Something happens to people, parents, teachers and kids this time of year: the frenzy of the end of school winds people up in a blur of assemblies, graduations, cupcake parties, and getting teacher gifts. The slow slouch towards summer vacation sees a flurry of activity for most bookstores. This is a wonderful and slightly exasperating time. Here are some helpful things to make the the last few of school a little easier for your local bookstore.
– This first tip is for teachers. Several of the local private schools give books to graduating seniors or eighth graders. This is a lovely tradition and we’re so grateful that teachers choose to get those books with us. Usually, these books are purchased the day they are needed, which leaves little wiggle room if we’re out of something. So teachers, plan a tiny bit ahead and then you won’t be scrambling at the last minute for alternative books to the ones you really want to give your students. Every year I work with a fabulous teacher who comes in the morning of the afternoon assembly and we do our best with her 15-student book list. Often we make substitutions, we suggest different things as she explains more about the kids and why she wants a particular book, that inevitably we are currently out of. Fun though this, it’s stressful and ultimately, I just want the kids to get books that will resonate with them.
– This next tip is for parents who know they’ll be getting teachers gift cards. Please don’t waIt until the last minute to get these. Not because we’re going to run out of gift cards, but because activating volumes of cards can take time and if you’re rushing to get to that last assembly before they close up school for the summer we don’t want you to be late.
– Stock up on summer reading books early. Maybe it’s just me, but I loved getting a huge bag of books at the end of every school year from my local bookstore. I’d get home and arrange the books in tidy stacks, often organizing them by genre. There was always palpable relief to see these books in my room, knowing I’d have all the time in the world to read them. And the joy of choosing that first one was always a special moment, for the success of that reading experience set the tone for the rest of the summer.
So, remember to wear your sunblock and plan a little bit ahead to make the end of the year go a little better.