Dear Bruno

Belmont Books is now offering a bi-weekly advice column in our newsletter featuring our very own Bruno the Bear. Bruno will be fielding questions primarily from kids and the exceptionally young at heart who are looking for guidance on issues around reading, books, bears, snacks and anything else on which a bookstore bear might be a self-appointed expert! If you have a question please email! Please include your age and your town, and Bruno will get back to you as soon as posibble. 

A little bit about Bruno:

Bruno the Bear sitting on the steps of Chris and Kathy's house!

Bruno is a bear and part-time bookseller who hails from the woods of Maine. Discovered as an orphan by a kind and sturdy Maine gal, Bruno first lived in a lumberjack camp before being brought to the beautiful town of Belmont, Massachusetts. Bruno now spends most days curled up with a good book in the children’s section of Belmont Books while his evenings are spent finishing off the extras from the pastry case of the Black Bear CafeLittle known fact: Black bears are excellent at giving advice! 

Dear Bruno, I’ve been stuck in my house forever it seems and I’m getting sick of all my same books. I can’t watch TV all day and I’m not into video games. My parents are in meetings all day on the computer and I can’t visit my friends. Do you have any book-ish ideas of ways to pass the time before I go nuts? --Restless Reader, Age 13, Arlington 

Hi there Restless!

Hang in there! You’re doing great by looking for activities that are safe and still fun. Thanks for doing your beary important part! Not everyone is a re-reader of books, but I always think it’s great when folks do. It’s a great way to stretch the books you have in your house already, especially during long times of being stuck at home. One of my other favorite activities that any-bear can do is to make your own books. They can be short, long, fiction, nonfiction, comics, illustrated, whatever you are in the mood for will be just right. You can make them on a computer or by stapling a few pages together. Think how much fun it will be to interview a relative and turn their story into a cartoon or to make up a story about the houseplant your grown up keeps forgetting to water! When you’re done you can photograph your book, make a video of it or even mail a copy- but there are lots of ways to share what you’ve created. In fact, if you’re a kid who makes a book, we’d love to see it! You can email us at or tag us on social media at @belmontbooks, using the #dearbruno,  with your grown-up's permission. Thanks for writing in with your question!

Furever yours, Bruno 

Dear Bruno, My sister and I share a room and are arguing over how to keep track of who owns which books. She’s older than me but sometimes we read the same books. Do you have any ideas how we can share our things but still know whose books are whose? --Sick of Sharing, Age 9, Belmont 

Dear S.o.S.,

Wow, I can definitely relate! I had to share with a sibling too and I share all the books in the store with customers who sometimes even buy them and take them home. First of all, I think it’s great that you and your sister are both reading so much! Secondly, it’s super great that you want to find a solution instead of just getting beary mad and drawing a line down the middle of the room. Maybe you could use a special stamp for each of you, or a certain color sticker to mark each book that you get as individuals, and then a third type or color to be books that are shared. Or another option,  each of you to have one shelf of books that the other has to ask permission before reading and the rest of the shelves are free to be read any time. If you both agree to the rules ahead of time and are kind (which I can tell you are!) then I’m sure you’ll work it out! Thanks for writing and good luck. Keep reading!

Furever yours, Bruno 

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