MAZE CHILDREN'S BOOKSTORE
The bookstore becomes an environment exciting to children and associates books and reading with play, imagination, activity, fun and movement. Instead of a quiet, stifling environment bound by rules and ruled by adults where young children have to sit still and behave while being watched carefully, the bookstore becomes a dynamic place. The program of the store and its many features for children reflect the fun and activity of imagination, which is the basis for all enjoyment of fiction. Having a safe and energetic setting to enjoy children’s fiction will help books compete with other pastimes, such as video games and movies. The reward of books is only available if a child learns how to read the words on a page and in a story and develops the patience to sit and use his or her imagination to create images, characters and actions within his or her mind. To get to this level, though, many children need a setting with the opportunity to learn at their own pace, stimulate their thinking through movement and enjoy the space they read in. This bookstore avoids the common association of books and reading with work and classroom learning, a link which is learned early by many children and often leads to a fatal aversion towards anything remotely linked to reading in the minds of the young. This store eschews the dull, conventional store layout for a more varied, interesting space at the scale of young readers and shoppers. Bean-bag chairs, book-inspired light fixtures, a multi-level reading and play area, and (especially) the ramp slide distinguish this store as a unique and welcoming space for children. Even the bookshelves are generous but small-scaled, particularly inviting for children.