Almost a decade ago, I attended a conference and book fair with a friend. We stumbled upon a booth that held thousands of beautiful old books. Many were vintage and out of print. All were for sale. Hearts beat faster as we feverishly plundered the shelves in search of hidden treasures waiting to be claimed.
From around the corner emerged the owner. I recognized the name on her name tag as the author of the “book about books” that was on display. Jan Bloom. With whimsy and delight in her voice, Jan proceeded speak about her books as if they were her own children. As she carefully took each one off of the shelf, “Held by the center of the spine, not top, which could do damage”, she chronicled the history of the author and the list of its sibling books. With a twinkle in her eye, Jan ushered us into each story, introduced us to the characters, and prepared us for the adventure on which we would be taken. Friendship was born.
Through the years, Jan and Gary Bloom have become dear friends to our family. Most of what I’ve written about books has been the direct result of their investment in our community (and in the lives of countless others across the country). The Blooms have played a significant role in influencing the shape and tone of our family culture. Without them, there may not have been Dan Frontier leading countless imaginary buffalo hunts, Freddy the Pig during our hospital stay, or Little Britches with Dad at bedtime. We are deeply grateful.
I’m delighted to announce that Jan and Gary will be joining us for Inkwell, Story Warren’s family conference, on June 21st. They will bring their 4,000+ beautiful books for sale and will be on hand to help you find titles that fit your children’s interests and reading levels. The Blooms will also hold sessions for parents that run concurrent with the sessions for children. Their knowledge and wisdom are invaluable.
If you haven’t registered for Inkwell yet, you can do that here. Spots are limited and filling up quickly. We’d love to have you.
The Bloom Family (sans grandkids)