Monday, November 26, 2012

Gift tables, a guardian moose, and other reasons I'm still feeling thankful

Okay, so technically, Thanksgiving's over. Technically, it's Cyber Monday, except that there's already speculation that Cyber Monday is a thing of the past because Black Friday has gotten so darn huge. Oh, and there was Small Business Saturday, which was pretty awesome, and I hear that tomorrow is Giving Tuesday. My point is, if the Shopping Days can have this much of the calendar, then it's not four days too late to share some things I'm thankful for.

I'm thankful for customers like the very excited grandmother seeking fairy tale books for her soon-to-be-adopted grandchild. The young reader in question wasn't slated to arrive for about six months, but the customer wanted to have the books ready so the older-sister-to-be could practice reading them. Books get to be part of some of life's most joyous moments, and I'm thankful I get to be part of that.

I'm thankful for customers like the elementary-aged girl I spotted cracking up as she read Diary of a Wimpy Kid 7: The Third Wheel. Seriously, this girl was practically rolling in the aisles, and she was learning that books can make you do that. I'm thankful, too, that more and more parents are embracing the kinds of books that kids themselves choose. I love me some classics, and many kids do choose them, but the Wimpy Kid series and its ilk are a powerful literary gateway drug, and I will push them happily. 

I'm thankful for the customers who say they don't know anything about children's books, but then see a Richard Scarry book, or a Ramona book, or The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and are suddenly gushing about childhood reading memories.

I'm thankful that the kids' department has grown, both in space...

...and in staff, who have gamely jumped in with their handselling skills and their making-things-look-pretty-and-run-smoothly skills.

I'm thankful for our new gift table, the go-to place for boxed sets and other gifty, booky items. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the only place in the store where you will find Katniss and Clementine within a few inches of each other.

I'm thankful for Thidwick, our guardian moose who arrived courtesy of Oliver Jeffers' This Moose Belongs to Me. We promptly charged him with overseeing the children's section and making sure all went well.

He's doing an excellent job.

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