“It is a great thing to start life with a small number of really good books which are your very own.” So said Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In a previous life, long ago, before I had three young readers of my own I was a Speech Therapist. During graduate school we spent hours poring over various studies on childhood learning and language acquisition. The study that resonated with me the most demonstrated a direct correlation between the number of books in a family’s home and a child’s future academic success–independent of how many of the books the children read.
Parenting magazine recently published an article summarizing these studies. The magazine says that “We find that books in the home have a positive payoff in improved test scores throughout the world,” writes a research team led by University of Nevada-Reno sociologist Mariah Evans. “The relationship is strong, clear, and statistically significant in every one of the 42 nations (we studied).”
The relationship isn’t only true, as some suggested, in affluent families who can afford more books and the time to read them. My mother must have known about the power of books, because our family hoarded them. Books were our tables and benches. Our home was the literary counter to Martha Stewart’s Living Magazine. Who needs a leopard ottoman when one has books? My mother’s love of reading, and her devotion to education (she was a college professor, PhD student and speech writer), paved the way for my lifelong love of books. Ask my kids what my perfect day entails and they will no doubt tell you that books are a part of that day.
Enter Bookroo, a relatively new Book delivery service. The founding team is three brothers, (Chandler, Kesler, and Tayler) and their wives (Tiffany, Jane, and Rebecca)–all lifetime readers. It all started when Tayler realized that he wanted a better way to find new, excellent books for himself to read. He couldn’t find a book subscription service he was happy with, and in one of their frequent conversations, told Kesler about his futile search. As they went back and forth on the idea, they realized that while there wasn’t a book subscription service they loved for adults, that wasn’t the version of the service they were most excited about pursuing–they wanted to create a children’s book subscription service. They invited Chandler to work with them on it, and as their wives got involved in the Google Hangouts that were going back and forth, the idea was something that they were so personally passionate about, they immediately became involved as well.
The mission is to enable and empower parents to build their children’s book collections in an affordable and exciting way through curated monthly book deliveries. We believe in the power and impact of the written word in the life of a child, and believe it’s never too early to start reading to children!
When Bookroo reached out to me, I couldn’t have been more excited to tell the world about their service. For the last several months we have been receiving a curated selection of kid’s books. I was wary at first, “we have so many books”, I told them, “I don’t think you will send anything we don’t already have.” But I have been pleasantly surprised because every single title has been an introduction to a new young reader favorite.
Here’s how it works. You sign up (and readers of Bubblegumchic have a nice discount). You can click through here and you will automatically receive a $4 discount on your purchase. In my opinion this is the perfect holiday or baby shower gift. You can choose a three month, six month, or a month to month subscription of board books (your box will have three board books per month), or picture books (your box will have two books per month).
Our Bookroo delivery day is one of the most anticipated days of the month in our house. Even though my daughter is eight and technically reads way above the picture book level, she still loves reading her picture books. And it is time I cherish with her. I often write small notes in the covers to her about when we read the book and what she thought, so when she opens these crates with books to read with her children one day she can share her own childhood memories with them.
So if you are stumped about how to make reading more exciting, or wondering what titles to choose for your young readers, leave it up to the experts at Bookroo. I will be spending tonight reading Penguin Cha Cha and Say What with my little one.