As my son learned from somewhere (TV I'm afraid), "The holidays are not about getting, but giving." I'm glad he brought this up as it was a perfect segway into explaining that one night of Hanukkah instead of getting, we will be giving; this year to Open Books.
Surprisingly it was easier for the kids to give up their books than it was for us adults. I actually found a few never used cookbooks that I have high hopes will be used in 2012. It was a pleasure to observe my offspring eagerly digging through their shelves and closets pulling out "baby books" or others that they were okay passing on to other children. We also discovered five copies of The Hungry Caterpillar. I felt lighter after we all spent a few minutes going through our personal book space and all came back with an impressive container full.
After school and yoga all three of us were hungry and tired and my boy, who has suddenly become scared of weather, pointed how gray and foggy it was. Bad weather means terrible traffic. Regardless we headed downtown towards Open Books and were thrilled to arrive in the adorable space.
The staff was grateful for our donation and took a minute to tell the little ones where their books were going. They listened with big eyes as she explained their books were going to kids and adults that don't know how to read and have no books in their home.
The used book store was quaint, comfortable, colorful and packed in an organized fashion with a wide selection of fiction, non-fiction, cookbooks, textbooks and an adorable kids section complete with a window my son climbed through. The books were in better condition than The Chicago Public Library and very low priced. Although, the visit was about giving, I was happy to buy my kids' books including one about what causes floods for my boy and I can't wait to read Shel Silverstein's A Light in the Attic tonight.
I browsed a Film section and saw interesting books that my husband would love, but sadly he reads on his iPad. I know it is convenient, but there are lot of memories with a way a book looks, smells and feels. I hope ereaders are not the end of book stores.
There were no gifts for my little ones to unwrap, but I'm confident these memories will last much longer than any plastic toy.