Owner and operator Christine Brenner, a former school librarian and teacher, opened Read With Me in April 2017. Read With Me is a children’s bookstore, workshop, and local art gallery in downtown Raleigh. We have a thoughtful and engaging selection of contemporary, diverse, and high-quality children’s books for readers aged 0-17. In our Creativity Corner, you or your child can develop writing and illustration skills and make book-themed crafts. From book clubs to author and illustrator events, we look forward to helping your child grow to be a reader. Let’s reconnect through the artistry of children’s books.
Introduction by owner, Christine Brenner
For as long as I can remember, I have loved words and the beauty and power they hold. Whether it was poems, short stories or diary entries, I was always writing and absorbing every book I could get my hands on as a child. But my first “true love” moment happened when my fourth-grade teacher gave me The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. I fell in love with the language, the story and the adventurous heroine, Lucy, who was the same age I was. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe helped to break down the barriers and limitations in my head as a young girl and made me unafraid to open new doors.
I was fortunate to have teachers who inspired me and to have a family that valued reading and always made sure I had access to books. My early experiences with literacy helped to shape my career and my life, first as a teacher, then a school librarian, then a stay-at-home mom and now the owner of a children’s bookstore. I want to to share my passion for children’s literature and the importance of early literacy. I envision Read With Me, A Children’s Book & Art Shop as a place where everyone is welcome and where visitors feel inspired to meet a new friend — real or imagined.
Why Read With Me
Read With Me was conceived because we saw the need for a place in downtown Raleigh for families to experience together. Read With Me is a place for us all to share our love of children’s books — a place where you can find a great book to read, join a book club or be inspired to write your own story in our workshop space. In picture books and graphic novels, illustrations are vital to storytelling. Read With Me has a rotating exhibit featuring illustrators and hosts illustration classes. We celebrate all things related to the art of creating and sharing stories.
The name, Read With Me, highlights the No. 1 way to encourage your child to value reading: by reading “with” rather than “to” your child. Reading should be a shared, engaging experience between adult and child that is an open interaction of sharing thoughts and asking questions.
Above all, reading should be fun. Yet I understand that, at times, it can feel like a chore. The best way to make it fun is to read books that you find enjoyable, and not everyone has the time to find those perfect books. At Read With Me, we sift through the thousands of children’s books published each year and carefully curate a diverse collection that kids will love and parents will love to read with them. When kids see us enjoying reading, they will internalize a love for reading also." - Read With Me