You Can’t Get This Online….

Elizabeth Bluemle -- April 5th, 2013

Well, you CAN get this online, strictly speaking, since you’re reading ShelfTalker, but let me tell you, the real live moment was sublime. There I was, having just parked at the Flying Pig, when I got out of my car and spied the following across the lot:

Parking Lot Readers 1

“Hey, Elizabeth!” called the grown man reading a picture book in the far end of his hatchback. “We just got this at your store and are waiting for the rest of the gang.” As I got closer, I recognized one of our lovely regular customer dads, M, hunkered down with his toddler reading Cars and Trucks and Things That Go. He explained that they had lost their former copy of this favorite family book in a basement flood and had been yearning for it. While his wife and older son were doing a little more shopping at the store, M and his littlest one came back outside to cozy up with the book.

close up of car readers

Even Golden Retrievers like Richard Scarry.

Small moments like this make me SO happy to be a neighborhood book store. I love that people grab stolen moments — even while running errands — to read with their little ones. I love that we can help replace losses from flood and fire. And I love that on any given day, someone might call out, “Hey, Elizabeth!” in a parking lot to share their love of a good book.

(Photos posted with permission of M, his toddler, and their dog.)

8 thoughts on “You Can’t Get This Online….

  1. Kat Kan

    Another kind of personal encounter that could not happen online – some years ago, I met a young lady in a local bookstore; I’m a middle-aged woman, a librarian, and I can’t resist chatting about books with anyone who wants to chat with me. We struck up a conversation and discovered we liked the same authors, so I gave her some recommendations. She left the store as my older son came in; he mentioned that she worked in the same restaurant where he’s a cook. Some months later, my son’s girlfriend in Michigan broke up with him – after he’d made the trip up from Florida for her graduation – and we worried about him. A few weeks later, he said, “Hey, Mom, you remember that girl you met in the bookstore? We’re now dating.” And they got married a couple of years after that, and had a son. I always get a kick out of the fact that I met my daughter-in-law before she and my son started dating, and that we had established a neat connection that became a friendship.

  2. Huck Scarry

    Hey, Elisabeth !
    What a heartwarming story. Thank you so much for putting this touching story together.
    I know that my father would have gotten a big kick out of it.
    Jocelyn Lange, who handles Rights at Random House, pointed your “blog” out to me.
    Yes, you are right: there is nothing that can match the magic of books, nor of sharing them with children.
    Cars and Trucks and Things That Go is, I think, about forty-odd years old now… it is amazing
    that it hasn’t a wrinkle of age to it !
    If you could send me your postal address, it would be a pleasure to send you a little memento, just to say “Thank You !”
    With best wishes,
    Huck Scarry ( Richard’s son )

    1. Elizabeth Bluemle Post author

      Oh my gosh, what a tremendous treat to hear from you, the junior Mr. Scarry! Your father’s books were staples of my own childhood, too. I spent HOURS poring over all the little labeled details, the toothbrushes and bars of soap, the endless items of clothing, the friendly pigs and cats and other animal “people” in their cheerful neighborhoods. I think I wanted to live there! Postal address heading your way. Many, many thanks for visiting Shelftalker and saying hello, and thanks to Jocelyn Lange, as well! (Serendipitous discoveries ARE a major perk of the internet….)

      1. Teri Hyrkas

        Our children are 40 and 39 years old, and wore out our copy of Cars and Trucks and Things that Go. We managed to find another copy a while back, and now the next generation of readers, our grandchildren, are enjoying this and other Richard Scarry books. Finding “Goldbug” in the wonderful illustrations adds to the fun, of course. Glad to see other families love the books, too!
        Teri Hyrkas

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