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Summer break!

Hoca

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Confession: As you probably noticed, I took a bit of a summer break! A break from blogging, but let it be noted, not from books. I am back, refreshed, and with plenty of great material to blog about.

In between many summer adventures–including finding myself and my younger son thrown out of our raft into the swirling whitewaters of the Kennebec River in Maine, and coming upon two herds of wild elephants at freakishly close quarters while driving in pitch dark through Bandipur Forest in south India (all very fun in retrospect!)–we did manage to cram in some great bookish experiences that I look forward to sharing with you over the coming weeks.

Mainly, I was reminded that visiting local bookstores while traveling can be such a great activity for kids (1-to-93!).

For a long time, our favorite bookstore during summer trips to my hometown of Bangalore, has been Blossom Book House.

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This unique store crams an unfathomable number of books into 3,500 square feet distributed over three floors. From current bestsellers to vintage finds, there are books of every description, stocked everywhere, stairwells included. The dollar goes delightfully far, and the staff know how to locate even obscure titles in the stacks.

Visiting Blossom with some cash in hand is an activity that my boys love each time we are in Bangalore.

If you don’t already, try this the next time you are traveling: Give your kids a modest budget set them loose in a used book store and see what they find. Their discoveries might keep them occupied during any downtimes on vacation.

This year, we added one more Bangalore bookshop to our favorites list: Lightroom.

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In contrast to Blossom, Lightroom has a small but carefully curated selection for kids of every age, adolescents included. It’s a light and airy place, and the best part: children’s books by an array of Indian authors, many printed by local presses, including limited-edition picture-books printed on handmade paper with gorgeous artwork by Indian artists and illustrators – yum. Visiting this special place reminded us of the diverse literary traditions waiting to be discovered while traveling abroad…

We came back to the US with 1.5 suitcases full of books – buying more than reading, I’m afraid, but all the more to catch up on in the weeks ahead.

I hope you had a wonderful summer too, adventurous, bookish, and everything in between.











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