ELLIE MAY WANDERS OVER FROM BRIGGS HARDWARE TO NAP AT READ WITH ME.
Story Time in the City Downtown Raleigh’s only children’s bookstore has created a diverse and welcoming sanctuary that’s also reflected in the books on its shelves. BY CORBIE HILL | PHOTOS BY JOE REALE
EVEN ON A COLD DAY, IT’S WARM BY the front window in Read With Me. At about noon, the sun’s high enough to shine over the tops of the downtown buildings, but still low enough to cast its rays directly into this children’s bookstore. And this is about when Ellie May, an easygoing yellow lab with a flamingo pattern on her collar, likes to wander over from Briggs Hardware next door for a nap in a sunny spot she has claimed as her own. It goes both ways, Read With Me owner Christine Brenner points out. Her 6-year-old son Ethan really likes to go
next door to Briggs. So the hardware store borrows the bookstore kid, while the bookstore borrows the hardware store dog. It’s one of many connections that make Brenner feel like she opened in the right place. “I don’t know that we could have survived in another part of the city,” she says. With Marbles Kids Museum half a block east and the science and history museums just three blocks north, Read With Me has placed itself squarely in downtown Raleigh’s family-friendly nucleus. Brenner’s seen her shop CHRISTINE BRENNER, OWNER OF READ WITH ME
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January / February 2018