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Friday, 16 June 2017

Ksiazkoteka - A Bookstore For The Children In You

Dearest sweethearts,
Dearest mothers living in Krakow (or around this magical city),

I don't know about You, but I always thought that books are a key to a magical world. They allow you to learn about The Universe, discover hidden meanings, unlock secret treasures of knowledge... they help you drift away into magical places where you can be whomever you wish to be! No matter where or whom you are, once you connect to a book, once you get lost in it... you are in a fantasy land! And your book is your companion and your friend. When you are at school/Uni you might think that maybe some books are your enemy... don't think of it that way, rather see books as a challenge. If you don't have challenges then there is no way your intellect can grow! Books develop imagination, just as much as TV/Internet grounds it. If I can choose between a good book and browsing mindlessly online, I will always choose the book. Books are like friends that never grow old. They can be your companion when you are sad, happy, even when you are bored... but books are usually a habit that needs to be cultivated. A habit that usually takes both time and money. It's true, now days you have the ebook readers that allow you to store thousand of books on one small, thin and light portable device. It's true ebooks can be cheap... but if you are an old soul, Old fashioned as I am... well then, you'll find it hard to adjust and you will want the paperback version. I love the feeling when I hold a fresh book "right from the oven" of the press. I always loved opening them, feeling the pages and smelling the paper and the ink mixed together. It is one of the sweetest perfumes I know. A perfume that my heart loves. 
Both my mother and my amazing Granny instilled upon me a love for books, a love for reading. We had ever since I could remember, a large library on the hallway, and I would spend there most of my free time. There were books for younger and older, with colourful pictures or black and white or none... books I could not understand and had grand words in them, but also books I could read and understand. My Granny was a teacher and reading for us came at a very early age. I am proud to say that we are following the same route with the Little Ladybug Baby Girl. I was reading to her while she was in the belly and now we are reading together books - some of them listed for 18 months+ (and she is barely 10 months). It is true that the sooner you expose children to knowledge, the better. Their wonderful growing brains are like sponges, taking all the data. We currently speak to her in 3 languages: Romanian, Polish and English; so finding good books can be quite a challenge! 
By pure providence / sheer luck (I say someone up there loves us!) - you name it! - I bumped one day into a bookstore I never knew existed. The "Ksiazkoteka" is located on Dolnych Mlynow 3; in the Old Town, a few steps away from Teatr Bagatela. As the Little Ladybug Baby Girl is my first child I never was quite interested in the options for children, especially when it comes to book places - but now I am! I must raise a Reader! "Ksiazkoteka" (according to their FB profile) opened its doors on September 1st of 2014. It is a place for both children and grown ups with a child heart still beating inside them. It's mainly directed towards small children, up to 11 years of age. It's also very friendly towards other age groups, and it's a place where parents and caretakers of wee ones (teachers or guardians and such...) can get more info on developing the Little ones - development, education, nutrition, having a healthy lifestyle. When I was talking to the nice lady in the shop, as I was wondering if I could find any books on/about Ladybugs, I found out that the books in the shop are actually just one exemplar of each. This totally makes sense due to the limited amount of space "Ksiazkoteka" has - walls are filled with wooden shelves and empty wall spaces are adorned with maps and large tables with diverse items for children's development. In the middle of the room there is a table with books for toddlers and in one of the corners there us a small reading nook - very cute, comfy and cosy.
As I've said before, the bookstore is intended primarily for children - books for toddlers, preschoolers and proposals for primary school as well. "Ksiazkoteka" aims to help parents find interesting, captivating books, with rich content. There is a wide selection of books (one of each but I understand that you can also order them out!) and a carefully selected group of educational aids and toys - mostly for ecology enthusiasts (materials used is mainly wood, cotton... biodegradable stuff!) but also items created by local native producers. 

Opening hours: Week days between 9 am and 6 pm, Wednesday's from 9 am to 4 pm, Saturday's from 10 am to 3 pm. You can so contact them via their Internet Page ;)
What did I buy? Well... I bumped into "Ksiazkoteka" when I was wrapping up the Dzien Dobry TVN interview. I got in and saw this cute hidden gem of a bookstore and I just knew I had to buy something here and advertise the place. I wanted something for the Little Ladybug Baby Girl, something with Ladybugs if possible ;) The nice bookstore - hidden gem - showed me two books. They were both translations of the original books, translations in Polish - I mainly bought her books in English and Romanian so I'm stocking up on Polish now! I choose "Kto zjadl biedronke?" by Hector Dexet - cost 34,90 zloty (you can pay both card and cash). The translation would be "Who ate the Ladybug?" but fear not! SPOILER ALERT! The Ladybug flies away to safety ;) Its a very adorable book that helps one learn the animals, the colours and what they eat. It's easy to turn the pages as it's carton done and my wee one adores it! It's a hidden gem of a book that I found in a hidden gem of a bookstore, in magical Krakow. 🐞

Yours very much sincerely,
The Twisted Red Ladybug That Loves Reading

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