If you live in New York and are interested in kids’/YA lit, you probably already know about Books of Wonder. Located about midway between the Flatiron and Union Square, it’s the oldest, biggest, and best independent kids’ bookstore in the city. A perennial favorite of Time Out New York Kids readers and staff alike, Books of Wonder boats a vast collection of kids’ lit from picture books to YA, plus scads of signed bestsellers, rare editions, original children’s book art, and one of the biggest Oz collections in the world. It was also the body double for The Shop Around the Corner in You’ve Got Mail.
More importantly for our purposes, Books of Wonder holds frequent events: readings and signings where fans can meet their favorite authors and discover new ones. Your AV bloggers have attended countless ones over the years and met oodles of writers, including Holly Black, Libba Bray, Kristin Cashore, Cinda Williams Chima, Cassandra Clare, Suzanne Collins, Karen Healey, Justine Larbalestier, David Levithan, Malinda Lo, Dean Lorey, Andy Marino, Ann M. Martin, Garth Nix, Tamora Pierce, Cindy Pon, Robin Wasserman, and Scott Westerfeld.
Last night at this event, I picked up the last book in Cinda Williams Chima’s Seven Realms series (OMG SO EXITED) and Libba Bray’s The Diviners; Becky scored The Diviners plus books from new-to-us authors Rachel Cohn and Sarah Crossan. And we’ll be returning on Sunday to meet Bruce Coville. (Don’t worry, I’m bringing smelling salts for Becky.)
Why am I telling you all this? Well, Books of Wonder is in financial trouble right now. The cute little cupcake bakery they were hosting went out of business, and long story short, BoW needs to raise $100,000 to stay open. They’ve started a campaign on indiegogo.com, and they’re already nearly a third of the way to their goal with 27 days to go, but it’s by no means a sure thing.
If you love kids’ lit, NYC, or just want to support an independent store where the staff loves their jobs and knows their stuff backwards and forwards, please consider donating. Aside from all the money I spend there on the regular, I’ll be kicking in a donation to help them meet their goal. If you can’t afford it right now, please signal boost via Twitter, Facebook, or your own blogs.
I grew up in a New York City that was full of independent businesses – mom and pop shops that were put out of business by major chains, which were themselves put out of business by Amazon. Books of Wonder is the kind of store we don’t see much of anymore, but it’s exactly what a childhood bookstore should be – bright, cosy, and dedicated to making reading a wonderful experience for young people. Please help them continue that tradition for the next generation.