In remembrance of my lovely bookstore I left behind after our move, I am holding my second annual "Get Caught Reading" contest. Raising awareness and appreciation of people with Down syndrome and your local independent bookstore is the ultimate goal of the contest. People with Down syndrome and independent bookstores have something in common: a unique quality that should be celebrated and valued for their contributions to the community.
My bookstore was The Learned Owl in Hudson, Ohio. It was the place I always ended up at when I had a few minutes to kill while waiting for a piano lesson to end or a hair appointment to begin, or if I was looking for a birthday, Christmas, teacher or thank you gift. I always luxuriated in my visits there, so many possibilities. so many neat discoveries.
Walking into The Learned Owl, you felt as though you could absorb some wisdom from its ancient walls, that time had stood still there, save for the new releases on the front table. It was a place of little nooks you could tuck yourself into while you perused the shop's offerings. I usually ended up there with a stroller that contained Will. Will, from his first few weeks of life, has had the chance to feel the coziness of being enveloped by tall shelves of books and that unmistakable new book smell. I don't think I ever left that store empty handed.
The best time of year at The Learned Owl was Christmas. If you ever wanted an old-time, Victorian Christmas experience, this was the place to get it. You walked into the warm, somewhat dimly lit shop and worked your way around the other customers, all enjoying their shopping in an unhurried way. Hushed small talk blended with the seasonal music to create such a nice break from what we all consider "holiday shopping". The kids knew to look for the ever-full plate of cookies that sat out at this time of year too. I got to know all the wonderful staff there so well. They too made my browsy shopping visits something to look forward to. If I wanted to linger in the cookbook section or I was enroute to a kids birthday party and needed to find, purchase and have wrapped, the perfect selection (with perfect card too) in an emergent way, they could accomodate me.
Once a year the bookstore held a "get caught reading" contest, in which anyone could submit a photo of someone "getting caught" reading.
So, with that idea in mind, I am having a giveaway! In an effort to familiarize you with your local independent bookstore and show people that an extra chromosome is not a barrier to reading, I am asking for pictures of your favorite person ~with a little extra~, reading. First prize is an ABA Gift Card valued at $25. This gift card is redeemable at hundreds of independent bookstores. Other prizes include a copy of Night Cars in board book format, a copy of Wild About Books, a copy of Imagine a Night and a copy of Scaredy Squirrel.
So, email me your photo submissions of a reader (or readers) with Down syndrome. For those entries coming in from outside the U.S., I will use the gift card to purchase your selection and send them to you!
More details (and my contact info) are available on my blog: http://willswebplace.blogspot.com/
Draw date will be Monday Dec. 1st, so get busy catching those readers! Here's one to get you started:
Here is my son Will reading Walter Wick's Can You See What I See? Trucks and Cars. Of course this guy is going to love a book with cars in it. This little book gives me the chance to review searching skills and colours at a very beginner level with Will.