Booking Through Thursday – Library Love

btt2I saw that National Library week is coming up in April, and that led to some questions. How often do you use your public library and how do you use it? Has the coffeehouse/bookstore replaced the library? Did you go to the library as a child? Do you have any particular memories of the library? Do you like sleek, modern, active libraries or the older, darker, quiet, cozy libraries?

As the saying goes, I ♥ libraries…ever since I was wee, I’ve loved the sight, smell, and hushed sounds of my local library.  When I was very small, the library was just across the street from my house, and although I wasn’t old enough to go alone, my grandfather often walked me over in the morning where I would sit on the floor and happily pull books off the shelves.

But when I was six we moved away from that perfect spot, and I was forced to spend the next 10 years cajoling people into driving me the three miles to our local library.  The minute I had a driver’s license in my hand, I got into my little blue Nova and drove lickety split to the library.  From then on, I was there practically every day.

Living in the same community for my entire life, I’ve made good use of that library.  My son enrolled in the summer reading programs there, just as I did, and he and I rode bikes to the library on sunny summer days, sometimes stopping for ice cream at the Dairy Queen on the way home.

Three years ago, our community built a brand new library, which is even closer to my home – not quite across the street, but within easy walking distance.  Seems I’ve come full circle, doesn’t it?  It’s a beautiful building, decorated in Frank Lloyd Wright style.  It even has a cafe 🙂  And there’s plenty of room for lots and lots of new books.

I will always be a library user, even though I love visiting the big book stores with all their shiny new books and bookish paraphenalia.  But libraries offer everyone the opportunity to read and enjoy books, and there’s something so very special about that.

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11 thoughts on “Booking Through Thursday – Library Love

  1. What wonderful memories and a great post. I love libraries. At university I was amazed by all the wonderful books, old and new, in many languages, and I found all kinds of treasures in the university library while researching my books. Our local branch is a five minute walk, and I go there with my children every Saturday. Your mention of DQ made me smile. Ice cream is often a part of our Saturday library trips, too.

  2. That’s lovely, about your grandfather taking you to the library so you could pull the books off the shelves (it does begin early, doesn’t it?). They are grand spots, no matter where they are or what they look like; yours sounds particularly lovely. Enjoy it, as I have enjoyed your description!

    Thank you very much for the kind words you left on my blog earlier.

  3. That was awesome that you didn’t go hang out at the mall or the diner as soon as you got the car! And library can be the center of a community, especially if you don’t inhabit in a big city.

    I was such a magnet to libraries when I was young. I still remembered that sensation of getting my library card—that felt so privileged and special!

    I love reading my own books at the library these days! 🙂 That said, I’m justified to visit my favorite bookstores almost every other day. But when I need to find out about new authors and reference materials, I turn to the library.

  4. What beautiful memories! I wish I had childhood memories of the library, but as it is, I grew up in a country where the only library has nothing but textbooks. I went to the school library, though, so I guess that counts, but so much different. Love your post, as usual.

  5. Lovely memories! I can only really remember going as a child – about 10 or 11 – and being unimpressed by the children’s section and yet not quite ready for adult books. I recall vividly wondering why the authors’ names were in bigger print on the spine than the book’s titles, and feeling completely lost because I had no idea who any of these authors were or what kind of stories they told. Then as a family we stopped going to the library regularly and after that libraries for me have been university ones. Now those I couldn’t manage without, however!

  6. I was not aware Library week was coming up – shame on me! However, I happen to have been working on a library project recently (usage) and stumbled across an article in one of our national newspapers and posted a comment on it! So very appropriate. I am ashamed to admit that I use libraries very little nowadays, mainly because I am not anywhere near a ‘decent’ library and I am very nostalgic about the time I lived in London and had access to the most wonderful University library. I have good memories!

  7. What a lovely post, Becca, and what lovely memories you share. I can just picture you jumping in your little blue Nova and driving lickety split to the library!
    Having moved numerous times in my life, I have fond memories of many, many libraries. My favorite library as an adult is the “main” library of my Milwaukee public library system. What a treasure, that I never, never, take for granted. I wrote a post about it ( http://qugrainne.com/2008/07/07/visiting-the-library-take-a-trip-to-milwaukee/ ) last year.
    A couple weeks ago I arrived to find the library was closed earlier than normal- budget cuts!! Oh dear…
    Book stores are fun, but libraries are like going home.
    Thanks for sharing your great memories!

  8. Right – Library Week! (what happens then, anyway? I guess it’s library-by-library and I should check mine out, right?)

    I plan to spend some time there this week during lunch hour, just to break things up and enjoy being surrounded by all those books in the middle of the day. Thanks for the reminder!

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