Have you ever had the experience of finding this amazing thing you didn’t even know existed, but it’s exactly what you need? On Sunday, one of my closest friends called me to tell me a funny story she’d overheard at the grocery, where a clerk was telling the guy in front of her that he should really look for the Game of Thrones series at the library, “the library, man,” he said. “It’s got everything. It’s like Netflix for books.”
Just yesterday, I was thinking about how I want my kids to read in French every day this summer. The problem is that it’s hard to find French books at just the right level that they will want to read – and also, generally, they’re expensive. So, for example, I bought Enid Blyton books (in translation) for them for Christmas, but they were too hard. Then I got a Max et Lili book, which seemed to be about the right level, but they wouldn’t read it because Max and Lili get in trouble for shoplifting. (My kids don’t mind characters getting run away with by a wild horse or hanging to the edge of a space shuttle by their fingertips – no, they don’t worry about those characters – but have a character get sent to the principle’s office? They slam the book shut and run for the hills.) So I was tooling around the internet, looking for some kind of package of books that I could buy for the summer and we could read a bit everyday. And somehow, I came across this:
It’s netflix for French kids’ books! I mean, it’s not Netflix – everyone I tell this to seems to assume it is the actual Netflix company, which doesn’t even do books, as far as I know, expanding into French kids’ books! – but it’s the exact business model. You choose from different levels (how many books at a time, limited or unlimited per month), pay a monthly fee and Voila, French books at your door. You can choose your own books or you can let them choose for you. I signed up yesterday, and my daughter immediately found a book she’d been dying to read last summer, but the mediotheque across the street from our apartment in Lille didn’t have it. The other three, we let them select for us – you tell them the age range you want, fiction or non-fiction, boy or girl, and they will find you something they think you might like. Just like Netflix, it comes with pre-stamped envelopes. You mail the books back two at a time and they send you more. I am very, very excited about this. They already sent out our first shipment! It’s coming all the way from California, but still I’m hoping it will be here by the weekend.