Did you know grandparents are active buyers of children’s books? I didn’t until I began talking to a local bookseller about the number of grandmother-grandchild couples I found in the children’s part of the book store. The bookseller says that her “nana and pop” buyers have grown over the last two years, so her store has specifically begun marketing children’s books to grandparents. She regularly gets questions from grandparents about popular series, picture books, and e-books because grandparents want to buy books for their grandchildren. On some months, grandparents have outnumbered the parents who walk in the store asking for children’s books.
I began doing a bit of investigating and found several sites for grandparents who want to use books as a way to connect to their grandchildren. They feature book reviews, grandparent brag books, and what-your-granddaughter/grandson-is-reading lists. Most of the sites recommended reading aloud some suggest classics, others contemporary stories. Either way, they are suggesting reading books together.
One of the most popular suggestions for grandparents is for them to record, either with video or audio, themselves reading stories to the child. Not only do these make wonderful keepsakes, they are valuable ways to “watch” television.
One grandfather read the entire Narnia series into a video camera while another grandmother read her Nancy Drew books, while still others read storybooks like Love You, Forever. Grandparents often wrote that they would buy two copies of a book so they could mail one to the grandchild and keep one to read together over a web cam or Skype.
Just another way the love of storytelling is being passed down from one generation to another.