Notes From the Shire

Your Brilliant Child

If I had $10 for every time a parent tells me about his or her child’s advanced reading skills, I’d be driving a much newer car. Selecting books for these hungry young readers can be as challenging as selecting books for reluctant readers. Rather than make a beeline for the young adult section for your ten-year-old prodigy, talk to a children’s bookseller. Here are some of the things we can advise you on:

The Sensual Joy of Books

Books have entertained, and enriched the lives of, many people. Indeed, the tactile aspects of bound pages can be just as enjoyable as the stories themselves. Some of the great joys in life are touching, smelling, looking at and listening to books.

You go into a bookstore and you can feel the jacket covers, sometimes slippery and soft and sometimes gritty and rough, under your fingers as they protect the books as they silently sit there, waiting until you open that first page. The books call to you, telling you “buy me and you’ll find a magical world.”

The Family Christmas Book Collection

Christmas is coming- we've had a little snow, carols are playing in every store, people are a little kinder to their neighbors. But for me the ultimate knowledge that the season is upon us is marked by one of my siblings carrying up the “Christmas box,” a gigantic appliance box circa 1982.

Anthologies for Pres(id)ents!

An anthology is basically the perfect middle way of gifts. Halfway between a specific book (maybe they love this author and will love the book and haven't read it before! But also maybe not) and a gift card (you know they love Northshire and reading and books. You're just not exactly sure which ones).

Buying for Kids Who Don’t Read

Shopping in the bookstore for a child who doesn’t enjoy reading can be very stressful for parents, especially book-loving parents. You might think it’s impossible for parents who love books to raise reluctant readers, but trust me, it’s possible. The following are my guidelines for helping parents select books for a child who “doesn’t read.”


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Northshire Manchester Store

Northshire Manchester
4869 Main Street
Manchester Center, VT 05255
ph. 802.362.2200
ph. (toll free) 800.437.3700
Sun-Thu 10am-7pm Fri-Sat 10am-9pm
Directions to Manchester

Northshire Saratoga Store

Northshire Saratoga
424 Broadway
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
ph. 518.682.4200
ph. (toll free) 855.339.5990
Sun-Thu 10am-7pm Fri-Sat 10am-9pm
Directions to Saratoga Springs