Two lovely boys, ages seven and ten, came to the store yesterday and I wanted to clone them. They were enthusiastic readers and honestly, just some of the sweetest kids I’d had the pleasure of meeting.
Sadly, these kids were just visiting Vermont on their school break. They were with their family who make it a point to go from independent bookstore to independent bookstore while on vacation. They were the second family this week who were touring stores in New England. These families always make my day. Sloan, the teenage boy from Monday, is what these two little guys will grow up to be. Pure, happy book-lovers who could easily spend hours in a bookstore. Their is a patience that these kids have in bookstore that is so pleasant to see.
What charmed me the most about Johnny and David yesterday were their comments to their parents. I overheard several times from each of them, “I want to live here and read all the books!” When a ten-year-old states that he wants to live at the bookstore, you know you’ve done something right.
Over the years we’ve had many children say they want to live at the store. Readers of all ages are comforted by the possibility of being surrounded by books. But one young reader took her need to be with books farther than we had ever considered. When we were in an our old store, a very serious eight-year-old told us she wanted to be buried under the store in the crawl space.
Personally, I just want folks of all ages to feel comfortable in the store, in whatever way makes them happy, even if it’s a scary crawl space.