Books and publishing industry has definitely seen a great change in the last few years. While the options and accessibility have increased by leaps and bounds, this has also given rise to the problem of plenty.
As a new parent or someone who’s buying books for the first time it can be a daunting experience. When visiting a bookshop, one has the chance to hold the book, browse, smell the pages (applies to people like me), read the blurb, check the illustrations and make an informed decision. However, while shopping online this personal experience is lacking. Moreover, there is too much thrust upon a customer and it is natural for one to feel overwhelmed and lost.
At Pupilio, we are known for our curated collection. As booksellers we have the exposure and access to far more books. So how do we filter out and shortlist books? Here’s our take on how you can navigate through the situation and perhaps manage going overboard.
First of all take a deep breath and brace yourself to dive down the rabbit hole :D
Once you’re in there, just look around and see, notice. Intuition plays a part in choosing books. Also as individuals, we all have our own taste. Pay attention to what appeals to you.
Having said that, picking something just by how it looks or sounds isn’t enough. One of the most important points is research. If you like something, please do a diligent search. You will find tons of material for most books – pictures, videos, reviews etc. Go through it and see if you actually like the book. Youtube is an incredibly good reference point that will give you a much better idea of the book.
As a starting point, the safest bet is to go for classics or famous books. These are well-loved for a reason and we can speak out of experience that most renowned authors seldom disappoint.
If your child likes a particular author or genre, try looking for more books from the author or something similar. It always helps to ask around. Read, discuss, share, talk but please do make an informed decision. You can always reach out to booksellers, librarians, curators etc and ask for recommendations! Also sometimes a person promoting a book is doing it for a reason – paid promotion, barter, sales etc. Please be aware and do your own research.
When buying non-fiction or fact based books please do check for the latest edition. Do not fall for the deals/sale trap! You may score a book at an amazing price but it would be futile if the data is outdated!
One thing we also notice is that some parents accumulate books beyond their children’s age. Books will always be there, if not these and then some other ones. Cross the bridge when you get there instead of hoarding and not being able to use them for years.
Always remember that you are buying books for your child, so do pay attention to his/her interest and liking. Sometimes parents end up buying books that they like or they think their child will like but feel disappointed when the book doesn’t resonate with the child. So try and be mindful of your child’s choice.
Lastly and perhaps the most important part is that reading should bring joy to your child. It is not so much about the book but about the reading process. How to read makes for a different topic altogether but spend time reading together. If the child doesn’t like a book at the first go, try it some other time. Also each child progresses at his own pace. So do not rush to transition to the next phase if your child is not ready for it.
We always aim that books should spark joy – right from buying books to eventually reading them with your little ones, this should be a pleasurable activity that helps you to bond. Just a little mindfulness will go a long way in ensuring you make the most out of the wonderful world of books!