There is nothing quite like cracking open a brand new book; the feel of the pages, the smell of the paper, and of course, the captivating characters and spellbinding storylines. A visit to your local bookstore can open your child’s eyes to the wonderful world of books and help instill a lifelong love of reading. Click through the gallery to see our favorite local bookstores that love kids and put a premium on pint-sized readers.

University Bookstore

You don’t have to be a Husky to enjoy the University Bookstore. Yes, the store is filled to the brim with purple and gold, but it also boasts an amazing children’s lit department. The UW Bookstore’s original mission was to support the university, but it’s morphed into a Seattle-area favorite, serving every reader from college student to preschooler. Different locations around the area offer different events for kids.

The main U-District location hosts dramatic readings of the best in new and class kids’ books, as well as a graphic novel book club geared towards future cartoonists and comic book fans the second Wednesday of every month at 3:30 p.m. The Mill Creek location hosts a summer reading program and weekly story time, complete with refreshments for readers ages 3–7 on Wednesdays at 11 a.m. You bring the kids and they’ll provide the activities and entertainment. Event calendars are always changing for all locations, so check out what’s happening in your neighborhood before visiting the store.

Bonus: The bookstore also stocks an extensive supply of gift items. And don’t forget to stock up on your purple and gold swag in the Husky Shop!

To find a location near you, click here.

photo: Abbey McGee

Does your little bookworm have a favorite bookstore? Tell us what makes it so special in the comments below.

— Abbey McGee