This week I’m celebrating the Children’s Institute.
I had started writing something else for this but ended up emailing someone about it and I decided that was actually better so here it is!
“I’d been excited to go to Children’s Institute since I heard about it. I was particularly ecstatic when my boss told me I would be able to accompany her this year! Yet there was really nothing to compare it to once I got there. The Institute happened to take place during my birthday and everything about the whole experience was like the best experience ever.
I really love being a bookseller. Aside from writing down my own stories, there’s nothing that fulfills me more than being able to share other people’s stories. And, to be in the same place with other booksellers who are as passionate about getting the right books into the hands of the right readers- to learn from one another, to share each other’s experiences- was what was the most appealing thing to me.
Then, there were the incredible authors and illustrators who create such wonderful books that it makes my job so easy; there were the publishers and their representatives who expertly sold the hard work and dreams represented in book form of their clients; and, there was the theme of we need diverse books so no one feels excluded, to remind us that we were all in this together.
Stand out moments included getting to meet David Levithan and Jon Scieszka whose works have moved me to tears and laughter, respectively; the rousing featured talk on the U.S. Children’s Book Market reminding us (or reassuring us) that what we’re doing is not a dying profession, that children’s bookselling is very much alive- and thriving; the conversations here and there with other people and the secret thrill I would get when they tell me they know and like Green Bean Books since we’re like the little bookstore that could! My favorite session was Creating a Picture Book with Marla Frazee and Allyn Johnston. Theirs was a relationship I hadn’t encountered before in the book industry. I left the talk in awe and inspired.
Oh, and the books! There were so many books I can’t wait to read. It was a miracle I was able to bring them all with me on the way back to Portland.
It’s an exciting time to be a bookseller. There are going to be more things to do and learn so I would definitely want to attend Children’s Institute again!”
My Audio/Video Pick of the Week is a scene from Anne of Green Gables starring Megan Follows and Jonathan Crombie, who recently passed away. This is one of the most memorable scenes in the book and film.
What are you celebrating this week?