Thursday, April 16, 2009

Libraries

First we'll visit the questions that started somewhere else, but I found them on Pencil Crossings.

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?

I visit my public library all the time. Even so, I frequently pay overdue fines, but I'm okay with that. Kind of like a donation to the library. I was at my library yesterday. Put one book on hold. Checked out four mysteries - my favorite light reading. Picked up the pamphlet to join the Friends of the Library.

As a child, I lived one short block away from my public library. I was ecstatic when my mother finally gave me permission to walk there by myself. Must have been 6 or 7 years old. We did not have many books that belonged to us in my house growing up. But after being allowed to travel there on my own, there was a constant parade of books. I always had one book that I read downstairs or outside and another that was upstairs bedroom reading and a stack of a dozen waiting to be the next in line. Our librarian was the stereotypical little old lady in a cardigan with her gray hair in a bun. She once tried to stop me from reading certain books (like Myra Breckenridge or Portnoy's Complaint.) She asked me if my mother knew what I was reading. I told her she didn't care what I was reading as long as I was reading. I literally read my way through that entire collection of books.

In my teenage years I was a day student at a prep school. Our home was in the library. A world-famous piece of architecture. No way was I reading my way through that libraries collections. But I gave it a serious effort. I even had a work study job in periodicals. I was a commuter student in college and lived in that library, too. Yes. I love libraries. Even ugly looking ones. Because they contain books!

1 comment:

C in DC said...

Glad you enjoyed the questions.