re sure to find it at BOW. It’s the oldest and largest independent bookstore in NYC.

It’s the end of the year when folks are thinking about charitable donations. Give a little. Spread the word. Help Books of Wonder write their next chapter in children’s literature. And remember, think about supporting  your local bookstore before your big bad chain store. As Birdie says in the movie: “Save the Shop Around the Corner (Books of Wonder) and save your soul.”

(Disclaimer: These thoughts are my own and not necessarily those of my company. What are your thoughts? Let’s talk on Facebook. Won’t you be my friend?)

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Deborah B. Ford

Deborah B. Ford

Deborah B. Ford, JLG’s Director of Library Outreach, is an award-winning library media specialist and international speaker with almost thirty years of experience as a classroom teacher and librarian in K–12 schools. Traveling across North America, she does workshops, library coaching, and professional development for school and public libraries. Deborah is the author of JLG's Booktalks to Go @ SLJ. She also maintains an award-winning coordinating online resource at Contact her at Follow her on Twitter @jlgdeborahford.

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