Why You Should Shop Carefully When You Give The Gift Of Reading
Holiday shopping can be fun or stressful, or both. Either way, we all want the most bang for the buck, especially when it comes to gifts for our loved ones. In terms of gifts that are of real benefit for kids, there really are few gifts as valuable as books, since the National Education Association (NEA) reports that kids who are read to and have more books in the home do better than their non-book reading peers.
“The more types of reading materials there are in the home, the higher students are in reading proficiency, according to the Educational Testing Service,” the NEA reported, and these younger kids are more likely to recognize letters of the alphabet, count to 20 or higher, write their own names, read on their own or pretend to read.
And these kinds of advantages follow kids throughout their educations, with kids from reading-friendly families outperforming their non-reading-friendly peers on tests, reading proficiency and in other ways.
If you are one of those last minute holiday shoppers (I’m guilty as charged.) and you’ve decided that you want the kids in our life to have a nicely stocked library, I discovered something you’ll love hearing… Children’sBookStore.com tends to beat Amazon.com for children’s book prices. I found out this little gem during a casual conversation. I happened to be chatting with one of the fine folks that run this little online store, and I pointed out a concern–the site is going up against online retailing monstrosity, Amazon.com, a company worth over $107 billion. They responded by saying, yes, well, that may be true, but we try to beat Amazon’s prices, and lots of times, we do. Wait… Amazon, Amazon…? Surely he was mistaken….
It sounded impossible for a small, family-run online book store that caters just to children’s books to beat out a massive online retailer–but it does.
I did my own test drive, and while, yes, there are books that Amazon wins the race, there are dozens that Amazon lost.
Most of us have a specific budget in mind while we are shopping, and finding out that one of the largest online book retailers gets beat out on prices by one of the little guys just kind of makes you smile. For instance, “I Brought My Rat for Show-And-Tell” is $3 at childrensbookstore.com, while Amazon (at the time of writing this post) has it for $3.99.
Likewise, Lisa McMann’s “Dead To You” is $9.99 new on Amazon, but is $7.99 on this site. There’s more… “Lola At The Library” is $5.22 here vs. $6.95 at Amazon, “Daddy Kisses” is $4.47 here, and $5.95 at Amazon. And, one book, “Winter in White: A Mini Pop-Up Treat” was $9.95 at this site, and (I’m just going to assume this was some sort of typo, but the screen shot is below…) Amazon had it for $410.33, to which I have to wonder if it is dipped in some sort of golden, diamond glaze.
The point, is that yes, books are incredible books for kids and reading provides genuine, lifelong benefits. But, while you are out holiday shopping in your pjs at 2 a.m., it doesn’t hurt to do a little price comparison, since you might be pleasantly surprised.
“The greatest gift is a passion for reading” ~Elizabeth Hardwick