After I moved back to my home town with my wife and new baby, we quickly started getting out in the community. We had to. Even though a slower pace was one of the reasons that we moved here after having lived in Atlanta, we weren’t quite ready for the shift.

The place that we were drawn to most was the small independent book store in Zebulon, A Novel Experience. We wanted our lil’ one to get out, see people and to hear language in many different places, so we were pleased to learn that this newly found book store offered readings every Saturday morning for anyone who was willing to come by and sit. Unfortunately, shortly after we started going, our regular storyteller had to relinquish her Saturdays and we were left with only books.


Chris, one of the store owners and one of the biggest community organizers, quickly asked me to take over. I’m not sure if she asked because I was an eager new parent or if she instinctively knew that I had a background in theater and public speaking or if I was just a warm body. Either way, I was willing. Later I learned that Chris has a real talent for scouting.

I jumped in and have loved every moment. Since I’ve started, my wife and I have met wonderful parents with similar interests, I have talked with some the of the brightest and most well-behaved children and most importantly I’ve seen my young toddler interact with the stories, the people and the place. It is quickly becoming a site that is familiar to him, and I am comfortable knowing that when he’s older that I’ll be proud when he tells people that he grew up in a bookstore… and oh yeah, my dad was the storyteller.

Come by on any Saturday at 11 AM to hear a story. Follow A Novel Experience on Facebook to get updates about story time and for other events at the store including book clubs, photo and art exhibits, and even Yu-Gi-Oh! night.

Some books that I’ve read have included:

  • The Pigeon Wants a Puppy – Mo Willems
  • Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs – Mo Willems
  • For Just One Day – Laura Leuck, Mark Boutavant
  • Giraffes Can’t Dance – Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees
  • Pete the Cat and his Four Groovy Buttons – Eric Litwin and James Dean