Dear Kids and Teens of Lake Forest Park,
If you’ve heard through the grapevine that we’re starting some new book clubs for you, you would be correct! This fall we’re welcoming both a Middle Grade book club, and a Young Adult book club to our Lake Forest Park location. You can find out more information about when those clubs meet, as well as other general information at the Book Club page.
Right now we want to talk about why we are starting these clubs. Because we think it’s important you understand just how excited we are.
We think you are so important to our community. You continue to be some of the most passionate, compassionate, understanding, empathetic, adventurous readers (and people) that we have ever met. Your enthusiasm is contagious and we want you to feel encouraged and supported in your creative, adventurous spirits.
And we know that things have been hectic lately. With life, with schedules, with everything! We also know that the older you get, the more things seem to pile up onto your plates. And (tragically) the first thing that often gets bumped off your to-do list is reading for fun.
We get it. There really is only so much time in a day. But we are always heartbroken to hear that the only reading that you are often doing these days is what’s required for school. (No offense, teachers! School reading is important too!)
But seeing you all roam the bookstore this summer as you filled up your Summer Reading Challenge packets time and time again, inspired us to get you more enthusiastic about reading all year long.
So, we decided to give you some book clubs! We want you to always feel welcome in our bookstore. Not just when we are hosting the Where’s Waldo challenge in July, or during our Summer Reading Challenge. We know you’re reading all year long, and we want you to enjoy that reading all year long too.
And with all that said, these book clubs are for you. They are spaces that are meant to be your break from required reading. They are spaces for you to talk to other bookworms in your community that you have maybe never met. And ultimately, they are spaces that will be run by you. And while a staff member from Third Place will always be present at these meetings (not to worry, parents!) the goal of these book clubs is that you make all the important decisions. Because after all, it is your club.
While we have picked the first books for each club, that is not to be the norm moving forward. You are going to get a vote! We will have a suggestion box at each meeting for you to anonymously make recommendations on what you think we should read next. Then, at the end of each meeting, we will vote between three of those anonymous suggestions. Again the goal is that you are always excited about the books we are reading here. So you can suggest your favorites, a book you’ve always wanted to read, or a book you know nothing about. The sky's the limit (as long as it is still in print and in paperback, that is)!
In the Kids’ Department’s official proposal for these clubs, this was our main goal of these book clubs:
“Ideally, this book club should be a space kids and teens feel like they have created to engage with one another about the books in their lives. We want everyone who comes to this book club to feel that they belong there and are welcome. We recognize the importance of giving kids a space to read books beyond what they are forced to read in school. And the goal of these book clubs is to encourage kids and teens to be active participants in what they read by giving them a space to select and engage meaningfully with books they are interested in.
“We are all ecstatic about finding ways to give the kids and teens of the LFP area and beyond a welcoming, unique, and creative space to discuss their favorite books. We think providing a book club to these readers -- one that will value their input and interests -- will be valuable to the entire community. It will further cement Third Place Books’ reputation as a true third place for the kids and teens who frequent our bookstores, as well as those readers who haven’t yet stepped through our doors.”
We really hope you will give these book clubs a chance. If only to meet some new friends, find a new book, or just to enjoy sitting in our store for an hour on a Monday night. We think it will be worth your while, and we hope to see you there!
All the best,
The Kids’ Department at Lake Forest Park