Well, okay, so, the glideshow makes things a bit out of perspective, but that is a selfie of... myself.
I went to the grand opening of the 5 points Avid bookshop. I was having some trouble finding information about if there were any guest speakers, or extra special literary events, so I just showed up. (There weren't really.) So with the assignment questions in mind, I'm going to talk about the wonders to be explored in bookshops, and the effects on readers and teachers.
The new Avid had a very good selection of graphic novels. One of the draws of bookshops (for me, and I suspect the same goes for students, because it was the same for me when I was a student) is the newness of the books. I sometimes genuinely worry that libraries have less appeal because the books are old with outdated covers and just look... musty. I think one of the appeals of bookstores for students is that new, shiny covers with crisp pages (especially with graphic novels, that have gorgeous illustrations and are easy to flip through and be drawn in) can pull a student into a book they wouldn't have read at a library.
So bookstores can be a bit of a Tinder for reluctant readers. Sure it's not the same as getting a full book talk, but maybe having the superficial "that looks nice" might inspire students to dig deeper into books they might be more hesitant to read if it wasn't so pretty (something that sometimes gets lost in a library.) *especially ones where they rebind the books *ahem uga ahem**
This is me proving that I did go to the grand opening. It's an awful picture. Sorry.
Ooooooo, I thought this was incredibly interesting. The bookshop is filled with stationery and journals (all gorgeous) (I wish I had more money.) What a great, awesome reminder of the mutual agreement and benefits of writing and reading together. Even in a bookshop, where the prominent appeal is reading, there are reminders that reading and writing go hand in hand. Again, I think the just gorgeousness of the stationery is incredibly appealing. As a teacher, I was jogged to remember to not only write with my students, but to write to them. For students, it can inspire them to go with different types of writing, i.e., filling a beautiful card or journal to somebody rather than simply cranking out essays or even narratives.
Great selection of YA lit! Gah, I love this book. I had a really interesting conversation about Anna and the Swallow Man as well. Not an author talk, I understand, but it was a good bridge and good human contact over fictional characters. I think it's important for students to be exposed to all kinds of adults who read (not necessarily just teachers, even though that might be of the most importance, just thinking about time ratio.) Even from a teacher's perspective, I get all excited when I can connect with somebody over a book we both read and enjoy. How amazing for students as well, to connect with an adult, who isn't just their teacher, over a work of literature. Avid seems to do a very good job hiring adults that read, and it was a pleasure to talk with some of them.
In conclusion, because I'm afraid my reflection was a bit scattered:
Bookshops can play an incredible role in the lives of both students and teachers, especially one like Avid. There's a sense of overall, granted, perhaps a bit superficial appeal that comes with new, local bookshops (that are just so darn cute) that inspires kids and adults to buy books and invest in them. There's the "shiny" factor that might get lost in some libraries. There's also the sense of ownership that comes with buying a book. I fully understand, as a broke student teacher, that not everyone can afford books, but saying that borrowing books shouldn't deter us doesn't really cancel out the appeal of holding a book that is completely and totally yours. If I know I get to keep the book, especially if I paid good money for it, I'm much more likely to read it. I think that bookshops and the thrill of owning books for teachers is a good reminder that kids might get the same joy and will inspire us to get books in any way we can into our students' hands. Also (sorry, bad at transitions) local bookshops, like Avid, are very important to expose our kids too. It shows them, at the very least, that communities of readers and writers exist outside the classroom. That reading is something that many people take very seriously, giving some legitimacy to our argument of how amazing, how engaging, how rewarding reading can be.
I know this wasn't a traditional literary event, and I am sorry about that. I can see definitely the positive implications that come along to exposing yourself as a teacher and your kids to an author, allowing them to delve into books they wouldn't necessarily, but when that isn't available, the communities that surround local bookshops like Avid, combined with the "shiny" factor, can really pull students into the world of independent reading and inspire reluctant (and avid (lol)) readers.