As I sit here writing, I look over and spy my dining room table piled to toppling with all the things my Emma will need to move into her college dorm this weekend.

There are many many stacks, all ready for packing in the car. Of all my children, E is the most like me. We were born to chat but also crave quiet reading hours. We love mild September sun and 68 degree days, and even yearn for October chill and 58 degree sweater days. She couldn't wait, back when she was teenywee-Emma, to gleefully re-visit her favorite, seasonal apple, pumpkin, school and autumn picture books I'd pull out this time each year. This is a REALLY good time for me to point out that: 

  • reading rituals like a set-time-of-day-storytime, or a seasonal box o' books you pull out in September etc. — are so important to foster an adoration of reading, so gosh, please create some of these rituals in your home; and
  • please have in your house cozy, wonderful picture books and storytimes way PAST the days your child can read chapter books because picture books are lovely and enchanting and fond and rich in content, plus ... the snuggling and reading together years fly by all too fast. Trust me ... and Emma! 

I don't know what not having my Emma near me will be like. I swear we have identical DNA so I wonder who in her new life will read her blinks and know her thinks like I do, and vice versa. Of course, leaving and learning is exactly what she should be doing, but still my heart breaks every time I look over at her stacks of dorm stuff. It's not just me and my house that will miss her — PPB has been lucky to have Emma running the Children's Department and Events for 2+ years. Always a voracious reader, she ordered the books for these sections and read and recommended them like crazy. She has been working in bookstores since she was a high school freshman, and she knew 100% more about the business than I did when I started PPB in June, 2014. Many of you attended fun family events with your loved ones, so you and I both know that PPB Kids & Families must go on after tomorrow's dorm drop-off.

Lucky me, Liz Sims has attended "Emma's Kids" fun family events with her boys for a long time, and she wanted a job! Liz and I have put together a fun-filled Fall-Full of activities for PPB Kids & Families (we've been calling it a "September through Santa" -worth of programming). So please take a look and call the store to sign up — the first one is NEXT WEEKEND - Grandparents Day fun on Sunday, September 25! I am so excited to welcome Liz, and I guarantee you will love all the things we have planned!

As I sit here now, still writing, the yellowed leaves on our backyard trees are rustling with breeze and foretell Friday evening rain. Emma and I always say rainy days offer perfect permission to stay home and read and read, and then get a blanket and burrow in and read some more, preferably with our three pooches Walter and Payton and Cubby at your feet. I and we at PPB will miss you, Miss Emma - now go get 'em and make the most of every day, even rainy ones. — Sandy