Children’s bookstore planned for downtown Raleigh

If a bookstore is on your wish list for Downtown Raleigh, wishes do come true.

Read With Me, a children’s bookstore, will be opening in March at 111 E. Hargett St., Suite #110, between Briggs Hardware and Arrow Haircuts – just down the street from Marbles Kids Museum.

The owner, Christine Brenner, is a former teacher and school librarian.

In a statement, Brenner said she saw a need “for a place in downtown for families to experience together.

“I was fortunate to have teachers that inspired me and also to have a family that valued reading and always made sure I had access to books.”

Brenner plans to hold writing workshops, offer book clubs and illustration classes. The store also plans to participate in the First Friday Art Gallery Walk and exhibit illustrators.

Brenner has an IndieGoGo campaign that will go live on Monday, Jan. 16, to help raise necessary start-up funds.

According to the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, Read With Me is one of nearly 20 new businesses, including six retailers, that are expected to open this year in downtown Raleigh.

Bill King, senior director of Economic Development and Planning for the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, called the bookstore a great addition to downtown’s retail.

“Children’s books have been far more immune to the effects of e-readers, as parents and kids still love reading and interacting with actual books, so sales of children’s books are increasing,” King said.

He noted that the store’s location near Marbles and Moore Square, which the city plans to renovate and make more family friendly, also will be an asset.