Library Time

I drove around L.A. with the kids the other day while my wife had an appointment. I really wanted to explore this part of the city and hoping to find a cool coffee shop (without the help of my phone.) So I was on this discover Los Angeles theme with my girls, but that lasted 15 minutes before we passed a library. There was no debate at that moment when I asked my twins, “Do you want to go in?”

What can match the experience of an old neighborhood library? We walked past a busy room with a handful of friendly senior citizens inviting us in to browse through used books to buy. The girls declined and headed straight to the children’s fiction section on a mission to find a book. I had to modify their mission and told them that this library wasn’t “our” library, and they wouldn’t be able to use their library cards to borrow books. They were unreasonably disappointed but understandably so.

As we looked through the picture book section for classic and new titles, I couldn’t help resist reminiscing about my much younger days in the library. I remember the similar scents of printed books and the sounds of books being shuffled and hushed conversations. One of the newer sounds I recognized that didn’t exist in the library when I was a kid were beeps of barcodes being scanned, and keyboard taps on laptops of students studying. Do you remember the due date stamped inside the cover of the library book to remind you when it would need to be returned? I loved that part!

My children got Kindles for Christmas to read eBooks, but they know that nothing replaces a good ol’ printed book and nothing replaces being in a local library. 

Are there any  other “universal” childhood experiences and activities that still exist today? Have you brought your child to that place or introduced them to that experience?

  • Take them to the skating rink and rent roller skates. 
  • Find a used record store and show them your favorite album covers. 
  • Play Scrabble or buy your favorite board game and play it on game night. If you don’t have a game night, then make one. 
  • Rent the original classic movies of the remakes your kids watch now. 

Just some ideas to get you going. Your kids are interested in your childhood. Get going! Make it a great week!

Time to Reboot!

violen and violin

I’m in the middle of a reboot. When I self-published my first children’s book, Violen there were a number of “Doh!” moments, like finding typos. The young man who allowed to be photographed had reminded me that he wanted his identity to be obscured. I wanted to be good to my word, so I re-edited all the photos with an oil-painting app “Glaze” on my iPhone. I also, went through the story and now submitting with with my educator friends to be my editors/proofreaders. Going to start a Kickstarter campaign at the end of the month to self-publish books to get into as many educators in as many schools, libraries, and indie bookstores as I can. If I can get over some silly typo error that I’ve done twice now with where my name belongs on the credits page, then I can publish the eBook version on iTunes and Amazon. I will be sharing the story, a page a day, here on my blog and as social media at the start of the Kickstarter campaign. I’m excited to share my first story.

At The Local Library

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I am rediscovering the wonderful resource called the library. In the midst of information and content being delivered and accessed digitally, it is refreshing to sit down in a place dedicated to literature and read a book. I just started Holes by Louis Sachar.

My book in hard cover!

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I finally got my first published children’s book in the mail. It’s currently sold as an eBook download or printed book on Blurb.com.

Read more about it on Backspaces (@joe_montoya) and the Violen Project page of my site.