Welcome to Children’s Book World!
Children’s Book World is an independent, full-service children’s bookstore featuring a comprehensive inventory, knowledgeable staff, and exciting events.
An Event and an Open Letter
Children’s Book World first opened its doors twenty-five years ago this month, and to kick off a year of celebration, we’re having an exciting event that holds very special meaning for us.
On Tuesday, July 1st at 4pm, join us for a storytime party featuring My Teacher is a Monster! (No, I Am Not.)! There will be celebratory snacks, fun activities, and exciting giveaways! For an added treat, we encourage you to come dressed as a monster, or a teacher, or both!
While the new release of a great book is always cause to celebrate, this event has deeper meaning–My Teacher is a Monster is published by Hachette Publishing Group.
Over a month ago Amazon entered a dispute with Hachette over e-book pricing. While neither company has released specifics about their terms, Amazon is allegedly pushing for bigger discounts from Hachette. When a solution was not reached quickly, Amazon began to hold Hachette books hostage on their website, extending the shipping times of readily available books to weeks and even months, though Hachette stated that the shipping delays were not a result of the books’ unavailability on their end. As the dispute continued, Amazon’s tactics escalated; in addition to their lengthy shipping times, they have now refused to allow customers to pre-order any Hachette titles. In this fight, the authors, illustrators, and book-loving community are losing out.
When we opened 25 years ago, there were a multitude of independent bookstores in our area: The Book House of Suburban Square, Kids Own Bookstore and Readers’ Forum in Wayne, Wondertime Tales in Strafford, Country Bookshop in Bryn Mawr, Book Fair in Chadds Ford, Banbury Cross in Narberth, Booktender’s Secret Garden in Doylestown, Gene’s Books in King of Prussia and Chester County Book Company in West Chester. Then the chain stores came in: a Borders (2 miles to the east of us), a Barnes & Noble (half a mile to the west), and yet another Borders (1.5 miles to the west). Then, in 1995, in the midst of the rise of online shopping, Amazon opened its virtual doors. One by one, the independent bookstores surrounding us began to close; of the ten that existed when CBW opened, only three remain.
Through all of this upheaval in the bookselling community, we survived. Certainly most of the credit goes to you, our customers, for your loyal support. Over the years, you’ve allowed us the opportunity to get to know your children, your students, and yourselves, so that we can share books that make you laugh, cry, gasp, and wonder. Much credit also goes to our amazing partners at the publishing houses, especially the sales representatives who help us find the best books for our store. Finally, we would not be the store we are without the tremendous support we’ve received from the amazing authors in this industry. Whether they are presenting to a store full of customers, a class of students, an audience of a thousand, or a crowd of just one, they are always enthusiastic, ready to answer questions (even the same ones over and over again), and happy to demonstrate drawing techniques or share writing tips and tricks.
Amazon’s blackmail tactics threaten this book industry ecosystem. Their bullying threatens the authors we love, our publisher partners, and bookstores, independent and chain alike. Their stranglehold on the industry, accounting for 40-50% of book sales, could affect the depth and breadth of books we have to offer to our customers. Not satisfied with squeezing out bookstores and entire book companies, Amazon is now attempting to dictate what you can and can not read. Here are just a few of the authors affected:
We are book people. We believe in finding the right book for every need, in encouraging children’s enthusiasm for reading, and in providing, to the best of our ability, any book our customers are interested in. We simply cannot allow Amazon’s despicable tactics to go unchallenged.
In honor of our 25th anniversary, and to ensure we are still bringing great books to our community for another twenty-five years, we want to send a message to Amazon: bullying will not be tolerated. Withholding books from customers and gutting the sales that support authors and illustrators will not be tolerated. Taking huge losses on books to force brick-and-mortar independent stores out of business will not be tolerated.
Our goal is to help get as many Hachette books on the New York Times bestseller list as possible, and we’re starting next week with My Teacher is a Monster! Please join us on July 1st for a very special storytime as we share this fantastic new book. Many other Hachette titles will be on display (and we hope you will consider supporting the many authors whose books are being held hostage) in our effort to take back this wonderful and creative industry we love.
While we would love to see you all here next Tuesday, we realize that many of you are away on vacation. Have no fear- you can still join the party! Indie bookstores like CBW are still thriving in communities across the nation. Just follow this link to IndieBound, where you can locate the independent bookstore closest to you. We encourage you to pay them a visit, and consider taking home a Hachette title. Our celebration isn’t just about being 25 years old; it’s about being part of a community of book lovers, book sellers, and book creators. What better way to celebrate this Independence Day holiday than at an independent bookstore, ensuring your freedom to read what you want, when you want?
For more info on the dispute, start with this great LA Times article.